Did you know when Jesus / Yeshua read Isaiah 61 in the synagogue on Shabbat (Sabbath/Saturday), which we can read about in Luke 4:16-30), He was reading from that specific week’s “Haftarah” portion? For thousands of years, those of the Judaism faith have read from the Torah and Haftarah. A major part of the Jewish worship service since the days of escaping Babylonian captivity (see books of Ezra & Nehemiah), is the public reading of the Torah.For the Jewish people learned the hard way while under Babylonian captivity to forsake God’s instructions will inevitably lead to physical and spiritual bondage. The Torah is the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Law, or God’s instructions for life. Each week, in today’s congregations of Judaism, Messianic Judaism, and many Hebrew Roots’ congregations read a certain portion of the Torah in their services. So the whole world (of those groups) is studying the same portions in unity. However, many years ago, circa 175 BC, when Antiochus Epiphanes conquered the temple, he outlawed the public reading of the Torah, replaced the holy artifacts with pagan gods within the temple, slaughtered pig, an unclean and abomination according to Leviticus 11, Deut 14, and Isaiah 65-66, as a means to mock God’s ordained sacrificial system, and even tormented and killed Jews for holding to their belief in the one true God and their desire to adhere to His laws. All of this was an “abomination of desolation”, which will happen again according to prophecies found in the Books of Daniel, Matthew, and Revelation. Consequently, the rabbis of those days researched and prescribed related passages of the Torah found in the Prophets to be read each week instead of the Torah during that tumultuous time. This became known as “Haftarah”, which means “conclude”. After that horrific time, the practice of reading from the Prophets stuck so today, passages called portions from the Torah and the Haftarah, which are related are read. In Messianic Judaism (and possibly Hebrew Roots too), related portions from the Brit Chadesha (Renewed/New Covenant) are read as well. This photo captures this week’s. The Torah portion’s title is selected from the first few words of the passage. You will notice all of these passages have to do with sending out (i.e. spies & apostles). I hope you had a peacful, wholesome #Shabbat!
If you have read our testimony found on our home page, ‘Walk His Way’, as to how Abba (Father God) called us out of our very own proverbial Egypt or Babylon to follow His cloud so to speak wherever He leads us, then you know He has incorporated the ‘Feast of Tabernacles’ also known as the ‘Feast of In-Gathering’ into our journey. In the beginning of this peculiar quest, my husband and I had an elementary understanding of this feast of the LORD. I certainly did not know then what I know now and am so grateful His Spirit continues to teach us more and more about Him and His way the more we surrender the lies we once believed and instead embrace His truth. But more on the Feast of Tabernacles to come…
I must warn you though it is far harder to surrender a lie than it is to embrace the truth.
It is far harder to surrender a lie than it is to embrace the truth.
Many Christians, though not all, believe in something called “the rapture” where the dead Christians will be resurrected and the Christians alive at that time will all be whisked away to heaven when Jesus returns for them and then Jesus and “his saints” will hide out in heaven for 7 years or so while God pours out His wrath on Earth to those who rejected Jesus. Then, according to this doctrine taught throughout much of mainstream protestant Christianity, Jesus will comes back to Earth for a third time and bring all his peeps with him to rule and reign. While I strongly disagree in the rapture theory, the idea of being rescued and regathered does exist in the Hebrew Bible; however, the who, when, and where is vastly different than some sects of Christianity teach. A similar concept some refer to as “the rapture” is more accurately referred to as the gathering, or more specifically, the re-gathering of Israel throughout Scriptures? Here are a few examples showing the subject is scattered Israelites (see surrounding texts) and how they are literally saved or rescued from their oppressors and regathered to the land of Israel.
- “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all the countries, and bring you into your own land.” Ezekiel 36:24 (NKJV)
- “And it shall come to pass in that day (day of the LORD – see verse 1), that the LORD will thresh, from the channel of the River to the Brook of Egypt; and you will be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel.” Isaiah 27:12 (NKJV)
- “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you.” Isaiah 54:7 (NKJV)
To read more about gathering or regathering or perhaps you could say an Israelite family reunion, study these verses: Deuteronomy 30:3-4; 1 Chronicles 16:35; Nehemiah 1:9; Psalms 106:47; 107:2-3; 147:2; Isaiah 11:11-12; 43:5; 56:8; Jeremiah 29:14; 31:8,10; 32:37; Ezekiel 11:17; 20:34,41; 28:25; 34:13; 37:21; 39:27-28; Hosea 8:10; Micah 2:12; Zephaniah 3:20; Zechariah 10:10.
Now that we have established the more accurate terminology is referred to as the re-gathering of scattered, being Israel, or specifically the House of Israel and the House of Judah, and those who obey the Holy Covenant (see Isaiah 56:7-8), versus the not once mentioned word of the rapture according to Scripture, we can investigate where these rescued and rewarded ones are more specifically gathered to.
It is no coincidence the Bible connects the gathering with the ‘Feast of Ingathering’ also known as the ‘Feast of Tabernacles’ or ‘Sukkot’ in Hebrew for that is when they would rejoice in the gathering of their harvest and celebrate their freedom from sin, idolatry, and a corrupt culture such as their freedom from Egypt (Exodus 23:16; 34:23; Leviticus 23:33-44). The House of Israel and the House of Judah (Ezekiel 34-37; Jeremiah 29-31), and apparently foreigners (Gentiles) who keep the Holy Covenant (see Isaiah 56), or “Jews-By-Choice”, as Judaism calls converts, will indeed be rescued from the world’s antisemitism and oppression.
Where Are the Scattered Tribes & Covenant Keepers Gathered To?
Scripture makes it very clear where the chosen, being the twelve tribes of Israel, as well as their companions who keep the covenant, are gathered to at the launching of the New Covenant.
Contrary, to popular modern doctrines of mainstream Christianity (the rapture theory was initiated by a teenage girl in the 1800’s), these tribes of Israel and their companions (Ezekiel 37) aren’t whisked away to heaven at Jesus’ return with the ‘to hell with y’all mentality’.
- “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.” Ezekiel 37:12 (NKJV)
- “So it shall be in that day; the great trumpet will be blown; they will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria, and they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.” Isaiah 27:13 (NKJV)
- “I will bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory.” Isaiah 46:13 (NKJV)
- “So the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 51:11
- “Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound the alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the LORD is coming, for it is at hand:” Joel 2:1 (NKJV)
- “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant who the LORD calls.” Joel 2:32 (NKJV)
- “But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness..” Obadiah 1:17 (NKJV)
- “Thus says the LORD: ‘I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the LORD of hosts, The Holy Mountain.’ ” Zechariah 8:3 (NKJV)
- “I will bring them back, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness.” Zechariah 8:8 (NKJV)
To read more verses about where are those in covenant gathered to, study Psalms 2:6; 48:1-2; 74:2; 78:68; 87:1-7; 102:16; 125:1; 132:13-14; Isaiah 2:3; 59:20; Jeremiah 3:14-18; Micah 4:2, as some examples. If you only pick one of these to follow up, read Jeremiah 3:14-18.
So where are God’s chosen and those who chose to align with them gathered to?
Is it heaven? Where are verses stating we are raptured to heaven? There is none. Instead, Scriptures state very clearly we are gathered to..
MOUNT ZION, JERUSALEM, ISRAEL, heaven on earth.
Shalom and Amen.
Carrie R. Turner