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The Gift of Truth
     At times, we feel the urge to give others gifts as a way of “documenting” our love, care and friendship. However, as we draw closer to Yahweh through Yahshua, we become aware of traditions in our culture that run against the teachings of Yahweh through His Messiah, Yahshua. What does Scripture have to say about gifts? Below, is an extensive, though not exhaustive by any means, review of gifts in Scripture.
Gifts - a Bribe
     You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in his dispute. Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked. And you shall take no gift, for a gift [bribe] blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous, Exodus 23:6-8.
     In verse 8 the word gift is the translation of the Hebrew (Strong’s #4979) hashochad, whose root word shachad, means a bribe.
     He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, but he who hates gifts [more accurately translated “bribes”] will live, Proverbs 15:27.
     The Hebrew word translation as gifts here is again Strong’s #4979 meaning a bribe.
Gifts - a Sacrificial Offering
     You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet: HOLINESS TO YAHWEH, [or, in Hebrew, QODESH LA-YAHWEH] and you shall put it on a blue cord, that it may be on the turban; it shall be on the front of the turban. So it shall be on Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before YAHWEH, Exodus 28:36-38.
     In verse 38, the word gifts is the translation of the Hebrew (Strong’s #4979), matnot, meaning a present; specifically (in a good sense), a sacrificial offering, (in a bad sense) a bribe. In context, the use is as a sacrificial offering.
     These are the feasts of Yahweh which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day: besides the Sabbaths of Yahweh, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to Yahweh, Leviticus 23:37-38.
     The phrase your gifts is the translation of the Hebrew (Strong’s#4979), matnowteeykem, meaning, in context, sacrificial offerings.
     Then I said to them, “What is this high place to which you go?” So its name is called Bamah to this day.” Therefore say to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Almighty Yahweh: ‘You are defiling yourselves in the manner of your fathers, and committing harlotry according to their abominations. For when you offer your gifts and make your sons pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols, even to this day. So shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live,’ says the Almighty Yahweh, ‘I will not be inquired of by you,’” Ezekiel 20:29-32a.
     Strong’s#4979, matnowteeykem, is translated as gifts in verse 31, meaning a sacrificial offering.
Gifts - a Tribute
     Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. And Yahweh preserved David whithersoever he went, 2 Samuel 8:6.
Here, the word gifts is the translation of the Hebrew (Strong’s #4503) hjnm, minchah, meaning to apportion, i.e. bestow; a donation; euphemistically, tribute; specifically a sacrificial offering (usually bloodless and voluntary). In context the type of gift here is a tribute.
Gifts - a Present
     As the days wherein the Yahudim rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor, Esther 9:22.
     The word gifts is the translation of the Hebrew (Strong’s # 4979, matnot, meaning a present.
     The kings of Tarshish and of the isles will bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts. Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him [that is, Yahweh], Psalms 72:10-11.
     The word gifts in this verse is the translation of the Hebrew (Strong’s #914), ‘eshkar, meaning a gratuity or a present.
     And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down,andworshippedHim:and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh, Matt 2:11.
     The word gifts here is the translation of the Greek (Strong’s#1435) dw=ron, doron, meaning a gift or a present.
     If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets, Matthew 7:11-12.
     As in the previous Scripture the word gifts is the translation of the Greek (Strong’s #1435) dw=ron, ‎doron, meaning a gift or a present. And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, "Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for Yahweh, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had," Luke 21:1-4
     Gifts is a translation as in the previous Scripture.
     For the gifts and the calling of Yahweh are irrevocable, Romans 11:29.
     Here the word gifts is the translation of the Greek (Strong’s #5486) xa/risma, charisma, meaning a divine (free) gratuity or gift.
     Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exho tation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness, Romans 12:6-8.
     Gifts is the translation of the Greek (Strong’s #5486) xari/smata, c‎harisma, meaning a divine (free) gratuity or gift.
     But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Messiah's gift, Eph 4:7.
     Gift, here, is the translation of the Greek (Strong’s#1431) dwrea, dorea, meaning a gratuity or gift.
     Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men," Eph. 4:8. (See also Psa. 68.18)
     The word gifts in this verse is the translation of the Greek (Strong’s #1390) do/mata, dómata, meaning a present.
     How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Master, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, Yahweh also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? (Hebrews 2:3-4)
     Here the word gifts is the translation of the Greek (Strong’s #3311) merismoi=$, merismoís, meaning a separation or distribution.
     By faith Abel offered to Yahweh a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, Yahweh te tifying of his gifts, Hebrews 11:4.
     The word gifts here is the translation of the Greek (Strong’s #1435) dw/roi$, doórois, meaning a gift or a present.
     And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one an­ other, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth, Revelation 11:10.
     As in the previous scriptural reference gifts is the translation of the Greek (Strong’s #1435) dw=ra, doóra, meaning a gift or a present.
Gifts - in General
     We see that in the Torah, Prophets and Writings that the emphasis on gifts focused on offerings to Yahweh, gifts to kings, donations to the poor, offerings to false deities, and gifts for the purposes of bribery. In the New Testament [the Brit Chadesha], examples of gift-giving include gifts to Yahshua as King of Israel, gifts to one’s children, gifts of money put into the treasury of the temple; however, by far the most emphasis in the New Testament is upon gifts granted by Yahweh and Yahshua through the Holy Spirit.
I have struggled, and you may have also, with the idea of giving friends or colleagues a gift that would, in some way, honor Yahweh. It struck me that the best “gift” that one could give would be the knowledge that is contained in Scripture; and I thought of giving a Bible, but not just a Bible, but a Bible that pointed the way to understanding. I thought, “Why not give people a Bible, highlighted with marginal notations, beginning at Genesis 1, with
instructions about where to look next ... a kind of a “Guide to the Truths of Scripture ... with commentary.” So, the following is perhaps a preview of some of the verses that I would mark in such a Bible.
     In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth, Genesis 1:1.
     I would write a note in the margin explaining that the title G-o-d is the English translation of the original Hebrew title Elohim, meaning “Mighty Ones” or “Almighty,” which explains why the Scripture says, in
     Genesis 1:26, Then Elohim said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”
     In the margin, I would note: “Whom is the Scripture referring to, when it says, ‘Our image according to Our likeness’?” I would then direct the reader to Proverbs 30:4,
     Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gath­ ered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name? Surely you know! RSV
     The commentary here would read, “So, what IS the name of the Father?” The reader would be directed to Exodus 3:13-15,
     Moses said to Elohim, "Suppose I go to the Israelites [back in Egypt] and say to them, 'The Elo­ him of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is His name?' Then what shall I tell them?" Elohim said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Elohim also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'Yahweh, the Elohim of your fathers – the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac and the Elohim of Jacob – has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. NIV
     The commentary here would read, “The Angel of Yahweh [see verse 2], speaking as Elohim, told Moses that His Name is “I AM.” In Hebrew, “I Am” is the word h’Yah. It is interesting that the English translators chose to *define* His name here, instead of *transliterating* it, like every other name in Scripture. In the Hebrew text and to the Hebrew ear, there is no definition here. To someone fluent in Hebrew, it says, “Say to the Israelites that h’Yah has sent you.”
     In verse 15, the Angel of Yahweh says, “This is My Name ... forever.” This Messenger comes to Moses “in the name of Yah.” Notice that “Elohim,” the Messenger, is speaking to Moses and uses the full name of The Creator, Yahweh. He tells Moses, "Say to the Israel­ ites, 'Yahweh, the Elohim of your fathers – the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac and the Elohim of Jacob – has sent me to you.'”
The Name of Yahweh
     Here is written the full name of Yahweh, comprised of two Hebrew words, hayah and haweh. Hayah (#1961) means to exist, to be, to become, to come or bring to pass; and haweh (#1933) means to breathe or to be (in the sense of existence). Considering this, the name of the Creator, Yahweh, carries with it the meaning, “He who breathes existence into being.” Our existence as human *beings* is ONLY by the will of our Heavenly Father, whose name is Yahweh, as it says in Genesis 2:4:
     This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh [He who “breathes existence into being”] Elohim made the earth and the heavens.
     Here is another verse that is amazing in this context:
     And Yahweh Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, Genesis 2:4.
     Isn’t it awe-inspiring to understand the meaning of Hebrew names? Think about this: What if the translators defined every name in the Bible instead of transliterating them? Would you recognize the following verse?
     “It came to pass in those days that the Salvation of Yahweh came from the Guarded One of the Path and was entirely covered by the Mercy of Yahweh against the Judgment Coming Down From Heaven.”
     Do you recognize that verse? Probably not; but tell me, Who is the “Salvation of Yahweh”? Who is the “Guarded One”? What is “the Path”? Who is the “Mercy of Yahweh”? And, where is the “Judgment Coming Down From Heaven?” Below is the verse in question, and notice how easy it would be to simply read it and move on, missing the lesson contained in the meaning of the names.
     It came to pass in those days that Yahshua came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan, Mark 1:9 (also in Matthew 3:13).
     Defining the names in the Bible brings a deeper understanding of the text, doesn’t it? Still, we honor Yahweh by calling upon His name, especially knowing the meaning of His name.
Honoring the Name of Yahweh
     Let me ask you a question. Aside from the simple meaning of His name, how important is it to honor the Name of Yahweh?
     “If you will not hear, and if you will not take it to heart, to give glory to My name," says Yahweh Sabaoth (Yahweh of hosts), “I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, because you do not take it to heart, Malachi 2:2.
     Any questions about how important it is to use His name? Lest anyone think that “giving glory to Yahweh” means “not speaking His name,” I submit to you the following verses, Isaiah 42:8-12, for your consideration:
     I am Yahweh, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved im­ ages. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them. Sing to Yahweh a new song, and His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you coastlands and you inhabitants of them! Let the wildernes and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits. [Kedar is the second son of Ishmael and it refers to Arab nomads; so, Isaiah is calling out to the Gentiles to Praise Yahweh with a united voice!]. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing, lets them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to Yahweh, and declare His praise in the coastlands.
     Who are we to praise? Yahweh, our Heavenly Father! Is it not clear that we are to call out His name in praise? In fact, every time we, and the Scripture, say, “HalleluYah,” we are literally saying “Praise Yahweh.” The liturgy in both Judaism and Christianity use the word, HalleluYah. Brothers and sisters, there is absolutely no justification for denying the name of Yahweh. Think about it. What does it MEAN if someone tells us not to use the name of Yah – and then they praise His name by shouting “HalleluYah!”? What does that make them, whether they understand this or not?
     These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only them­ selves. They are clouds without wa­ ter, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever, Jude 12-13.
     The “fear of Yahweh” is not just an expression of awe. It occurs 30 times in Scripture, one of which is as follows:
     The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise en­ dures forever, Psalm 111:10.
The Name of Yahweh’s Son      
     Next in this tour of Scriptural Truth would be to answer the question, "What is the name of Yahweh's Son?" The reader would be directed to Luke 1:27-33:
     And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, Yahweh is with you; blessed are you among women!" But when she saw him [that is, the angel Gabriel, an archangel whose name means “the Strength of El” – so, we know by his name that this was not some puny messenger], she was troubled at his saying, and consid­ ered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Miriam, for you have found favor with Elohim. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name YAHSHUA. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and Yahweh Almighty will give Him the throne of His father [meaning ancestor] David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
     The commentary here might read, “The name of the Messiah, given in the English translations, is J-e-s-u-s, though the Greek is I-e-s-o-u-s, pronounced ‘Yehshu,’ an attempt to transliterate His Hebrew name.” The name, Iesous (#2424) is of Hebrew origin (#3091). The Hebrew name is pronounced Yahshua and is the same name as the man given authority by Moses to lead the Israelites into the promised land, Yahshua (Joshua) of Nunn. The name, Yahshua, is combined and abbreviated from the two Hebrew names, Yahweh (#3068) and Hoshea (#3467); which when combined means, “The Salvation of Yahweh.”
“The Messiah Is Now Bringing Salvation!”
     I would then direct the reader to Matthew 21:9,
     Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of Yahweh! Hosanna in the highest!"
     In the phrase “Hosanna to the Son of David,” the word “Hosanna” is a combination of the Hebrew words “Hoshea” [meaning salvation] and “na” [meaning “now”] – “Hoshea na”! The phrase “to the” is one word in Greek, the article “the”; so the multitude were literally shouting “Salvation now! The Son of David!” The phrase, “Son of David,” is another title for the awaited-for Messiah. So, when we read about the inhabitants of Jerusalem shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David!” they are really shouting, “The Messiah is now bringing salvation!” “The Messiah is now bringing salvation!” "Hosanna to the Son of David!” “The Messiah is now bringing salvation!” How true!
     Yahshua came down from Heaven to earth in the name of Yahweh. Literally, His name bears the name of Yahweh, and He comes to us in the mind, the will, the power and the presence of Almighty Yahweh. So, I say, “HalleluYah; we praise you, Yahweh; Thank you, Father, for sending your Son, Yahshua, to demonstrate and teach us Your ways.”
In the Beginning
     Returning, briefly, to Genesis 1:26, where we earlier asked the question, “Whom is the Scripture referring to, when it says, ‘Let us make man in Our image according to Our likeness’?” We understand that the word “Elohim,” as used in the 1st verse of Genesis, “In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth,” refers to the Father and the Son.
     I would direct the reader to the evidence of this is found in John 1:1-5:
     In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Yahweh, and the Word was Elohim. The same was in the beginning with Yahweh. All things were made through Him [that is, all things were made through the WORD, the subject of these verses, namely, Yahshua the Messiah], and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. NKJV
     Now, why did I distinguish the name of Yahweh from the title of Elohim in the first two verses of the Book of John? After all, the English text doesn’t distinguish between them, writing “God” for all three.
     When a noun, in Greek, is proceeded by the word “the,” it magnifies the importance of that noun. For example, I could say of someone that he was president. How different if I were to describe him as THE president! You can see in the verse above that I’ve chosen to use the name Yahweh when the deity title is proceeded by the article, “ton.”
     Revisiting John 1:1-2 again we have, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with ton Theon, and the Word was theos. The same was in the beginning with ton Theon.”
Restating John 1:1-2 we have, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Yahweh, and the Word was Elohim. The same was in the beginning with Yahweh.”
     When John used the words “In the beginning,” twice – for emphasis – he was referencing the Book of Genesis that uses the same words. And, in reference to the plural form of the Creator, being the word “Elohim,” John was saying that the “Word” was the other component of the Creator, His Son, Yahshua, and that He was with the Father, in the beginning.
The Light of Truth
     Here’s another question, “What did Elohim create on the first day?"
     Then Elohim said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And Elohim saw the light, that it was good; and Elohim divided the light from the darkness. Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day, Genesis 1:3-5.
     Yahweh’s Son, Yahshua, said, in John 8:12,
     I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (The ENLIGHTENMENT of life.)
     The Hebrew word for “light” is owr, meaning literal light as in lightning, or figuratively as in the concept of enlightenment.
Signs and Seasons
     Then Elohim said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years,” Genesis 1:14.
     The Hebrew word for “sign” is oth – in the sense of appearing; a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, mark, miracle, token, monument, omen or evidence.
     The Hebrew word for “seasons” is mowed, meaning a “set appointment,” a Feast, a yearly assembly of the congregation; and a “signal” appointed beforehand.
     What are “Appointed Feasts”? Go to Leviticus 23:1-2 NIV:
     Yahweh said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'These are My Appointed Feasts, the Appointed Feasts of Yahweh, which you are to proclaim as sacred [or holy] assemblies.’”
     Notice that Yahweh is not saying that these are Holy Feasts of the Jews, or of the Israelites; these are *His* Holy, Set-apart, Clean, Consecrated and Proclaimed Appointments. In four places, Yahweh has declared that these Appointed Times are forever. (See verses 14, 21, 31 and 41).
The Sabbath of Yahweh
     And, what is the first Appointed Time that Yahweh has set to meet with us?
     In response to this question, one might wonder how all of this applies to “us,” the “Gentiles,” when Yahweh clearly gives His Appointed Times to the “Israelites.” This is an excellent question, and the answer is found in the words of Yahshua, who commissioned His disciples to “Go only to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.” Simply put, if you understand the difference between the House of Judah and the House of Israel, you will realize that “Judah” only represents one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Where are the others? Well, WE are scattered to the four winds. But, Scripture tells us, through virtually all of the Prophets, that the House of Israel (now “Lost”) will be united by Yahweh at the end, on the Day of Yahweh. The entire Nation of Israel will then be restored, made up of all those who choose to worship Yahweh according to His word, according to the times and seasons He gave to us as Appointed Times, Holy Convocations and Feasts.
     So, back to the question, “What is the first Appointed Time that Yahweh has set to meet with us?” Here it is:
     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 Yahweh in all your dwellings, Leviticus 23:3.
     I hope you understand that the Sabbath is not a day given just o Jews or Israelites; the seventh day Sabbath belongs to Yahweh. Now, Yahshua proclaims that He is the Sovereign, the Master of what day? The Sabbath! Yahshua is the Master of the Sabbath Day. He says this of Himself in Matthew 12:8:
     For the Son of Man [another Hebrew title for the Messiah] is Master even of the Sabbath.
     Webster’s Dictionary defines “Saturday” as “the seventh day of the week.” The day has not changed since Yahweh created it. Today, the day over which Yahshua remains the sovereign is the day we call Saturday. It is the day that Yahweh has made an appointment to meet with us. When do all days begin and end?
     Genesis 1:5 – So the evening and the morning were the first day.
     Genesis 1:8 – So the evening and the morning were the second day.
     Genesis 1:13 – So the evening and the morning were the third day.
     Genesis 1:19 – So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
     Genesis 1:23 – So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
     Genesis 1:31 – So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
     The pattern here is that evening is the beginning of each day. Every day begins, as Elohim designed it, at the time of sunset. Although the verses pertaining to the seventh day are in Genesis chapter 2, we can see that the pattern is set:
     Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day Elohim ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then Elohim blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which Elohim had created and made, Genesis 2:1-3.
     How important is it to honor Yahweh’s Sabbath?
     Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: “Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am Yahweh who sanc­ tifies you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people,” Exodus 31:13-14.
     I am Yahweh your Elohim: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them; hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am Yahweh your Elohim, Ezekiel 20:19-20.
     The seventh day Sabbath and the Annual Sabbaths of Yahweh are a sign, a signature, of the covenant between Him and us. And by keeping them we are showing Him that we are His children. Willfully rejecting, or not keeping of the Sabbaths of Yahweh, is tantamount to breaking off our relationship with Him.
Applying the Understanding of Sabbath to Scripture
     In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre, Matthew 28:1.
     In this verse, we have the picture of two women, both named Miriam, going to the sepulchre in which Yahshua had been laid, having died three days earler. It was at the end of Sabbath, at sundown, that they ventured there. Remember, when the sun goes down, a new day begins. The word “dawn” used in the King James means “light,” literally, but remember, and this holds true for the Greek word epiphosko, “light” is rooted in the concept of “enlightenment,” to “draw on” or “become known,” according to Strong’s Concordance. Here, the word “dawn” does not refer to the sun coming up, it refers to the sun going down, as the first day of the week, known to us today as Sunday, becomes “known.” At the sepulchre, an angel appeared to the women, who apparently were afraid:
     But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Yahshua whom was impaled on a stake. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Sovereign lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you," Matthew 28:5-7 NKJV.
     Now, wait a minute. How could the Messiah have risen at sunrise on Sunday, as is commonly believed, if the two women went to the sepulchre BEFORE sundown on Saturday – on the Sabbath!
     Here, as a part of this “gift bible,” I would direct the reader to the Scripture in which Yahshua is confronted by Scribes who asked Him to prove that He is, indeed, the long-awaited-for Messiah. We would cover the “Three Days and Three Nights” sign and prophecy of Jonah that Yahshua gave them. This prophecy says that He would lay three days and three nights in the earth before being resurrected.
     Next, I would direct the reader to the Scripture verse:
     Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain [hanging] on the tree on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away, John 19:31.
     The day AFTER Yahshua’s execution was NOT a weekly Sabbath, it was a HIGH SABBATH – the High Sabbath, or Holy Convocation of the First Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As a note, most Scripture follows the Jewish tradition of referring to the Feast of Unleavened Bread as “Passover.” It is NOT a seven-day “Feast of Passover,” for Passover is a single day, the day before the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the day that Yahshua fulfilled in spilling His blood and sacrificing His life for us – He is the Lamb of Yahweh. He is also the Ram, caught in the thicket that Abraham sacrificed in place of his only son, Isaac (Gen 22:2). (Wait, didn’t Abraham have a first son, Ishmael? Yes, but that’s another study).
     The reader would then be directed back to Leviticus 23, where the “High Sabbath,” the Appointed Times of Yahweh could be explored. The unfolding of the meanings ascribed to each of the Feasts would provide a continuing adventure throughout the Scripture, examining the meaning of the New Covenant, as described in Jeremiah 31:31; the House of Judah and the House of Israel, the Law and the Spirit, the prophecies waiting to be fulfilled, and on and on until the Scriptures are referenced and demonstrated to be one continuous teaching of Yahweh and His Son, Yahshua.
     I praise Yahweh for this vision. Father, give us more of Your truth, more of Your wisdom, more of Your strength, and more of Your patience. You bless us, Father, and we kneel at Your feet, in the name of Yahshua Ha Mashiach. HalleluYah!
-Elder John Fisher

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