Handbook of the Israelite - Part two
Here we see that Jude (the biological brother of Jesus) was emphatic that his readers should vigorously defend a set of beliefs that had been established at an earlier point in time. A time much earlier than when he wrote them to his readers. Jude’s remark raises many questions that the follower of the true God will need to have answered;
(1) At what point in time were these ancient beliefs handed down?
(2) Who were the original recipients of these ancient teachings?
(3) Are any today still practicing these ancient beliefs?
Today, the prime contenders for the “true faith” are the adherents of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. These three belief systems account for over half of our current world population and for nearly two thousand years, they have been bitterly opposed to each other. Each of these belief systems claim that the practices they uphold are rooted in the true faith, and if you carefully investigate their claims, what they say is absolutely true. Devout proponents of each of these religious systems claim that those of the other two contending systems adhere to erroneous teachings and practices. And if you carefully investigate their claims, what they say is absolutely true. Each of these three belief systems teach that one day, the true hearted people of the earth (including those of the other two contending faith systems) will one day abandon their erroneous practices and adopt the practices of the true faith. Now the world must wait to see which one of these three contender’s views are actually correct. Will it be Christianity? Or is it Islam? Could it be Judaism? Or perhaps, a belief system that is unknown to the world at this time.
Now as we look at the sacred scriptures, we find that the Hebrew prophets do agree with the findings of all three of these religious institutions. It is true that great multitudes from every nationality and religious background will indeed be gathered into a single belief system. (See Ezekiel 37:21-25) But John, writer of the Revelation, saw that the true hearted multitudes of the last days would not be attracted to the faith systems of Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. Instead, the world’s attention will be drawn to the beliefs and practices of 144,000 individuals who will identify themselves as “Israelites”. (See Revelation 14:1-6). With this in mind, those who feel called to be part of the 144,000 must face some logical realities. You see, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in their present state do not resemble the practices formerly handed down to the ancient Israelites. Scholars within these three religions have never been ashamed to admit it and they would be happy to produce a list of reasons why they do not. So if the adherents of these three major belief systems are not willing to conform to the instruction that was originally given to the Israelites, then we must conclude that these three belief systems are not systems of the highest order.
No one can deny that many great men and women have arisen out of these three belief systems and many have done a remarkable work for mankind. But in these last days, God has specified that 144,000 Israelites would be raised up before the world and He will do this with or without the consent of the world's great clerics, scholars, and teachers. Those who find themselves contending against the instructions given to these Israelites will find their selves destined for failure and will not endure the perils of the last days. (See Deuteronomy 28:15-68)
The belief system of the Israelites was handed down to Moses over 3,400 ago. This faith system precedes the faith systems of Judaism and Christianity by 1,300 years. Only by examining the faith system of the ancient Israelites will we be able to identify the Israel that is soon to come. It is my hope that as you learn of their great commission, you too will find the courage to rise up and walk the same paths as one of these chosen people!
- Foundation of the Ancient faith -
Now as a person explores the faith of the ancient Israelite, they will soon find that the roots of this faith go back long before the time of Moses. The foundation of this faith was laid down on the fourth day of creation when God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons” (Genesis 1:14). The details within this small portion of scripture hold the most critical clues to our re-discovery the ancient faith and its linkage to the Israelites. And why has this been so long hidden? Unfortunately, Bible translators decided to modernize some of the words of this passage and by doing so; they unwittingly obscured the meaning which was intended by its writer (Moses). Now if there was ever a word that God’s people should earnestly contend against, it would be against the usage of the word “season” where the verse says “signs to mark seasons”. You see, Moses chose the Hebrew word “mo’ed”, which means “festival” or “gathering”. By using the word “season” instead of "festival, the reader is given the impression that on the fourth day of creation, God sought to establish the spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons. But this was not the case at all. The Israelites educated by Moses in the wilderness would have understood the creation passage more like this, "God said to the sun and the moon, ‘You shall divide the day from the night and you shall serve as the signals for our FESTIVALS” (See Genesis 1:14).
You see, Moses intended to teach the Israelites how God designed the Sun and the Moon to work together like two hands on a celestial clock. The service provided by these two luminaries was so important to the Creator that He spent an entire day calibrating them to conform to a precise pattern. And for what purpose did he do this? The Creator synchronized the sun and moon to correspond to the great events which were to take place between the Creator and His human creation. This fact was confirmed by the prophet Isaiah who declared 700 years after Moses that the sun and the moon would continue to work together to bind the activities of both God and Man for eternity, “From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the LORD.” (Isaiah 66:23) This act of “bowing down” is not the physical prostration of the body as one who grovels before an earthly dictator; NO! It is the attentiveness of a listener who stands before the presence of one greatly advanced in knowledge and experience, much like a son who desires earnestly to hear the wise instruction from his father.
So what would it have been like to attend one of these great festivals if Adam and Eve had never rebelled against the instruction of their Creator? Just think of it! None of Adam and Eve’s posterity would have known the effects of disease and death; therefore the human family would have grown ever larger with each successive generation. Humanity would have propelled itself to become the greatest developers of technology and science, music and the arts that this world has ever known. But as tenacious as the human will is towards the pursuit of nature’s hidden knowledge, the mind cannot effectively find passage into the depths of her secrets as easily as the Master of the Universe, the Creator and designer of matter itself! To the un-fallen family of Mankind, His instruction would have been more valuable than all the riches of the world. His timely visitations to the earth would have been greatly anticipated events!
Imagine the rush of excitement throughout the human family as they would have begun to see the heads of barley ripening in the fields. This would have been the earliest indication that the return of the Creator was soon approaching. (See Exodus 23:14-17) For the next several days, men would have anxiously gazed into the evening sky, watching to see the crescent of the new moon. Once the new moon had been sighted, Adam, the High Priest and King of the earth, would have signaled to his posterity that the time for preparation had come. Over the next fourteen days mothers would have made their preparations as their little children would have become ever anxious for the coming festivities.
Finally, at the setting of the sun on the fourteenth day, parents would have gathered their little ones together. The attention of all is drawn to a small cloud fixed upon the eastern horizon. As each moment passes, the cloud grows larger and ever larger! Children clap their hands with joy as the evening sky lights up with thousands of heavenly beings. As the spectacle draws nearer, they hear the voice of an Angelic choir, and soon, both men and angels sing joyfully together. And then the singing abruptly stops! A trumpet sounds and a mighty voice is broadcast from the angelic host which says, “Behold, the tabernacle (Encampment) of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them!” (See Revelation 21:3) And as this pronouncement is declared, an awesome celebration begins!
Throughout the course of the following day, all temporal work would have been suspended so that mankind could be completely free to meet with the sovereign ruler of the universe. The Creator’s purpose was to enlighten mankind about His future plans for them. Many of the details of these instructions would have been given specifically to Adam. Their conversations would have been very similar to the meetings when Moses received the instructions from God on the holy mountain. Adam would have been charged with the responsibility of communicating the details of the Creator’s new plans down through his sons until every home under Adam’s care would have been fully enlightened. This knowledge would have been essential in order for man to progress to the next stage of his development. Finally, after several days of instruction and celebrating would have past, the human family would gather on the first day after the Sabbath. Adam, in behalf of the entire human race presents several bundles of ripened barley as a gift to his Creator. All eyes would witness the Creator’s slow departure from the earth, along with His retinue of holy beings. This would have marked the end of just one of the three yearly harvest festivals that were to be annually celebrated by both God and Man. (See Exodus 23:14-17)
What a wonderful system! The teachings which the Creator planned to imbed into the framework of these festivals were designed to enhance the image of God in Man! Our human minds cannot even begin to comprehend where the path of this original faith would have led us today. But sadly, His ambitious plan would have had to wait six thousand years to be fully implemented. For ever since the creation of our race, men and women have been inclined to follow instructions which were never designed for them, paths whose ends lead only to disappointment and self destruction!, "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man...to direct his steps."(Jeremiah 10:23) As long as man refuses to gather and receive God’s instructions according to God’s way, the great barrier that separates heaven and earth must remain standing. Have we considered how the humiliating legacy of Adam’s rebellion and separation has affected us? What has become of the children who were cast away from presence of the Heavenly Father? Nature, in a small way, can best illustrate it:
On the outskirts of society exists a pitiful class of children. Due to the severe neglect or abuse by their own parents, they are cast out of their homes at an extremely young age. Most children loose heart and die the loneliest of deaths. But some children, because of their strong will to live, find refuge with wild animals such as roving packs of dogs. Observers find that these castaway children often adopt the mannerisms of the very animals that had offered their care and nurturing to them. These wild children are found barking, biting, whimpering, eating, and walking just like their four legged counterparts. When rescued, these children often prefer the company of their canine companions rather than the company of humans.
In other instances, children were rejected by their parents and deprived of both human and animal contact. One young girl by the name of Genie had been locked inside a room for ten years of her life. Beginning at the age of three, Genie was daily strapped to a chair. In the evenings she was tied into a sleeping bag and placed into a cage like bed with a metal mesh cover. If her parents had neglected to place her into her makeshift bed on a certain night, Genie would spend the night in the darkness strapped to her little chair. But after ten years of suffering this abusive life, Genie, now a thirteen year old, was discovered by authorities, hospitalized, and eventually placed in a foster home.
Her unusual story was made public and became known in the scientific community. Some scientists became very interested in Genie's situation and received funding in hopes to re-habilitate her and also learn more about the overall effects of this phenomenon. In the thirteen years that she suffered under the control of her abusive parents, Genie’s had managed to learn but two words “STOPIT!” and “NOMORE!” (Not exactly words a child in need of nurturing would need to hear) But after a few months of rehabilitation under the care of her new foster parents, Scientists were pleased to find that Genie had learned to speak over a hundred words!
Genie’s progress continued upward and then stalled. Scientists found that she had reached the limit in the development of her language skills. Their tests confirmed that all of her senses were keenly receptive. The stumbling block Genie encountered was her inability to put the words she clearly understood into sentences. You see, the patterning of words which is so vital to human communication is developed at an early stage of a young person’s life. It was impossible for Genie go back in time to master the art of syntax. Unfortunately, the season to acquire this skill had long passed when she was deprived of human contact. Like Genie, the church has lacked the needed contact with with their creator and many have passed the critical age of spiritual development. They are not capable of transmitting to their Creator or to the world what is bound up in their hearts. How appropriate are the words of Paul to sum up the sadness of Genie’s situation along with that of all mankind “We know that the whole creation has been groaning…right up to this present time…with groans that cannot be expressed.” (Romans 8:22-26)
- The Conclusion of the Matter -
Our race is like a rebellious child and our Creator, a wise Father. Because of our attitude towards His instruction, we have been confined to our room (planet earth). Here we have been allowed to throw our tantrums for the past six thousand years and our room is becoming a heap of destruction! His uncompromising discipline towards us will end only when we are willing to come out and listen to His instruction. And oh how we have always hated His instruction! This brings me back to the original theme which began my conversation. Why did only two adults make it alive into the Promised Land and why will only 144,000 remain when the Creator returns to this dark planet? To the prophet Ezekiel who wrote eight hundred years after Moses, God gave the clearest of answers,“Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me…Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in my statutes…and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out my fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them.” (Ezekiel 20:12-14)
Long before there was Moses or an Israelite, there existed the Sabbath. For those who have any hope of reaching the end of days alive, the Sabbaths must be remembered. Not only the weekly Sabbath, but all of the Sabbath days which were created for the saints from the very beginning of earthly time. His Sabbaths are not only about the cessation of labor, they are signals to the universe that our priority is the acquisition of divine instruction, to fulfill our commission as true Israelites, and to endure to the very end!
“Let no one judge you…regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come… Let no one cheat you of your reward."
“I felt the necessity to write to you, appealing that you earnestly contend for the faith which was once, for all, handed down to the saints."