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Feasts of the Lord(Leviticus 23)And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.The Sabbath3 ‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.The Passover and Unleavened Bread4 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. 8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.'”The Feast of Firstfruits9 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the Lord, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. 14 You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.The Feast of Weeks15 ‘And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the Lord. 19 Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats as a sin offering, and two male lambs of the first year as a sacrifice of a peace offering. 20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.22 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.'”The Feast of Trumpets23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.'”The Day of Atonement26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. 28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”The Feast of Tabernacles33 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.37 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day- 38 besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the Lord.39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. 40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.'”44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.

What Is A Prophet?
In chapter one we made frequent references to the holy prophets. This raised a very important question; “What do we mean when we speak of prophets, and who are prophets?” We must find what the Bible says about this subject.
The first person in the Bible to be called a prophet was Abraham, the “Father of the Faithful.” It is important to notice also, that it was God who gave him this title. The story is found in Genesis 20:6-7. A heathen prince had taken Abraham’s wife, and God commanded him to restore her, saying of Abraham, “he is a prophet. . . .” (the Hebrew word is “nabi” as it is also in Arabic). Without doubt there were other men before Abraham who were prophets. Enoch was one, for instance (compare Genesis 5:24 with Jude 14). But Abraham was the first person to be designated a prophet by the clear Word of God. Many God-appointed prophets arose after Abraham. They were chosen from many walks of life. Moses was adopted in infancy by an Egyptian princess and thus received a prince’s education. (Read in your Bible, for example, Exodus 2:5-10; Acts 7:21-22.) Ezekiel and Jeremiah were priests as well as prophets. David was first a shepherd, then warrior, king and poet and a prophet as well. Amos was a herdsman (Amos 1:1). Elisha was a plowman (1 Kings 19:15-21). Daniel was a government administrator (Daniel 2:48). From such diverse backgrounds, God chose His prophets. Their influence and authority did not come from their rank, education, wisdom or wealth, but entirely from the fact that God chose them to be His messengers. So we may define a prophet as one appointed by God Himself to be His messenger. Now we must examine the Bible to expand this brief definition. Notice first that God chose His messengers. The following Scriptures demonstrate this:
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go out from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household to the land that I will show you. Then I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, so that you will exemplify divine blessing. I will bless those who bless you, but the one who treats you lightly I must curse, and all the families of the earth will bless one another by your name.” So Abram left, just as the Lord had told him to do, and Lot went with him. (Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.) (Genesis 12:1-4).
Now Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb. The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from within a bush. He looked-and the bush was ablaze with fire, but it was not being consumed! So Moses thought, “I will turn aside to see this amazing sight. Why does the bush not burn up?” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to look, God called to him from within the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” God said, “Do not come near here. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He also said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt. I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. I have come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up from that land to a land that is both good and large, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the region of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. And now, indeed, the cry of the Israelites has come to me, and I have also seen how severely the Egyptians oppress them. So now, go, and I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, or that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He replied, “Surely I will be with you, and this will be the sign to you that I have sent you: When you bring the people out of Egypt, you and they will serve God on this mountain.” (Exodus 3:1-12).
Then the Lord came and stood nearby, calling as he had previously done, “Samuel! Samuel!” Samuel replied, “Speak, for your servant is listening!” The Lord said to Samuel, “Look! I am about to do something in Israel; when anyone hears about it, both of his ears will tingle.” (1 Samuel 3:10-11).
The Lord said to me, “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.” I answered, “Oh, Lord God, I really do not know how to speak well enough for that, for I am too young. The Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ But go to whomever I send you and say whatever I tell you. Do not be afraid of those to whom I send you, for I will be with you to rescue you,” says the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I will most assuredly give you the words you are to speak for me. Know for certain that I hereby give you the authority to announce to nations and kingdoms that they will be uprooted and torn down, destroyed and demolished, rebuilt and firmly planted.” (Jeremiah 1:5-10).
God in His wisdom chose men who would obey Him faithfully and He gave them authority to speak on His behalf. Prophets were not chosen or elected by men, and they were not permitted to inherit the title or regard it as an official post to be filled by a man specially trained for it.
Notice also that God told them what to do. We may find example of the work of a true prophet in a number of references as follows. Their work was:
1. To reveal the nature and attributes of God to men.
The following Scriptures show this:
The Lord spoke face to face with you at the mountain, from the middle of the fire. (I was standing between the Lord and you then to reveal to you the message of the Lord, because you were afraid of the fire and would not go up the mountain.) He said: “I am the Lord your God, he who brought you from the land of Egypt, from the place of slavery. You must not have any other gods besides me. You must not make for yourself an image of anything in heaven above, on earth below, or in the waters beneath. You must not worship or serve them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. I punish the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons for the sin of the fathers who reject me, but I show covenant faithfulness to the thousands who choose me and keep my commandments.” (Deuteronomy 5:4-10). The Lord spoke to Moses: “Speak to the whole congregation of the Israelites and tell them, ‘You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. Each of you must respect his mother and his father, and you must keep my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God. Do not turn to idols, and you must not make for yourselves gods of cast metal. I am the Lord your God.'” (Leviticus 19:1-4).
2. To make known to men the laws of God.
For example Exodus 20:1-17 says:
And God spoke all these words: “I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on earth under it, or that is in the water below. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, who visits the iniquity of fathers on children, even to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but who extends faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold guiltless anyone who takes his name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it. For six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; on it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your cattle, or your resident foreigner who is in your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, and he rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God is giving to you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
3. To call the people back to obedience to God’s laws.
Read 2 Chronicles 24:19- The Lord sent prophets among them to lead them back to him. They warned the people, but they would not pay attention.
4. To exhort the people to sincerity in worship.
An example of this is found in Jeremiah 7:1-11:
The Lord said to Jeremiah: “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s temple and proclaim this message: ‘Listen, all you people of Judah who have passed through these gates to worship the Lord. Hear what the Lord has to say. The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says: Change the way you have been living and do what is right. If you do, I will let you continue to live in this land. Stop putting your confidence in the delusive belief that says, “We are safe! The temple of the Lord is here! The temple of the Lord is here! The temple of the Lord is here!” You must change the way you have been living and do what is right. You must treat one another fairly. Stop oppressing foreigners who live in your land, children who have lost their fathers, and women who have lost their husbands. Stop killing innocent people in this land. Stop paying allegiance to other gods. That will only bring about your ruin. If you do all this, I will let you continue to live here in this land which I gave to your ancestors as a lasting possession. “‘But just look at you! You are putting your confidence in a false way of thinking that will not help you at all. You steal. You murder. You commit adultery. You lie when you swear on oath. You sacrifice to the god Baal. You pay allegiance to other gods that you do not really know. Then you come and stand here in my presence in this house I have claimed as my own and say, “We are safe!” You think you are so safe that you go on doing all those hateful sins! Do you think this house I have claimed as my own is to be a hideout for robbers? You had better take note! I have seen for myself what you have done! says the Lord.'”
5. To warn them of Divine judgment upon sin, both personal and national.
See Jeremiah 36:30-31:
So the Lord says concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah, “None of his line will occupy the throne of David. And his dead body will be thrown out to be exposed to scorching heat by day and frost by night. I will punish him and his descendants and the officials who serve him for the wicked things they have done. I will bring on them and the citizens of Jerusalem and the people of Judah all the disaster that I threatened to do to them. I will punish them because I threatened them but they still paid no heed.”
6. To foretell future events which God had willed.
A good illustration of this would be Jeremiah 30:1-3:
The Lord spoke to Jeremiah. He said, “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘Write everything that I am about to tell you in a scroll. For I, the Lord affirm that the time will come when I will reverse the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘I will bring them back to the land I gave their ancestors and they will take possession of it once again.'”
7. To foretell the coming of the Messiah, the Savior.
See for example Isaiah 9:6:
For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us. He shoulders responsibility and is called: Extraordinary Strategist, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
8. To record the history of God’s dealings with men.
An example of this is in Deuteronomy 31:9-13:
Then Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carry the ark of the Lord’s covenant, and to all Israel’s elders. He commanded them: “At the end of seven years, at the appointed time of the cancellation of debts, at the Feast of Temporary Shelters, when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place he chooses, you must read this law before them within their hearing. Gather the people-men, women, and children, as well as the resident foreigners in your villages-so they may hear and thus learn about and fear the Lord your God and carefully obey all the words of this law. Then their children, who have not known this law, will also hear about and learn to fear the Lord your God for as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
9. To record the Word of God in the Holy Scriptures.
The following are examples of this:
And the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in Joshua’s hearing; for I will surely wipe out the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens.” (Exodus 17:14). And the Lord said to Moses, “Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” (Exodus 34:27). So on that day Moses wrote down this song and taught it to the Israelites, and the Lord commissioned Joshua son of Nun, “Be strong and courageous, for you will take the Israelites to the land I have promised them, and I will be with you.” When Moses finished writing on a scroll the words of this law in their entirety, he commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the Lord’s covenant, “Take this scroll of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God. It will remain there as a witness against you” (Deuteronomy 31:22-26). The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. He said, “Get a scroll. Write on it everything I have told you to say about Israel, Judah, and all the other nations since I began to speak to you in the reign of Josiah until now. (Jeremiah 36:1-2). The Lord spoke to Jeremiah after Jehoiakim had burned the scroll containing what Jeremiah had spoken and Baruch had written down. He said, “Get another scroll and write on it everything that was written on the original scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned.” (Jeremiah 36:27-28). This list is by no means complete but it shows the importance of the work of a prophet. Even the humblest and most ordinary men became important, influential and authoritative in Israel when called to be prophets. Some prophets were called to challenge the whole nation (1 Kings 18:21), or to rebuke evil kings (1 Kings 21:17-24; Daniel 5:17-28) and many were given power to perform miracles to support their authority. An example of this is in Exodus l7:5-6 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go over before the people; take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand your rod with which you struck the Nile and go. I will be standing before you there on the rock in Horeb, and you will strike the rock, and water will come out of it so that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in plain view of the elders of Israel. In the nation of Israel, prophets were more important than kings, warriors or priests. Because the prophets were so influential, it is not surprising that early in history, false prophets appeared, pretending to be God’s messengers in order to support their own ambitions for power, authority and personal advancement. Because of this, God gave clear instructions to the people to examine the credentials of all who claimed to be prophets. These Divine instructions are found in Deuteronomy 18:9-22. This paragraph is so important that the student should read it before going any further with this lesson. Here it is: When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, you must not learn the abhorrent practices of those nations. There must never be found among you anyone who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, anyone who practices divination, an omen reader, a soothsayer, a sorcerer, one who casts spells, one who conjures up spirits, a practitioner of the occult, or a necromancer. Whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord and because of these things the Lord your God is about to drive them out from before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God. Those nations that you are about to dispossess listen to omen readers and diviners, but the Lord your God has not given you permission to do such things. The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you-from your fellow Israelites; you must listen to him. This accords with what happened at Horeb in the day of the assembly. You asked the Lord your God: “Please do not make us hear the voice of the Lord our God any more or see this great fire any more lest we die.” The Lord then said to me, “What they have said is good. I will raise up a prophet like you for them from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth and he will speak to them whatever I command. I will personally hold responsible anyone who then pays no attention to the words that prophet speaks in my name. “But if any prophet presumes to speak anything in my name that I have not authorized him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. Now if you say to yourselves, ‘How can we tell that a message is not from the Lord?’- whenever a prophet speaks in my name and the prediction is not fulfilled, then I have not spoken it; the prophet has presumed to speak it, so you need not fear him.” Notice that God warned the people that all pagan practices and customs were strictly forbidden. In particular, God warned them not to seek help or guidance through occult practices like divination, witchcraft or necromancy (the belief that spirits of dead people can be used to obtain help). We are expressly told, Whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord. As these practices were strictly forbidden, how were the people of Israel to obtain help and guidance? God gave them a clear answer; I will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you. . . . God would not permit pagan methods of seeking help, but He would appoint His own prophets through whom He would speak and guide those who desired to know the truth. From this important Scripture we find certain definite rules by which the people could know a true prophet sent by God.

The seventh chapter of the book of Daniel records an unusual vision that he received in the first year of the Babylonian king Belshazzar (555-556 B.C.). The vision predicts major world empires and events from the time of Daniel to the second coming of Messiah. The vision ended with Daniel saying, “My thoughts greatly troubled me, and my countenance changed; but I kept the matter in my heart” (Daniel 7:28). What did Daniel see?
In verse 1 Daniel had “a dream and visions of his head while on his bed.” This is the same expression that was used in Daniel 2:28 concerning King Nebuchadnezzar’s “dream and visions” that came in the second year of his reign (603-602 B.C.).
The two sets of dreams and visions were about 50 years apart; but as we will see, they both describe four world empires. The vision of the four beasts and the little horn found in Daniel 7 reveals more information about the same four empires that are first described in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a great image.
The Chaldean Empire
In Daniel 7:3-4 Daniel records, “And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.”
In verse 17 we are told, “Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth.” The lion was symbolic of the kingdom of Babylon and the “man’s heart” was that of its most notable king, Nebuchadnezzar, who is written about considerably in the first four chapters of Daniel.
As The Expositor’s Bible Commentary explains, “The lion symbol was characteristic of Babylon, especially in Nebuchadnezzar’s time, when the Ishtar Gate entrance was adorned on either side with a long procession of yellow lions on blue-glazed brick, fashioned in high relief” (1985, Vol. 7, pp. 85-86). The eagle’s wings plucked off the lion were symbolic of Nebuchadnezzar’s time of insanity when he was humbled by God to learn that “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men” (Daniel 4:17, 34-37).
Nebuchadnezzar ruled from Babylon to Asia Minor and from the Caspian Sea to Egypt. Biblically, his most notable conquest was that of the nation of Judah, with Daniel being the most famous captive from that nation. Following his father’s death, Nebuchadnezzar reigned as king of Babylon for 43 years, from 604-561 B.C. (JewishEncyclopedia.com/Nebuchadnezzar). After his death, Babylon continued as a strong empire until 539 B.C., when it was conquered by the second rising power in Daniel’s vision, the Medo-Persian Empire.
The Medo-Persian Empire
Daniel 7:5 says, “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: �Arise, devour much flesh!'”
This beast’s being “raised up on one side” represents the Persians being greater than the Medes in this federated empire. This is made plain to Daniel in a vision two years later when he sees a ram with two horns, one being higher than the other. Daniel is told by the angel Gabriel that the ram represents the kings of Media and Persia (Daniel 8:3, 20).
The three ribs that are devoured represent three empires conquered by Persia’s first great king, Cyrus the Great, and his son, Cambyses II. Cyrus came to power in 558 B.C. and conquered the Lydian Empire (Asia Minor) in 546 and the Chaldean Empire (Babylon) in 539; and Cambyses conquered Egypt in 525 (ibid. p. 86).
The Medo-Persian Empire lasted for 200 years and, under later kings, expanded to Greece in the west and to India in the east. At one point, the Persian Empire covered parts of three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. But, like the Chaldean Empire, the Persian Empire finally came to an end. A new beast was rising in the west, and its appointed time had come.
The Greek Empire
Daniel 7:6 says, “After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.”
As with the second beast, the third beast is clearly identified by the angel Gabriel. It was Greece, and the “first king” was Alexander the Great. After his untimely death in 323 B.C., his empire was divided into four smaller kingdoms (Daniel 8:21-22).
The symbol of the leopard with four wings portrays the swiftness of Alexander’s sudden rise and conquest of the Persian Empire from 334-331 B.C. After his death, several years of struggle ensued that resulted in the division of his empire into four kingdoms. The new kingdoms were (1) Greece and Macedon, (2) Thrace and Asia Minor, (3) Middle East-Asia and (4) Egypt-Palestine.
The last two were ruled by Seleucus, who began the Seleucid Empire, and Ptolemy, who began the Ptolemaic Empire. These two kingdoms are called the king of North and the king of the South in Daniel 11. Approximately two centuries later, the fourth beast conquered all four of these kingdoms and expanded far beyond the lands conquered by the previous beasts. These two kingdoms-called the king of North and the king of the South and having yet to be determined configurations-will revive and play major roles in end-time prophecies.
The Roman Empire
Next in Daniel 7:7 we read, “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.”
The devouring teeth of iron and the trampling feet correspond with Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the fourth kingdom being strong as iron, breaking in pieces and crushing all others (Daniel 2:40-41). When the Roman Empire came to power under the Caesars (44 B.C.) it devoured, broke in pieces and trampled the residue of its enemies with its feet-as was described in Daniel’s vision in Daniel 7.
The fourth beast is quite different from the previous beasts, in that it has 10 horns. Daniel 7:24 says, “The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom.” Historically, these revivals began to rise after the fall of Rome in A.D. 476, with the later ones under a new name: the Holy Roman Empire. (For additional information, see “What Is Babylon?”).
This fourth beast would continue to be revived off and on for over 1,500 years until the end-time 10th revival. The 10th and final revival will be destroyed by Yeshua the messiah at His second coming (Daniel 7:26-27). This leads to one other unusual feature of the prophecy of the fourth beast.
The little horn
Daniel 7:8 says, “I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.”
This little horn represents a powerful religious system that would align with the last seven of the 10 political horns that were to arise after the fall of Rome. This coordination between church and state produced what ultimately became known as the Holy Roman Empire.
In verses 21-22 and 25, this little horn makes war against the saints, speaks pompous words against God, intends to change times and law, and persecutes the saints for a “time and times and half a time” (literally three and a half years, but using the day-for-a-year principle of Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6, 1,260 years).
Evidence of this persecution can be seen through the centuries, as hundreds and thousands of people in Europe lost their lives through the inquisitions of the Roman Catholic judicial system. They were tortured for confessions of being heretics and killed because they would not submit to the authority and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church and the pope.
Though the inquisitions of that time were abolished, the Bible indicates religious persecutions from the “little horn” will come back and result in the death of many before the return of Messiah. Daniel also saw the conclusion concerning the “little horn”-that when Yeshua the messiah returns, “the court [judgment] shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever” (verse 26; Revelation 18:2).
The Kingdom of God
The vision of Daniel 7 could not end with any greater news: “Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (verse 27).
This prophecy ends by revealing that Jesus will establish the Kingdom of God on earth and give it to the saints of the Most High. What is the biblical definition of a saint? How does an individual become a saint and inherit this Kingdom? The study of the prophecy of the four beasts and the little horn may be very interesting, but the answers to these most important questions of life are what matters in the end. We recommend readers go to the section on “Change” to discover the answers.

The origin of the Hebrew sabbat is uncertain, but it seems to have derived from the verb sabat, meaning to stop, to cease, or to keep. Its theological meaning is rooted in Elohim’s rest following the six days of creation ( Gen 2:2-3 ). The Greek noun sabbat [savbbaton] translates the Hebrew noun sabbat [t’B;v]. The noun form is used primarily to denote the seventh day of the week, though it may occasionally refer to the Sabbath week ( Lev 23:15-16 ) at the end of every seven Sabbaths or fifty days, or the Sabbath year ( Lev 25:1-7 ) in which the land was to be at complete rest.The Old Testament. The observance of the Sabbath is central to Jewish life. Of the eight holy days (Shabbat, the first and seventh days of Pesach, Shavout, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the first and eighth days of Succot) proscribed in the Torah, only the Sabbath is included in the Decalogue. Though not holier than other holy days like Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah, the Sabbath is given special attention because of its frequency. Yet despite any significance that accrues on the basis of its frequency or inclusion in the Decalogue, its importance rests ultimately on its symbolic representation of the order of creation. For, according to the Genesis narrative, Elohim himself rested on the seventh day, thus making it sacred ( Gen 2:1-2 ). For the pious Jew, keeping the Sabbath holy is a mitzvah, or duty, before Elohim. Indeed, The Old Testament takes Sabbath observance so seriously that profaning it results in the death penalty ( Exod 31:14 ; 35:2 ; Num 15:32 ).The meaning of the Sabbath institution comes to light against the background of several key facts. First, Exodus 20:8-11 makes a clear connection between the Sabbath day and the seventh day on which Elohim the Creator rested. Sabbath observance therefore involves the affirmation that Elohim is Creator and Sustainer of the world. To “remember the Sabbath” meant that the Jew identified the seven-day-a-week rhythm of life as belonging to the Creator. This connection is particularly important in light of the Jewish doctrine that human beings are co-partners with Elohim. They receive the world in an unfinished state so that they may share with Elohim the purposes he seeks by continuing to fashion and subdue the creation. If the Creator stopped his creative activity on the seventh day, then those who share in his creative work must do the same. Sabbath contravenes any pride that may accompany human mastery and manipulation of Elohim’s creation. In ceasing from labor one is reminded of one’s true status as a dependent being, of the Elohim who cares for and sustains all his creatures, and of the world as a reality belonging ultimately to Elohim.Second, the Sabbath is an affirmation of Israel’s identity. The words of Moses to the people in Deuteronomy 5:12-15 demonstrate that, however much its rhythm reflects the order of Elohim-created life in general, the Sabbath functions also to remind Israel of her specific origins. “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Yehovah your Elohim brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Yehovah your Elohim has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” Here the acknowledgment that Elohim is the Creator of life is intensified by the acknowledgment that he is also the saving presence in the history of the Jewish people, and by that means of the entire creation. Israel’s keeping of the Sabbath was a reminder of her very identity as a people liberated from slavery to the Egyptians and for a special role in the cosmic drama of human salvation. As such it was a cherished gift of Elohim, “a sign between me and you for generations to come” ( Exod 31:12-17 ), testifying of Elohim’s faithfulness to his covenant throughout the generations. The covenant relationship demands Israel’s sanctification, and by keeping the Sabbath holy Israel is reminded continually that the Elohim who sanctified the seventh day also sanctifies her.Third, the Sabbath is a day of rest and worship given as a gift from the restless condition of slavery. The prohibition of work extended to all those living within Israel, including slaves and animals ( Exod 20:10 ), even during the plowing season ( Exod 34:21 ). This necessitated additional work on the sixth day ( Exodus 16:5 Exodus 16:23 ). What constitutes rest and work? In the Torah there are only two explicit prohibitions concerning work on the Sabbath. No fires were to be kindled in Jewish dwellings ( Exod 35:3 ), and no one was to leave their place ( Exod 16:29 ). However, more can be inferred from other texts. For example, Moses instructed the people to bake and boil the manna and put it aside until morning ( Exod 16:23-24 ), hinting that cooking was not fitting for the Sabbath. A man found gathering sticks on the Sabbath was stoned to death ( Num 15:32-36 ). The carrying of a burden or bringing it by Jerusalem’s gates was prohibited ( Jer 17:22 ). Nehemiah closed the city gates to the merchants who were said to profane the Sabbath by carrying their goods and selling them ( Neh 13:15-22 ). Most important is the Torah’s placement of the laws concerning the Sabbath directly adjacent to the instructions for building the tabernacle (Exod. 31), implying that each of the many varieties of work associated with tabernacle construction was prohibited on the Sabbath.Just as joy is more than the absence of sorrow, the Sabbath is more than cessation of labor. Resting in bed all day does not amount to a keeping of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is to be a delight and joy ( Isa 58:13 ). Noteworthy is the fact that the fourth commandment ( Exod 20:8 ) places the positive command to keep the Sabbath holy before the negative prohibition to cease working. As worship, additional sacrifices were offered ( Num 28:9-10 ) at the temple, and the special shewbread was to be set out “sabbath after sabbath” to signify Israel’s commitment to the covenant ( Lev 24:8 ). During and after the Babylonian exile, worship became a more prominent part of Sabbath observance. In Jewish homes the benedictions of kiddush (Friday evening) and habdalaha (Saturday evening) were recited, and there were morning and afternoon services at the synagogue. The joyous character of the Sabbath is reflected in, among other things, the Jewish tradition of eating richly, which derives from its inclusion in the list of “festivals of the Yehovah” ( Lev 23 ) the prohibition of fasting, and the forbidding of outward expressions of grief and mourning.In the prophets, observance of the Sabbath becomes the touchstone for Israel’s obedience to its covenant with Elohim. The future of Jerusalem depends on faithful Sabbath keeping ( Jer 17:24-27 ). One’s personal well-being is also at stake ( Isa 56:2-7 ). Those who honor the day will find joy, riding on the heights of the earth and being fed with the heritage of Jacob ( Isa 58:14 ). As Elohim once desired to destroy his people in the desert because of their Sabbath desecration ( Eze 20:12-14 ), so he now counts this among Israel’s present moral failures ( Eze 22:8 ) for which there will be purging and dispersion. Amos issues a stern warning to those merchants who endure the Sabbath, anxious only to get on with the selling of grain ( 8:5 ).The consistency of the prophets’ call to honor the Sabbath testifies in part to the growing need, especially during the exilic period, to preserve Jewish identity in a pagan environment. In this sense prophetic aims are continuous with those of the Mosaic period. But scholarly consensus finds in the prophetic writings a subtle transformation wherein the Sabbath, formerly a social institution of festivity, rest, and worship, became above all a religious mark of personal and national holiness vis-a-vis the Gentiles.The New Testament. The Gospels record six cases in which Jesus’ action resulted in controversy over the Sabbath, and two more that did not. Yeshuafaces the accusation that his disciples have broken the Sabbath by picking grain and eating ( Matt 12:1-8 ). He is interrogated concerning his healing of a man with a withered hand ( Matt 12:9-14 ), a crippled woman ( Luke 13:10-14 ), a man with dropsy ( Luke 14:1-6 ), a sick man by the pool of Beth-zatha ( John 5:1-18 ), and a blind man ( John 9 ). Neither the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law ( Mark 1:29-31 ) nor Jesus’ synagogue address in Nazareth seems to have occasioned any opposition. Just how Yeshuaregarded the Sabbath is a matter of discussion. Some argue that Yeshuadeliberately broke the Sabbath commandment in order to call attention to his messianic character. Others contend that Yeshuaviolated not the Sabbath commandment but only the casuistry of the Pharisees as contained in the halachah. In the final analysis, a comprehensive statement about Jesus’ attitude toward the Sabbath would require an investigation into his attitude toward the Law in general.But even in the face of interpretive difficulties, the particular nature of Jesus’ response to these controversies make two things quite clear. First, by his statement “the Son of Man is Yehovah of the Sabbath” ( Matt 12:8 ) Yeshuaclaims that the authority of the Sabbath does not exceed his own. Hence, the Son of Man as Yehovah decides the true meaning of the Sabbath. In two Johannine accounts in particular, the authority by which Jesus’ Sabbath healings are performed is linked directly to Elohim the Father, according both to the blind man’s ( 9:33 ) and Jesus’ own witness ( 5:17 ). Second, by stressing that the Sabbath was made for humankind and not humankind for the Sabbath ( Mark 2:27 ) Yeshuagives an indication as to its true meaning. That is, he places it against the universal horizon of Elohim’s intent that it benefit all creation and not just Israel. Jesus’ healings on the Sabbath underscore this beneficent character, for “it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” ( Matt 12:12 ). By his response to the religious leaders in two Lukan incidents, one gathers the impression that what is ultimately at stake is the health (physical and spiritual) of those healed. Just as naturally as one would lead an ox or donkey to water ( 13:15 ) or rescue a child who has fallen into a well on the Sabbath ( 14:5 ), YeshuaActs, with eschatological urgency, in the interest of life and salvation.Among the several references to the Sabbath in Acts ( 1:12 ; 13:14-44 ; 15:21 ; 17:2 ; 18:4 ; 20:7 ) there is little evidence to suggest that the earliest Christian communities deviated from the traditional Sabbath observed on the seventh day. The lone reference to a gathering “On the first day of the week” ( 20:7 ) most likely reflects an emerging Christian consensus that the first day was an appropriate day on which to meet for worship and celebrating the Yeshua’s Supper.In his letters Shaul shows concern for certain restrictions placed on his converts ( Rom 14:5 ; Gal 4:10 ; Col 2:16 ), among them Sabbath keeping no doubt. In his characteristic refusal to allow such things to become a basis for judging fellow believers, Shaul seems, especially if Romans 14:5 refers to Sabbath keeping, a claim not unanimously accepted, to support one’s freedom either to observe or not observe the Jewish sabbath, though he evidently continued to observe it for himself ( Acts 17:2 ).Hebrews anticipates an eschatological “sabbath rest” (sabbatismos [sabbatismov”]) that remains for the people of Elohim ( 4:1-11 ). The term sabbatismos [sabbatismov”] appears nowhere else in the New Testament, and may be the writer’s own creation to indicate the superiority of the coming rest to that of the seventh day. Though a superior quality of rest, it is still marked chiefly by the cessation of labor patterned after Elohim’s rest on the seventh day.

Do you know?
The Creator himself tells what his name is. His name is easy to identify in the original language of the Bible, Hebrew. But his name has become beclouded by erroneous translations, corrupted manuscripts and Jewish tradition. Confusion has resulted from the many titles used as names of God, making it appear that the Creator has many different personal names and we can choose whatever we want to call him.
The scriptures place a lot of emphasis on the name of the Supreme Being. Our Savior himself showed this by teaching us to pray: “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6:9, New King James Version) In this prayer the name of the Creator is not used, but rather he is referred to by one his titles, “Our Father”. But our Savior placed the hallowing or sanctifying of his father’s name as first in the prayer, indicating its importance.
In another place our Savior prayed: “Father, glorify your name.” The Father himself answered: “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” (John 12:28, New King James Version.) Moreover, our Savior said: “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name.” (John 17:6,11,12) The Son of God again showed how much importance he placed on his Father’s name. — See also John 5:43; 10:25; 12:13.
The Savior further showed the importance of the Divine Name when he said: “I have revealed your name to those who you took from the world to give me. I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.” — John 17:6,26, New Jerusalem Bible.)
The scriptures tell us that those who belong to Messiah are actually sons of God. “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14, New American Standard Bible) “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26, New American Standard Bible) Certainly if we claim this standing as children of God we should want to know what God’s name is, especially since, as children, these sons of God are called “a people for his name.” — Acts 15:14.
But someone may say, “Isn’t his name `God?’ or `Lord’?” No, the apostle Paul tells us that “there are many `gods’ and many `lords.’ ” (1 Corinthians 8:5) The words “God” and “Lord” are actually titles rather than personal names. The Hebrew words for “god” and “lord” are applied in the Bible to men, angels, and as well as inanimate idols.
The evidence given in the Bible (from the Hebrew) shows that the Creator has only one personal name. But it has become difficult to know what that name is. How so? Let us see. Most translators of the Bible like to substitute the titles “Lord” or “God” for his name. If you open the popular English King James Version Bible to Isaiah 42:8, there the Creator is reported as saying: “I am the Lord, that is my name.” The same statement is recorded in the American Standard Version in this manner: “I am Jehovah, that is my name.” But the World English Bible renders it as: “I am Yahweh, that is my name.” Which is correct?
We must remember that the first part of the Bible was written in Hebrew-Aramaic (commonly called “Old Testament”) and the second part was written in Greek (commonly called “New Testament”). If you are reading the Bible in any other language, you are reading somebody’s translation, and often their interpretation of the Bible — not the Bible as it was originally written.
The Creator’s name in the Hebrew Scriptures is represented by four Hebrew characters (Yowd, He, Vav, He). These four Hebrew letters are referred to as the tetragrammaton. They correspond roughly with the English letters YHWH or JHVH. As most of our readers know, we have been rendering the Creator’s name as “Yahweh” throughout our publications.
(Many Bible scholars, however, often remark that “the Lord” and “God” are “names” for the Creator. Translators, therefore, feel that it is okay to substitute the term “the Lord” or “God” for the personal name of the Creator. But as we will show, “Lord” and “God” are not really names of the Creator, but rather titles.

Genesis 1:26
The actual creation of Adam and Eve and the placing of them in the Garden of Eden was not an end in itself but only a necessary step at the beginning of a process that continues right down to today.
Yehovah is creating a community.
From the very beginning, Yehovah implies the expansion of His own community. He says, “Let Us,” indicating a community already exists. Man was made, physically, in Yehovah’s image, and he begins with characteristics of shape and form in common with his Maker. The rest of the Bible fills in the details of how mankind is being brought from having not only form and shape in common with his Maker, but also character, so that he fits perfectly into the community that the Maker is expanding.
When the Son of Yehovah came, He came with a message from His Father. Yeshua gave as the title to the message that He brought, “the good news of the Kingdom of Yehovah” (Mark 1:14-15). This is the Boss Himself, and this is the title He Himself gave. It was the good news of the Kingdom of Yehovah.
Is there any doubt in our minds that Yehovah is forming a community? Is there any doubt that Yeshua Christ will rule this community, first, and that afterward, He will turn everything over to the Father? (I Corinthians 15:28)? There is nothing ambiguous here. Is Yehovah forming a community?
The important thing for us is what ramifications the good news of the Kingdom of Yehovah has on the way we live our lives. In the course of the unfolding of Christ’s ministry, and the apostles’ afterward, we find some interesting things that have a direct impact on the way we live our lives.
First, Christ was the Son of Yehovah. Does not a son indicate a family relationship? “Son” is used in the Bible in at least two different ways. One means “a direct descendant of.” The other is used in the sense of “characteristics of, but not necessarily direct descendant of.” The Bible says plainly that Yeshua was the Son of Yehovah, a direct relationship. Since He was of the same Family, there is a family relationship. He was not only a literal Son born of Mary of the Holy Spirit, but He also showed the characteristics of Yehovah. He was Yehovah.
Is Christ indicating a family relationship with us in Mark 3:34-35? We have already seen that the community that He is creating is a kingdom. This kingdom is also a Family. Everybody is related, all being sons of the Creator. Everybody has the same characteristics. Do not the descendants of parents look like their parents? Sure they do.
Everything fits together beautifully, and logically. Yehovah is reproducing Himself.
Consider Romans 8:14-15. Is that a family? Thus, if we have the Spirit of Yehovah, we are part of a family. We are Yeshua’ brothers. We are Yeshua’ sisters. We are Yeshua’ mothers (see Matthew 12:50). We have the same Father as He did.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 1)
Mark 1:14-15
What is the gospel-the “good news”? “Just believe on the name of Yeshua and you will be saved” is a common message of many preachers. Others proclaim that the gospel is that Yeshua came to die for our sins. Still others preach a rather insipid and saccharine “Yeshua loves you” message. All of those catchy phrases have relevance to Yeshua’ message-we certainly must believe in Yeshua, He did die for our sins, and He surely loves us-but nowhere does Yeshua directly state that the gospel is about Him!
Instead, the good news is about a momentous purpose that Yehovah is accomplishing. Yeshua spoke the words that the Father gave Him to preach, most emphatically confirmed in John 12:49-50:
For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.
What is Yeshua’ own testimony about the subject of His preaching? Notice these verses:
>> Matthew 4:23: “And Yeshua went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.”
>> Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
>> Luke 4:43: “[Yeshua] said to them, ‘I must preach the kingdom of Yehovah to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.'”
>> Luke 16:16: “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time, the Kingdom of Yehovah has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.”
Yeshua’ announcement of the good news is that the Father will establish His Kingdom and His capital city on earth. He Himself will be here, no longer separated from His children-no longer unseen and ruling indirectly through agents from His present location in heaven but ruling directly on earth. It is to this awesome, mind-boggling future that we, as a part of His Family, are being summoned to prepare for and to participate directly in.
Yeshua is certainly mankind’s Savior, having died for our sins, but to be properly understood, that event must be seen within the context of preparation for and the establishment of the Kingdom of Yehovah on earth. A kingdom has four basic elements: a king, a territory it occupies, subjects within that territory, laws, and a form of government through which the will of the ruler is exercised. Each of these elements is part of the gospel.
Has the founder of any other religion offered a message and program that can even begin to match what Yeshua taught? This is truly the most wonderful message mankind could possibly receive, and it came only through Yeshua.

What Is Faith?(Hebrews 11)
Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. 2 Faith is the reason we remember great people who lived in the past.
3 It is by faith we understand that the whole world was made by Yehovah’s command so what we see was made by something that cannot be seen.
4 It was by faith that Abel offered Yehovah a better sacrifice than Cain did. Yehovah said he was pleased with the gifts Abel offered and called Abel a good man because of his faith. Abel died, but through his faith he is still speaking.
5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken to heaven so he would not die. He could not be found, because Yehovah had taken him away. Before he was taken, the Scripture says that he was a man who truly pleased Yehovah. 6 Without faith no one can please Yehovah. Anyone who comes to Yehovah must believe that he is real and that he rewards those who truly want to find him.
7 It was by faith that Noah heard Yehovah’s warnings about things he could not yet see. He obeyed Yehovah and built a large boat to save his family. By his faith, Noah showed that the world was wrong, and he became one of those who are made right with Yehovah through faith.
8 It was by faith Avraham obeyed Yehovah’s call to go to another place Yehovah promised to give him. He left his own country, not knowing where he was to go. 9 It was by faith that he lived like a foreigner in the country Yehovah promised to give him. He lived in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who had received that same promise from Yehovah. 10 Avraham was waiting for the city[a] that has real foundations�the city planned and built by Yehovah.
11 He was too old to have children, and Sarah could not have children. It was by faith that Avraham was made able to become a father, because he trusted Yehovah to do what he had promised.[b] 12 This man was so old he was almost dead, but from him came as many descendants as there are stars in the sky. Like the sand on the seashore, they could not be counted.
13 All these great people died in faith. They did not get the things that Yehovah promised his people, but they saw them coming far in the future and were glad. They said they were like visitors and strangers on earth. 14 When people say such things, they show they are looking for a country that will be their own. 15 If they had been thinking about the country they had left, they could have gone back. 16 But they were waiting for a better country�a heavenly country. So Yehovah is not ashamed to be called their Yehovah, because he has prepared a city for them.
17 It was by faith that Avraham, when Yehovah tested him, offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Yehovah made the promises to Avraham, but Avraham was ready to offer his own son as a sacrifice. 18 Yehovah had said, �The descendants I promised you will be from Isaac.” 19 Avraham believed that Yehovah could raise the dead, and really, it was as if Avraham got Isaac back from death.
20 It was by faith that Isaac blessed the future of Jacob and Esau. 21 It was by faith that Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each one of Joseph’s sons. Then he worshiped as he leaned on the top of his walking stick.
22 It was by faith that Joseph, while he was dying, spoke about the Israelites leaving Egypt and gave instructions about what to do with his body.
23 It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born. They saw that Moses was a beautiful baby, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s order.
24 It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of the king of Egypt’s daughter. 25 He chose to suffer with Yehovah’s people instead of enjoying sin for a short time. 26 He thought it was better to suffer for the Christ than to have all the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking for Yehovah’s reward. 27 It was by faith that Moses left Egypt and was not afraid of the king’s anger. Moses continued strong as if he could see the Yehovah that no one can see. 28 It was by faith that Moses prepared the Passover and spread the blood on the doors so the one who brings death would not kill the firstborn sons of Israel.
29 It was by faith that the people crossed the Red Sea as if it were dry land. But when the Egyptians tried it, they were drowned.
30 It was by faith that the walls of Jericho fell after the people had marched around them for seven days.
31 It was by faith that Rahab, the prostitute, welcomed the spies and was not killed with those who refused to obey Yehovah.
32 Do I need to give more examples? I do not have time to tell you about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. 33 Through their faith they defeated kingdoms. They did what was right, received Yehovah’s promises, and shut the mouths of lions. 34 They stopped great fires and were saved from being killed with swords. They were weak, and yet were made strong. They were powerful in battle and defeated other armies. 35 Women received their dead relatives raised back to life. Others were tortured and refused to accept their freedom so they could be raised from the dead to a better life. 36 Some were laughed at and beaten. Others were put in chains and thrown into prison. 37 They were stoned to death, they were cut in half,[d] and they were killed with swords. Some wore the skins of sheep and goats. They were poor, abused, and treated badly. 38 The world was not good enough for them! They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and holes in the earth.
39 All these people are known for their faith, but none of them received what Yehovah had promised. 40 Yehovah planned to give us something better so that they would be made perfect, but only together with us.

Ten Commandments: King James Version
Yehovah’s Law, the Ten Commandents, is expressed in Exodus 20:2-17 with the following, “I am the Lord thy Yehovah, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy Yehovah am a jealous Yehovah, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy Yehovah in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy Yehovah: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy Yehovah giveth thee.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.”

The question of which day is the Christian Sabbath have been a subject of long debate. Theologians and preachers have offered their “opinions” about this Sunday or Saturday question.
Many people assume that traditional Orthodox Christianity is the place to begin from. However while human opinion should not count, astonishingly many people are content to accept it.
In this article we will look at
What both Yehovah and man say about the subject?
Whether one should keep Sunday or Saturday as the Sabbath day.
Yehovah’s word is the only place to begin the study of the Sabbath as well as any other Biblical subject. This is common sense.
We notice that Yehovah already answered this question from the beginning of the Bible itself. It was as if He knew that this debate will rage later on and He decided to leave no one in doubt by establishing it from the beginning of the Bible itself. Right after the Creation Chapter, Yehovah stated “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the SEVENTH day Yehovah ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then Yehovah blessed the seventh day and SANCTIFIED it, because in it He RESTED from all His work which Yehovah had created and made. (Gen 2: 1-3 KJV)
Question: Why did He (Yehovah) sanctify ( set apart) IT ( IT being the 7th Day)?
Answer : Because in IT (the 7th Day ) He (Yehovah) rested from all His work which He had made ( Gen 2:3)
While no one should have missed or misunderstood the importance and weight of this passage, almost everyone has!. Rather than examine this and many other scriptures on the subject, most people merely swallow popular views because it is easier to go along with the “majority”. The majority or band wagon syndrome brings the following effect
A false sense of security and comfort
A lack of self will and initiative
A follower not a leader
A fear to confront reality
Does not really last very long
Absence of personal conviction hence very unstable and joins another crowd/majority when one majority/crowd goes out of fashion
The above can be applied to any sphere of life
Continuing on. Much later Yehovah gave the Ten Commandments (The Decalogue) to ancient Israel with the fourth one declaring “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8). First note that it says “Remember” because the Sabbath was created and established 2500 years before Mount Sinai and long before there were any Jews (as many think today that the Sabbath and other Laws were meant for the Jews alone). Exodus 20: 8-11 continues .. To keep it holy, … six days shall work be done …. These verses clarify/explain why the Sabbath must be kept holy
Yehovah created everything in six days
Yehovah rested on the seventh day
Yehovah blessed the seventh day, not the first.
The subject of which day is the Sabbath should be a burning issue on the mind of every believer, it is unfortunately the least on their minds. Almost no one seems to care about what the Bible teaching � the only correct teaching is on the subject. I urge you as you read this article to read your Bible and grasp the plain teaching of what it says and this subject. I will also add that you should BELIEVE the truth you see and DO it. [A side note here: The Principle of Believing and Doing defines FAITH, you only demonstrate that you believe anyone by DOING what they either said you should do or they expect you to do. This is a principle not far from human relationships and it is same with our relationship with Yehovah. The only way to show you believe Him is to DO what He says to DO. Recall the incident in Numbers 20 where Moses struck the Rock instead of declaring IT, you will see in verse 12 where Yehovah said “Because you did not believe me…”]
There are over 2billion people in the world who claim or profess to be Christians. It is estimated that there are over forty thousand different denominations and groups in the world today (this number rises by the day). However one thing is clear, they do not agree with each other, there is a huge amount of confusing amongst and within them resulting in disagreements. There are few things that all Christians agree upon jointly, one of these is the Sunday observance. They think and hold it as the Biblically authorised “Lord’s Day” of the New Testament. However the questions are
Are they correct in this assumption?
Does the New Testament establish Sunday (the first day of the week) in place of the Old Testament Sabbath?
Did Yeshua Messiah do away with the Sabbath making himself the Lord of Sunday?
Vast numbers of people are told and believe that He did. But if Yeshua established Sunday in place of Saturday why did He tell His disciples “Therefore the Son of Man is the Lord also of the Sabbath” Mark 2:28). This was right after He (Yeshua) declared in verse 27 that the Sabbath was make for man. Notice that it was not for the Jews only but for “man” !. This passage alone (Mark 2:27-28) should conclude the debate. This is one of the many passages in the New Testament that Preachers don’t quote from (although they always like to quote the New Testament). This Mark 2:27-28 is just one of the many plain scriptures about the Sabbath. The word “lord” means master � it is NOT a Divine title as many use it today. Many profess “Yeshua is Lord” thinking they are honouring Yeshua by doing so.
A master in the Near Easter Culture is one that you obey like a “zombie”, no questions asked, you do both what the master says and what he is saying. This is why Yeshua Himself wondered out loud in Luke 6:46 ” Why do they call me Lord, Lord (master, master) but do not DO what I say to DO”
In a world filled with popular traditions and customs, few try to determine the origin of things. Most people generally accept common religious practices without question, choosing to do what everyone else does because it is easy, natural and comfortable and there is a certain safety in numbers. The power of peer pressure alone make people avoid asking themselves the hard question so that they can practice what is acceptable and fashionable. Others follow along as they have been taught assuming what they believe and do is right. They take their “belief” for granted almost never taking the time to prove them {2 Tim 2:15; 1 Thess. 5:21). Nowhere is this truer than in Sunday observance. Almost 2 billion people keep Sunday without knowing why or where this practice originated, most suppose it is found in the Bible because they see so many professing Christians observing it. Many think Yeshua was resurrected on Sunday after a Friday crucifixion ( neither of these happened, both Crucifixion and Resurrection happened on Wednesday and Saturday respectively) and that this made Sunday the Lord ‘s Day. Surely, billions cannot be wrong or can they?
A study of the Bible on all teachings generally accepted by the Churches of this worlds professing Christianity reveals they have almost no Biblical foundation whatsoever. This statement is shocking, yet it is true. Here is an irony. When confronted with the truth of what the Bible really says on a matter, most church goers will attempt to deny the facts however indisputable. They will twist and distort the issues in order to hold on to cherished beliefs. Preferring what is familiar to what is Right and True.
The Sabbath question is somewhat different. Though in the end, most people are unwilling to observe it, many ministers, theologians and religionists openly acknowledge what the Bible says about the Sabbath. When pressed, they usually admit Yehovah word authorises the observance of the seventh day, in-fact you will be left wondering why they don’t simply start doing what they are saying. It is almost shocking. First let us look at a very important statement from the mouth of Yeshua himself. He spoke plainly about the popular customs and traditions of men and churches and the effect of these “In vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of Yehovah, you hold the tradition of men–the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do. He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of Yehovah, that you may keep your tradition.” Mark 7: 7-9. Yeshua was paraphrasing the prophecy of Isaiah (Yeshiyahu) 29:13) from these passages we see that
It is possible to worship Yehovah in vain (for nothing) even with the lip service and outward professing without DOing what He says to DO.
People are fully aware that they are teaching the commandment and traditions of men
People are fully aware that they are rejecting the commandments of Yehovah so that they can advance their own traditions
Many religious leaders of churches, including Popes have candidly admitted that there is no basis whatsoever for Sunday observance. It is critically important to see what those who keep Sunday say about their authority to do so.
First we must understand that the Bible teaches that Yeshua is the head of His Assembly (usually translated as Church in the Bible) (Eph 1:22, Col 1:18). Rome terribly misread Yeshua’s comment in Matt 16:18 teach that Yeshua gave away His authority over His Assembly to a man � Peter. This is both terrible and deliberate in the part of t largest Church in the world with over 1.2b members. Based on this teaching they hold that the Church through its first Pope (Peter as they claim) has the authority to make certain changes. The following statements and quotations should shock you
” For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that The Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandments of Yehovah given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day that is the seventh day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the Roman Catholic Church outside the Bible” [ from an article titled “To tell you the Truth” ; The Catholic Virginal, Oct 3, 1947)
The next quote from the Catholics is directed at the Protestants
“From this same Catholic church, you have accepted your Sunday and that Sunday as the Lord’s Day she has handed down as a tradition; and the entire Protestant world has accepted it as tradition (recall, Mark 7:7-9).. for you have not an iota of scripture to establish it, therefore that which you (Protestants) have accepted as your rule of faith inadequate as it of course is, as well as your Sunday, you have accepted on the authority of the Roman Catholic church [ David B. Ray, The Papal Controversy]
A well know Bishop once made this audacious statement
“There is but one Church on the face of the earth � The Catholic Church � that has the power to make laws binding on the conscience, binding before Yehovah, binding under pain of Hell fire. Take for instance the day we (Catholics) celebrate � Sunday. What right have the Protestant Churches to observe that day? None whatever. You say it is to obey the Commandment Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy but Sunday is not the Sabbath according to the Bible and the record of time. Everyone knows that Sunday is the first day of the week while Saturday is the seventh and the Sabbath; the day consecrated as the day of rest. It is so recognised in all civilised nations. I have repeatedly offered $1000 to anyone who will furnish any proof from the Bible that Sunday is the day we are bound to keep and no one has called for the money. It was the holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday the first day of the week” [Bishop Thomas Enright “Father Enright on Sunday, The American Sentinel]
The same bishop made the following statements
“I have repeatedly offered $1000 to anyone who can prove to me by the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says “Remember that you keep holy the Sabbath day. The Catholic Church says NO! By mu Divine power, I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week” and lo the entire civilised world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic church” [Bishop Thomas Enright in a personal letter Printed in the Experiences of a Pioneer minister in Minnesota, by W.B Hill]
Next are three famous quotations from a Catholic Cardinal. He used a question and answer approach
Q: ” Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the 10 commandments, I answer Yes. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the seventh day Saturday form Sunday first day? I answer Yes. Did Christ change the day? I answer No. [James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore (1877-1921), signed letter]
In another short statement , the cardinal stated
“The Catholic Church for over 1000 years before the existence of a Protestant by virtue of her Divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. Reason and sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives, either the keeping holy of Saturday or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday, compromise is impossible” [James Cardinal Gibbons. The Christian Sabbath, Catholic Mirror , Dec 23, 1893]
“Question, “What Bible authority is there for changing the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week?. Who gave the Pope the authority to change a command of Yehovah?
Answer: If the Bible is the only guide for the Christian, then the Seventh Day Adventist is right in observing Saturday with the Jew but Catholics learn what to believe and do from the Divine infallible authority established by Yeshua Christ, the Catholic Church. Is it not strange that those who make the Bible their only teacher should inconsistently follow in this matter the tradition of the Church? [Bertrand Conway, The Question-Box Answers]
Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals or precepts? Answer: Had she not such power, she would not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her � she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no scriptural authority [Stephen Keenan, A doctrinal Catechism]
“Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from Saturday to Sunday. Now the Church instituted by Yehovah’s authority, Sunday as the day of worship. This sane Church by the same Divine authority taught the doctrine of Purgatory long before the Bible was made, we have therefore the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday [Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics are asked about]
“Regarding the change of the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts. 1. Protestants who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not but on the contrary observe Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes if every thinking man. 2. We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living church, the authority of the church as a rule to guide us. We say, this church instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the old testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws. It is always somewhat laughable to see protestant churches in pulpit and legislation demand the observance of Sunday of which there is nothing in their Bible [Peter R. Kraemer. Catholic Church Extension Magazine, 1975]
Another quote following the question and answer approach
Question: “Which is the Sabbath Day”?
Answer “Saturday is the Sabbath Day
Question: “Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
Answer “We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church in the council of Laodicea (AD363) transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday [Peter Geiermann, The Converts Catechism of the Catholic Doctrine]
Note that in this same fourth council of Laodicea in AD 363, the following Edits was passed � Christians must not judaize by resting on Sabbath, the penalty for disobedience was death [Schaff, Philip and Henry Wale, trans; A select Library of Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church]
Two final but crucial quotes
“A rule of faith, or a competent guide to heaven must be able to instruct in all the truths necessary for salvation. Now the scriptures alone do not contain all truths which the Christian is bound to believe, nor do they explicitly enjoin all the duties which he is obliged to practice. Not to mention other examples, is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work?, Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties?. But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and you will not find a single line authorising the sanctification of Sunday. The scripture enforces the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify. The Catholic Church correctly teaches that our Lord and His Apostles inculcated certain important duties of religion which are not recorded by the inspired writers. For instance most Christians pray to the Holy Ghost, a practice which is nowhere found in the Bible, we must therefore conclude that the scriptures alone cannot be a sufficient guide and rule of faith because they cannot at any time, be within the reach of every inquirer; because they are not of themselves clear and intelligible even in matters of the highest importance and because they do not contain all the truths necessary for salvation” [James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers]
Note that both points in the last paragraph of the Cardinals quote are false. The Bible is both sufficient and plain to those who will study and believe it. The Apostle Shaul under the inspiration of Yehovah also disagrees. Speaking of just the Old Testaments Books which were the only Scripture available during his time, he states “And that from a child, you have known the holy scriptures which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is Yeshua Messiah. All scriptures are given by the inspiration of Yehovah [2Tim 3:16]. Contrast this with Cardinal Gibbons assertion based on the beliefs of the Catholic Church that the Bible [including the New Testament] does not contain sufficient instruction to receive salvation.
Here is another incredible admission
“Some theologians have held that Yehovah likewise directly determined Sunday as the day of worship in the New Law, the He Himself has explicitly substituted Sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is now entirely abandoned. It is now commonly held that Yehovah simply gave His Church, the power to set aside whatever day or days she would deem suitable as Holy Days. The Church chose Sunday, the first day of the week and in the course of time, added other days as holy days [John, J, Laux. A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and academies]
Let me add that these holy days referred to by John Laux are pagan festivals with Christian names pasted on them. Contrast this with what Yeshua himself taught “it is written that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yehovah. [Matt. 4:4, Luke 4:4] This is a direct statement from Yeshua to His followers and anyone who cares to listen to follow and live by what is written and not what any church, religious organisation, group or denomination teaches especially those that openly acknowledge it is not following what is written. Remember Yeshua’s statement which we stated earlier “Full well you reject the commandments of Yehovah that you may keep your own tradition” Mark 7:8
At this point the question must be clear to any honest reader so far
It is indeed possible to worship Yehovah in vain. Hence you must find out once and for all whether Sunday observance is what Yehovah expects of you or even permits.
In this first part we have presented the view of the Catholics on the Sabbath and Sunday question. In the next publication, we will present the views of the Protestants (all other non Catholics) then conclude the subject.

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