The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
ב״ה
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.


Introduction to the Gospels (Good News of the Kingdom) and Acts
Mattityahu (Matthew)  •  Mordichai (Mark)  •  Lukas (Luke)  • Yochanan (John)
Crucifixion Week Chronology3-Year Harmony of the Gospels1-Year Harmony of the Gospels  
Hitgalut (Revelation)  •  P’yilut HaShliyakim (Acts of the Emissaries)  •  The Chosen (Video Series)


The Good News of the Kingdom
According to

Mattityahu
Yeshua, the Righteous King


~ 3 ~

B. The King Announced (chapters 3 & 4)

1. “Elijah” Announces the King and His Kingdom (3:1-12; Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:1-20; John 1:6-8;15-37)

1It was in those days that JohnYochanan the Immerser[1] came to wilderness of JudeaY'hudah, proclaiming this message: 2“Turn away from your sins and turn to God,[2a] for the Kingdom of Heaven[GN] is at hand[2b]. 3He was the one who was spoken of by IsaiahYesha'yahu the prophet:

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of ADONAI. Make a straight paths for Him.”[3].

4Yochanan wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5People went out to him from JerusalemYerushalayim, from all of JudeaY'hudah, and the whole region around the JordanYardan. 6Confessing their sins, they were being immersed by him in the Yardan.[6]

7But when he saw many of the PhariseesP'rushim and SadduceesTz'dukim[7] coming for tevilahritual immersion he said to them, “You sons of snakes! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Therefore produce fruit worthy of repentance (Hebrew: תשובה‎, literally “return”) - a turning away from disobedience to the commandments of Torah and a return to obedienceteshuva! 9Don’t think to yourselves, ‘We have Avraham for our father,’ for I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Avraham from these stones.[9]

10“The axe is already at the root of the trees, ready to strike. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and tossed into the fire. 11I am immersing you in water so that you might turn from sin back to God; but the One Who is coming after me is more powerful than I am; I am not even worthy to carry His shoes. He will immerse you in The Holy Spirit Ruach HaKodesh and fire.[11] 12He has His winnowing fork with him, and He will thoroughly clear out His threshing floor, and will gather His wheat into the barn, but will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

2. Yeshua’s Tevilah (3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:31-34)

13Then Yeshua came from the Galilee RegionGalil to the Yardan to Yochanan, to be immersed by him. 14But Yochanan would have hindered Him and said, “I need to be immersed by You, and You come to me?”

15But Yeshua answered him, “You need to allow this, because this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness.[15] Then he allowed Him. 16Yeshua, when He was immersed, went up directly from the water, and — imagine it! — the heavens were opened to Him. He saw the RuachSpirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on Him. 17Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased.

Chapter 4

____________

  1. Yochanan (John) the Immerser (sorry, he wasn’t a Baptist, or a Methodist, or even an Episcopalian) was the son of a cohen (an Aaronic priest) named ZechariahZ'kharyah and his wife ElizabethElisheva, who was also a descendant of Aharon, the first High Priest. Under Roman occupation, the office of High Priest was controlled by the Roman governor. Instead of being the hereditary office as HaShem had commanded, it was a political office that Rome sold each year to the highest bidder, and so it changed hands every few years. (See the note on Acts 23:5.) It is my humble opinion (and only an opinion) that Yochanan was the true hereditary High Priest of Israel. More on that later. [RETURN]

2a. The word used here in the Greek version is metanoeo (metanoeo), which generally is assumed to mean to simply change one's mind, i.e. to repent, or abhor one’s past sins. In Classical Greek metanoeo is a military command equal to “about face!” — turn around and go in the opposite direction, not simply to change one’s mind. Mattityahu, however, was a Jew who was writing in a Jewish land a letter to Jews about the Jewish Messiah. He spoke and wrote Hebrew, not Greek. The word he would have actually used is bwX (shuwb), which has a much deeper meaning: to turn back; to return, come or go back; to turn back to God from evil; to be returned, be restored, be brought back. [RETURN]

2b. (See also HERE) The Kingdom of Heaven referred to by Mattityahu and the Kingdom of God spoken of by Marcus (Mark), Lucas (Luke), Yochanan (John), and Sha'ul (Paul) refer to exactly the same thing. Neither phrase has anything at all to do with the Christian notion of a celestial dweling place for the righteous dead. [Please read this article.] The primary sense is the Messianic Kingdom, when King Yeshua HaMashiach reigns physically from the Throne of David in Jerusaem, which carries forward into the eternal Olam Habah. The secondary sense refers to any place and time when the rulership of HaShem is accepted.

One of the greatest tragedies of the last 2,000 years is that the Gentile Church has totally departed from the key message of Yochanan, Yeshua, and the Emissaries (Apostles): “Repent, for God’s Kingdom is very near!” This is mostly because they have lost track of the concept that for over 100 years after the resurrection, the Jewish sect called “The Way” was almost exclusively Jewish, and all the Apostolic letters were written in Hebrew, by Torah-observant Jewish rabbis, (except for Dr. Luke, who was probably not a rabbi) to an audience of both Jews and non-jews who were thoroughly ensconced in a Torah-pursuant Jewish lifestyle, who met not in churches but in synagogues.

They do not understand that these people very carefully avoided speaking God’s name or even referring to Him directly. They developed what are called “circumlocutions,” using various words and phrases as an alternative to a direct reference to God. Among those circumlocutions include “heaven” and “throne.” So the phrase “Kingdom of Heaven” has absolutely nothing to do with a place where people vainly hope to spend eternity after they die. “Kingdom of Heaven” actually refers to the time and place to which all Israel was looking forward, during which God, through His Messiah, will rule and reign physically on earth, and the Torah will be the “law of the land” for the whole earth. By extension, God’s Kingdom is any time and place where He is honored and obeyed as King. If you accept the absolute rule of God over your life, then you are right now living in His Kingdom.

The simplistic message of the Gentile Church has for 1,700 years essentially been: walk down the church aisle; concede to the historical fact that Yeshua is the Son of God, the Messiah; get dunked in a heated bathtub or have some water splashed on your face; now you get to go to heaven when you die. Unfortunately there is absolutely no Scripture to support the idea of “going to heaven” when we die.

When properly understood, the True Gospel — the message of “the Kingdom of God” as taught by Yochanan, Yeshua, and the Emissaries — is to turn away from your sin — defined as disobedience to God’s Torah (1John 3:4) [“lawlessness” (NAS); breaking of law” (CSB); violation of Torah (CJB)] — submit to the Kingship of God and be restored to Him, obey His commandments as given in the Torah, and you will inherit eternal life in the Olam Habah (the world that is to come). [RETURN]   [RETURN TO 19:24]

  3. Isaiah 40:3. [RETURN]

  6. Yochanan was not actually immersing anyone. The “immersion of Yochanan” was nothing at all like Christian baptism, and had absolutely nothing to do with “salvation.” In first-century Israel, as today, ritual immersion (tevilah טְבִילָה) is a full-body self-immersion in free-running (“living”) water (a stream, river, or lake) or in a specially-constructed pool called a mikvah that has free-flowing (“living”) water flowing through it. Tevilah is not performed upon the individual by a rabbi or other member of the clergy; the individual totally immerses him/herself in the water, with or without the presence of a rabbi/observer. During the Temple period, the priests and Levites immersed themselves at their ordination and several times every day, and everyone entering the Temple precincts immersed themselves before entering. Currently, all women immerse themselves after each menstrual period and after giving birth, and tevilah is part of the pre-wedding process and the process of converting to Judaism. If a Gentile wishes to convert to Judaism, he/she renounces their current religion, chooses a Hebrew name, men are circumcised, and both men and women immerse themselves completely in a mikvah. Upon coming up out of the mikvah’s water, the person is considered to have died as a Gentile, has been “born again” as a Jew, and is considered every bit as Jewish as a person who was born of two Jewish parents and has practiced Judaism their entire life. This is the reason why Nachdemon (Nicodemus) was so confused (John 3) when Yeshua told him that he needed to be “born again.” How could he become “born again” as a Jew when he was already a Jew and a very influential member of the Sanhedrin? [RETURN]

  7. The Pharisees (P'rushim) and Sadducees (Tz'dukim) were the two main sects or “parties” [“denominations”] of Judaism in the Second Temple Period. Modern Rabbinic Judaism is directly descended from the Pharisees. In spite of the fact that the written Torah says that “Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD” (Exodus 24:4), they believed (as do most modern Jews) that, in addition to the written Torah, God gave Moses an “Oral Torah” at Sinai which he did not commit to writing, but passed on orally down through the generations. They believed that this “Oral Torah” gave them absolute authority to interpret the written Torah in any way they chose, and to hold all Israel accountable to their interpretation. This produced a profoundly legalistic form of Judaism that Rav Sha'ul (the Apostle Paul) would counter in nearly all of his letters. The Pharisees also firmly believed in the existence of an afterlife, and that God punished the wicked and rewarded the righteous in the world to come. They also believed in a coming Messiah who would herald an era of world peace.

The Sadducees were elitists who enthusiastically accepted Hellenism (Greek traditions and life-style) into their lives. Because of their openness toward Hellenism, they were granted appointments by the Roman overseers to the chief positions of authority in the Temple’s priestly caste, and consequently they controlled the Temple and its rituals. They rejected the idea of an “Oral Torah” and believed in a strict literal interpretation of the Torah. Since an afterlife is not specifically mentioned in the Torah, they rejected the idea; in fact, the rejected virtually everything supernatural (which begs the question of how they could actually accept the idea of a supernatural God). They died out shortly after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. See the article at Jewish Virtual Library. [RETURN]

  9. Even now HaShem is raising up “sons [and daughters] of Avraham” every time a non-Jew enters into a covenant relationship with Israel’s Messiah and through Him becomes a citizen of the Commonwealth of Israel, sharing in all the rights and responsibilities of the covenants, the people, the Torah, and the Land of Israel. [RETURN]

11. “He will immerse you in Ruach HaKodesh and fire” has a double meaning. First, it refers to the visible presence of Ruach HaKodesh on Shavu'ot (Acts 2:1-4) and the subsequent giving of Ruach HaKodesh to all Believers. Second, it refers to His righteous judgment when those whose names are not found written in the Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:15) [RETURN]

15. See “Yeshua’s Immersion.” [RETURN]

Originally posted on Sunday, 17 May 2020

Page last updated on Tuesday, 29 June 2021 04:43 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return
ANXIOUSLY WATCHING FOR MASHIACH’S RETURN,
SPEEDILY AND IN OUR DAY. MARANA, TA!