Mo’ed and Agricultural Feast: Bikkurim (Early Firstfruits) – Barley – 26 Abib

Leviticus 23:10 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.” (NASB)

Today, 26 Abib on the first day of the week (evening of 4/13 and morning of 4/14), marks First Fruits (Heb. Bikkurim), aka the wave offering (Heb. tenufah) of the barley sheaf (Heb. korban omer), the first of four agricultural feasts with each being 49 days apart, exclusive:

  • 26 Abib (barley) – Early Firstfruits (Bikkurim)
  • 15th of the third month (wheat) – Feast of Weeks (Shavuot)/Latter Firstfruits (Yom HaBikkurim)
  • 3rd of the fifth month (grapes) – Feast of New Wine (Chag Tirosh)
  • 22nd of the sixth month (olive oil) – Feast of New Oil (Chag Yitzhar)

What is interesting is that Rabbinic Jews — with their “wise sages” — interpret “on the day after the sabbath” in Leviticus 23:11 to mean the first sabbath after Chag HaMatzot begins. The Dead Sea Scrolls made it abudantly clear that it was referring to the first sabbath after the Feast of Unleavened Bread ends. They also recognize the fig, pomegranate, and date harvests which are extrabiblical. That is exactly what happens when “learned men” attempt to discern the Scriptures for themselves instead of reading them plainly and simply.

There are numerous references to these four crops together throughout the Bible; note that barley and wheat are at times combined under the generic term “grain.” The Levitical priests’ portion came from these (focusing on v12):

Numbers 18:11 This also is yours, the offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel; I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual allotment. Everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. 12 All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to the Lord, I give them to you. 13 The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to the Lord, shall be yours; everyone of your household who is clean may eat it. (NASB)

A bountiful harvest of these four were the reward for obedience to the Lord’s commandments:

Deuteronomy 11:13 “It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. (NASB)

In prophesy, the third seal is famine. See how these four staples are explicitly mentioned:

Revelation 6:6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” (NASB)

Here is the Law regarding Early Firstfruits; it is not an annual or high Sabbath:

Leviticus 23:9 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the Lord for a soothing aroma, with its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine.14 Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. (NASB)

Christ blessed five barley loaves and two fish to feed the five thousand before Passover in 35 CE:

John 6:8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. 12 When they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” (NASB)

Be sure to read the companion articles in the Mo’edim and Agricultural Feasts series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

Creation Week: Yom Rishon (First Day)

Colossians 1:15 [Who] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation[?] 16 For [in] Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He [has existed prior to] all things, and in Him all things [endure]. (NASB)

The following is a slightly modified excerpt from my forthcoming book entitled: Our Messiah Few REALLY Know. This represents copyrighted material; please treat it as such. On this “yom” in history — the “evening” of March 16th and the “morning” of March 17th of the pagan Gregorian calendar on non-leap years — the following occurred…

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (NASB)

Most would assume that this “light” is referencing the sun. But, in fact, the sun was not created until the fourth yom; refer to the Yom Revi’i article regarding the first day of the Most High’s year. So, what possibly could the good light be that is separated from the darkness? Hint: It is part of the central Scriptural theme headlining this article. Here is confirmation of this mystery:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [lit. overcome] it. 6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. 9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (NASB)

Several NT passages declare this same truth proclaiming Christ’s being the Light; the following represents a non-exhaustive list:

Four important points about the Genesis and related passages regarding the first day of Creation are:

  1. The word translated as God in Genesis 1:1 is Elohim; it is the plural form of Eloah. That fact will be developed further after reviewing the Jubilees passage below.
  2. The Holy Spirit, or Spirit of God, in Genesis 1:2 existed from the beginning with the Father. The only unpardonable sin is denying – or speaking against – the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31-32).
  3. The preincarnate, or spiritual form of, Christ was the Light of the first day of Creation; He demonstrated a glimpse of that as He transfigured in the Matthew 17 passage above as well as appearing as a light from Heaven – brighter than the sun – on Saul’s journey to Damascus in Acts 26. He was literally the firstborn of the Creation; everything was created through and for Him; and all things hold together through Him as is recounted in the Colossians 1 passage.
  4. According to Reuben Alcalay, a famous Hebrew lexicographer and author of the Complete Hebrew-English Dictionary, Christ’s Name Yehoshu’a (=Yahoah saves; Gr. ‘Iesous/Eng. Joshua) is the shortened form of “Let there be…”; see the following figure. His Name was truly the spoken Word of the Creation.

Now, examine the applicable passage from Jubilees:

Jubilees 2:1 And the angel of the presence spake to Moses according to the word of the Lord, saying: Write the complete history of the creation, how in six days the Lord God finished all His works and all that He created, and kept Sabbath on the seventh day and hallowed it for all ages, and appointed it as a sign for all His works. 2 For on the first day He created the heavens which are above and the earth and the waters and all the spirits which serve before Him – the angels of the presence, and the angels of sanctification, and the angels [of the spirit of fire and the angels] of the spirit of the winds, and the angels of the spirit of the clouds, and of darkness, and of snow and of hail and of hoar frost, and the angels of the voices and of the thunder and of the lightning, and the angels of the spirits of cold and of heat, and of winter and of spring and of autumn and of summer, and of all the spirits of His creatures which are in the heavens and on the earth, (He created) the abysses and the darkness, eventide (and night), and the light, dawn and day, which He hath prepared in the knowledge of His heart. 3 And thereupon we saw His works, and praised Him, and lauded before Him on account of all His works; for seven great works did He create on the first day.

Not only were the Heaven and Earth created on the first day but all the spiritual beings who serve before the Father – including His Son! Again, Christ was the firstborn of Creation; everything was created through and for Him. He even created the abysses, which included Sheol in the OT and is referenced as Hades in the NT. That topic will be discussed in detail in articles regarding Christ’s death at His crucifixion as well as His Second Coming.

The canonized Bible speaks of the six-winged seraphim (Isaiah 6:1-7), the four-winged cherubim (Ezekiel 10 concentrating on v21; Genesis 3:22-24; Exodus 25:17-22), as well as archangels (Jude 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:16) and angels (Matthew 26:53-54; Genesis 19:1; Genesis 22:10-12; Revelation 15:1) among other heavenly host (Nehemiah 9:6; Luke 2:12-14). Note that the Bible does NOT state that arch-/angels have wings – not even two; that is another false church tradition. They are always presented as males; perhaps that is a reason why there is no marriage in Heaven (Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:25; and Luke 20:34-36). One of the better discourses on angels is found in Hebrews 1. Angels are messengers (Heb. malak/Gr. aggelos), are ministering spirits to believers, and comprise the army of God.

All of these spiritual beings – the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, seraphim, cherubim, arch-/angels, and heavenly host – comprise the Elohim; think of it as being the name of the family or tribe of El. As the Elohim reside in the heavenly realm or domain (i.e., not on Earth), they are, by definition, extraterrestrial beings!

At this point, most will say that this line of reasoning is preposterous or claim it to be heresy! Is it? Read Genesis 6:1-8. In verse 2, the Hebrew translated as “sons of God” is bene ha’elohim. That passage leaves some ambiguity, but only two sons of God were explicitly noted in the canonized Bible: Adam (Luke 3:38) and Christ (Mark 1:1). Obviously, Genesis 6:2 is not referring to either of them. Yet, examine the following passages: Job 38:7 and Luke 20:34-36 concentrating on v36; these “sons of God” are referencing ANGELS! Examine the same phrase in the Septuagint: υιοί του Θεού; it is essentially the same as the NASB Lexicon for Luke 20:36.

Before delving into the Books of Jubilees, 1 Enoch and Jasher, Josephus wrote the following in Book 1, Chapter 3, Section 1 of his historical work Antiquities of the Jews:

Ant. 1.3.1 “For many angels* of God coupled with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on the account of the confidence they had in their own strength; for the tradition is, that these men did what resembled the acts of those the Grecians call giants.”

*Endnote: This notion, that the fallen angels were, in some sense, the fathers of the old giants, was the constant opinion of ancient antiquity.

As Josephus’ accounts are to be taken with a grain of salt, this remains tenuous at best. But, he firmly establishes that the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2 were angels (while the endnote commentary further qualifies them as “fallen angels”), and he introduced that their progeny were giants. This time, examine Genesis 6:1-8 more closely:

Genesis 6:1 Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. 5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. (NASB)

Concentrate on the Nephilim in verse 4 and review this entry from Strong’s Concordance:

In fact, these tribes of giants were called by multiple names as is referenced in the Bible:

Therefore, the Josephus account does seem to corroborate the passages in Genesis 6 and Deuteronomy 1-2 cited above – that fallen angels procreated with human women and their progeny were giants! Recall that Deuteronomy and Genesis were the second and fourth most frequent manuscripts discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls, respectively; see the “Biblical books found” section.

Examine the following passage from the Book of Jasher [or Jashar] (Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18):

Jasher 4:18 And their judges and rulers went to the daughters of men and took their wives by force from their husbands according to their choice, and the sons of men in those days took from the cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order therewith to provoke the Lord; and God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon earth, all men and all animals.

This translation applied “their judges and rulers” instead of angels, but examine the second portion of this verse closely. Were the “sons of men” simply cross-breeding “cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air” or does this appear to be some sort of genetic engineering between species (i.e., outside of their “kind”)? Would simple cross-breeding (or animal husbandry) lead to corruption of God’s Creation in His eyes? That is highly unlikely. If genetic modification were exploited, how would mankind of that time in history have learned such advanced biotechnology only (again!) being realized today? Who taught them – the judges and rulers who forcibly took the daughters of men for their wives? Were these judges and rulers their gods?

Could it be that the Egyptian gods – such as Anubis, Ra, and Set – were the actual products of these genetic manipulations? Were these fallen angels and their progeny the basis for worldwide mythology and not simply imagined fantasies? What about the pantheon of the Greeks, Romans, Norse, Hindu, Shinto, Chinese, Africans, Native Americans, Mayans, Incas, Aztecs – literally civilizations worldwide? One thing is certain: the Book of Jasher is referenced TWICE in the Bible, yet it was excluded from canon. The more adventurous may study the Book of Jasher as well. For a thoughtful discourse regarding the contortion of Biblical FACT serving as the basis for mythology in various cultures, watch the video entitled “Mythology and the Coming Great Deception.”

1 Enoch is yet another book explicitly cited in the Bible (Jude 1:14-15 reiterates 1 Enoch

1:9) yet was not canonized. Jude also states the following:

Jude 1:6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (NASB)

Regardless, the expanded narrative on the fallen angels/Watchers (Daniel 4:17) describes not only the names of the leaders but exactly where they descended to Earth. This discourse commences in Chapter 6:

1 Enoch 6:1 And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. 2 And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’ 3 And Semjâzâ, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ 4 And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’ 5 Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. 6 And they were in all two hundred; who descended [in the days] of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. 7 And these are the names of their leaders: Sêmîazâz, their leader, Arâkîba, Râmêêl, Kôkabîêl, Tâmîêl, Râmîêl, Dânêl, Êzêqêêl, Barâqîjâl, Asâêl, Armârôs, Batârêl, Anânêl, Zaqîêl, Samsâpêêl, Satarêl, Tûrêl, Jômjâêl, Sariêl. 8 These are their chiefs of tens.

According to this passage, these angels, who lusted after the daughters of men, descended on the summit of Mount Hermon. Note the following from the Wikipedia article on Mount Hermon in the “Epigraphy, archaeology and references in religious texts” section:

“An inscription on a limestone stele recovered by Warren from Qasr Antar was translated by George Nickelsburg to read: ‘According to the command of the greatest a(nd) Holy God, those who take an oath (proceed) from here.’ Nickelsburg connected the inscription with oath taken by the angels under Semjaza who took an oath together, bound by a curse in order to take wives in the Book of Enoch (1 Enoch 6:6). Hermon was said to have become known as ‘the mountain of oath’ by Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau.”

Author’s Note: The Banias spring at the foot of Mount Hermon is the source of the Banias River, one of the main tributaries of the Jordan River. This spring is important regarding the Baptism of John, and Mount Hermon plays into Christ’s transfiguration as will be examined in later articles.

In Chapter 7 of 1 Enoch, it is clear that the progeny of these angels and women were giants. However, either the word ell, which is Proto-Germanic, was mistranslated or the magnitude of their height was misinterpreted; otherwise, their height would have been approximately 4,500 feet tall. Regardless, an ell is NOT a Biblical measurement of length.

1 Enoch 7:1 And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. 2 And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: 3 Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, 4 the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. 5 And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. 6 Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.

What does the Bible state regarding the stature of these giants?

Numbers 13:31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” 32 So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. 33 There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (NASB)

Once again, this passage mentions the postdiluvian Anakim being part of the antediluvian Nephilim of Genesis 6. These men were of great size making the Israelite spies feel as if they were grasshoppers by comparison. 2 Samuel 21:19-22 and 1 Chronicles 20:4-8 below speak of a man from Gath of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot – twenty-four digits in all – and was a descendant of the Raphah (i.e., Rephaim); that specific medical condition is called hexadactyly or more generally, polydactyly. Polydactyly and hyperdontia – including double rows of teeth – are sometimes associated with the medical condition known as gigantism.

1 Chronicles 20:4 Now it came about after this, that war broke out at Gezer with the Philistines; then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Sippai, one of the descendants of the Raphah, and they were subdued. 5 And there was war with the Philistines again, and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 6 Again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature who had twenty-four fingers and toes, six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot; and he also was descended from the Raphah. 7 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him. 8 These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants. (NASB)

This passage also states that Goliath’s brother Lahmi had a spear whose shaft “was like a weaver’s beam.” Likewise, Goliath’s armaments were described in greater detail in 1 Samuel 17:4-7:

1 Samuel 17:4 Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was clothed with scale-armor which weighed five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 He also had bronze greaves on his legs and a bronze javelin slung between his shoulders. 7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and the head of his spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron; his shield-carrier also walked before him. (NASB)

To recap the stature and armaments of Goliath of Gath:

  • Height: Six cubits (=6 x 18”) and a span (=9”) or 9 feet, 9 inches
  • Bronze Helmet: No weight provided
  • Bronze Scale Armor: 5,000 shekels (~125 pounds)
  • Bronze Greaves: No weight provided
  • Bronze Javelin: No weight provided
  • Iron Spearhead (excluding the shaft): 600 shekels (~15 pounds)

Plus, he had his own shield carrier. Think of the strength it would take to wield such an enormous spear – much less wearing/carrying approximately 150 pounds of armaments.

Next, there is King Og of Bashan:

Deuteronomy 3:8 “Thus we took the land at that time from the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, from the valley of Arnon to Mount Hermon 9 (Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir): 10 all the cities of the plateau and all Gilead and all Bashan, as far as Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11 (For only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bedstead was an iron bedstead; it is in Rabbah of the sons of Ammon. Its length was nine cubits and its width four cubits by a man’s forearm.) (NASB)

According to this account, King Og’s bed was 13-1/2 feet long and six feet wide. The Bible certainly serves as a historical record as the following explicit geographical locations from just this one passage exist to this day:

A wave of skeletal remains of giants had been discovered worldwide in the mid-1800s through the early 1900s – even in America. Oftentimes, these remains were allegedly turned over to the Smithsonian Institution, other museums, law enforcement, or historical preservationists from whom nothing was ever heard again. But, that path leads down a trail of conspiracy theory. The fact remains that numerous discoveries were reported – even by the New York Times – but during a time when yellow journalism was rampant. The Bible and extrabiblical texts attest to fallen angels/Watchers and giants, but modern journalistic sources regarding skeletal remains of giants are unconfirmed at best. The truth will be made known on Judgment Day, which will be discussed in a later article. Until then, investigate books such as Giants on Record: America’s Hidden History, Secrets in the Mounds and the Smithsonian Files by Jim Vieira and Hugh Newman.

The purpose of this digression was to explore phenomenon beyond our everyday experiences that defy scientific explanation. Some may liken that to the paranormal, but empirical evidence exists for the progeny of angelic beings with human women as is discussed in Biblical and parabiblical texts. If it can be definitively determined that these giants existed, then the cause for this gigantism must be discerned as well. For it to be a worldwide phenomenon precludes chance genetic mutations; those would be localized within a small population at best. Further proof lies in the high places (Heb. bamah) – or pagan temples – found throughout the world (with some now submerged); the Most High detested these. The first instance is found in Leviticus 26:27-33 concentrating on v30. Oftentimes, these were constructed in a pyramid or step-pyramidal design aligned astronomically with the vernal and autumnal equinoxes and various constellations.

1 Enoch 8:1 Moreover Azazyel taught men to make swords, knives, shields, breastplates, the fabrication of mirrors [lit. made them see which was behind them], and the workmanship of bracelets and ornaments, the use of paint, the beautifying of the eyebrows, [the use of] stones of every valuable and select kind, and of all sorts of dyes, so that the world became altered. 2 Impiety increased; fornication multiplied; and they transgressed and corrupted all their ways. 3 Amazarak taught all the sorcerers, and dividers of roots; 4 Armers [taught] the solution of sorcery; 5 Barkayal [taught] the observers of the stars; 6 Akibeel [taught] signs; 7 Tamiel taught astronomy; 8 And Asaradel taught the motion of the moon; 9 And men, being destroyed, cried out; and their voice reached to heaven.

While all of this was ongoing, all mankind and the animal kingdom became corrupted via forbidden knowledge and possible genetic manipulation, and it was the reason for the Great Flood in the time of Noah.

For another perspective, examine the Editors’ Note regarding angels and the creation in “The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah:”

“Israelite Samaritan tradition distinguishes between angels and humans. In this tradition, the angels are considered as ‘living’ and humans as ‘dead,’ in that angels are living forever and humans eventually die. At the foundation of the Israelite Samaritan belief in angels is the reasoning that the angels were created during the six days of creation (Gen 1:26): ‘Let us make man in our image,’ in which humans are said to be made in the image of the angels, and not of the Almighty.”

The following passage stresses the multitude of angels residing in Heaven (focusing on v53):

Matthew 26:51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? (NASB)

In Christ’s time, a Roman legion consisted of 5- to 6,000 infantry (=foot soldiers) and cavalry (=horsemen); therefore, the 12 legions referenced in v53 would be between 60- and 72,000 angels. Other passages allude to the vast number of angels and/or heavenly host: 1 Chronicles 12:22, Isaiah 13:3-5, Luke 2:13-14, Jude 1:14-15, Revelation 5:11-12, and Revelation 19:19.

Returning to Colossians 1:16, there is much that most humans cannot perceive with the naked eye. Perception is typically limited to visible light in the electromagnetic spectrum unless one has a medical condition such as aphakia; others have seen infrared light under certain experimental conditions. Just as the passage in Colossians states, humans cannot perceive the invisible – including television and radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, ultraviolet light, X-rays, and gamma rays; perhaps the spiritual realm naturally exists within these wavelengths. Perhaps the Holy Spirit communicates in extremely low frequency (ELF) in accordance with Romans 8:26-27 concentrating on v26; human hearing is typically limited to the 20 Hz to 20 kHz range. There is still much that is unexplained from the Creation – wonders that cannot be detected with our five senses nor understood until revealed.

Be sure to read the companion articles in the Creation Week series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

Welcome! The Journey Begins…

I appreciate your joining me in this great adventure!

Work hard. Do your best. Keep your word. Never get too big for your britches. Trust in God. Have no fear, and never forget a friend. — Harry S. Truman

I am in the process of authoring my first book entitled Our Messiah Few REALLY Know with a handful of other titles in the wings.  This represents a labor of love that has spanned over two decades from Bible study that is foreign to most modern day Christians — that is, from a Hebraic perspective and from eye-opening content contained within the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Christ certainly hailed from the tribe of Judah (Hebrews 7:14), so it makes logical sense to study the Scriptures from that perspective.

While I consider myself a Judeo-Christian, I am not a proponent of the Hebraic Roots movement.  It is no different from all the rest.  In modern Judaism, there are primarily Orthodox, Conservative, Reform/Progressive, and Karaite movements; in Catholicism, there is Roman as well as Greek Orthodoxy with numerous orders and rites; in Protestantism, there are movements such as evangelical, charismatic, and  fundamentalist with denominations such as Episcopalians, Lutherans, Mennonites, Anglicans, Calvinists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Amish, Quakers, Methodists, Seventh Day Adventists, Pentecostals, Assemblies of God, Church of God, Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, and many others of varying flavors; and finally there are Latter Day Saints/Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and numerous non-denominational churches. All of these are proclaiming that they are the TRUE church and only they teach the truth.

Pontius Pilate put it best when he said:  “What is truth?” (John 18:33-38 concentrating on v38).  There is only ONE wayTHE WAY!  How can there be so many movements, denominations, sects, orders, and rites all proclaiming to teach the truth?  Have they not added to the Word through false traditions (embellishments unsupported by the Scriptures), precepts of men (manufactured theology), and doctrines of demons (assimilated paganism)?  The Scriptures warn us specifically against ALL OF THESE!Note that Matthew 15:5 is in reference to the korban sacrifices.

After all these years, the Holy Spirit — our Helper sent to us on the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost in 36 CE (John 14:16-17) — is still providing new insight as I “grope for The Way.”  Hopefully, you will enjoy your own journey as I have mine!  May you be written in the Book of Life.

Shema Yisrael!  (Hear, Israel!)

P.S.  Please be patient with me as I transition content from the website.  Thank you!

Afterlife: Believers’ Souls Do NOT Go to Heaven!

Luke 16:23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ (NASB)

One of the biggest hoaxes that modern churches have thrust upon us is concerning the disposition of the soul after death — aka the afterlife.  Almost universally, Christians will vehemently state the souls of deceased believers immediately go to Heaven, but that is NOT what the Scriptures state.  So, if not Heaven, then where (if anywhere)?

Most Christians believe they belong to “New Testament churches;” therefore, they have no use for the Old Testament (OT).  But, what did Christ say on this subject?  Examine Matthew 5:17-19.  Is He a liar?  Have all things been fulfilled?  If you think so, then why is there a need for His Second Coming?

In fact, this ALL revolves around His Second Coming and the appointed times (Heb. mo’edim) in the Fall — known by the Jewry as the Days of Awe.  So, where do ALL souls go after death — both the righteous and the wicked?  The Bible calls this specific place by three names:

  1. Sheol (65x in the OT);
  2. Hades (10x in the NT; 4x in Revelation); and
  3. Paradise (3x in the NT; this portion of Sheol/Hades is for believers in Christ only; see where Lazarus went in Luke 16:19-31).

To be perfectly clear, none of these is Hell (which is a misnomer) nor the false precept of Purgatory.

This is what the Bible states, and this is but a sampling of each:

The passage in Acts 2 is important as even Christ’s soul descended into the netherworld of Sheol/Hades/Paradise.  Recall that He was dead and buried for THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS (15-17 Abib) in accordance with the sign of Jonah.  [Note:  The source passage is found in Jonah 1-2.]

Examine the Greek word translated as “Paradise” again; it is a park, a garden, an enclosure!  The souls of both the righteous and the wicked DESCEND to the netherworld — using whatever name desired:  Sheol, Hades, or Paradise.

Can you handle the truth?  Judgment Day — aka the great and terrible Day of the Lord — will occur on a future Yom Kippur (=Day of Atonement).  The flip-side of atonement is… JUDGMENT!

Those who are TRUE believers in Christ will be given Grace, which is a judicial pardon/clemency on Judgment Day at His Second Coming!  His First Coming — incarnate — was as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 who brought salvation to the world.  His Second is as the conquering priestly king of the order of Melchizedek (Heb. Malki-tsedeq; =my king is righteous[ness]) vanquishing all evil and establishing His Kingdom — where believers will ultimately reside — on the New Earth.

Those who do not believe in Him will be judged by the Law of Moses, found guilty, and will be thrown into the lake of fire known as Gehenna, thereby experiencing the second death.

Only three people, who were born incarnate on Earth, are currently in Heaven:  1) Christ, who was resurrected, transfigured, and ascended to the right hand of the Father; 2) Enoch; and 3) Elijah.  The latter two are the witnesses (or the metaphorical lampstands [representing the Light of the Word] and olive trees [representing the anointing of the Word]) of Revelation.  As ALL humans MUST die (i.e., the first death), the two witnesses will as well in Jerusalem; see Revelation 11:3-13.

Note:  Jerusalem is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt in this passage.  She is also called Mystery Babylon as rabbinic Jews follow the Babylonian calendar in which the fourth (or tenth!) month is named after the Babylonian deity Tammuz, put more faith in the Talmud Bavli (=Babylonian Talmud) than they do in the TaNaKh (OT), and recite Adonai for the Tetragrammaton which invokes the Greek Adonis and Babylonian Tammuz.  That’s why it’s necessary for an undefiled New Jerusalem to descend from the New Heaven to the New Earth.  Also, the two witnesses are taken back up into Heaven after they are resurrected.  Their bodies/temples were specially prepared (or at least Enoch’s was documented as being so); in the Book of Enoch, what appeared to be a hot coal was pressed to his lips to purify him.  Focus on Revelation 11:5 if anyone desires to harm them before their time of prophesying is completed.  They are no longer normal human beings as we know them.

After the wicked are thrown into Gehenna in perpetuity, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb between Christ and the New Jerusalem will commence on Sukkot (=Feast of Tabernacles); see Revelation 21:9-14.

To recap, this is the order of the resurrection that will occur just before Judgment Day; see 1 Corinthians 15:20-58.

So, there you have it, folks…  The souls of the deceased — even the righteous/elect — are certainly NOT in Heaven.  Not Adam, who was a literal son of God (see Luke 3:38); not Abraham; not Moses; not David; not Mary — NO ONE save Christ at this time.

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)


Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz.  All rights reserved.