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The BibleSearchers Reflections

March, 2004                           Reflections on the Time of the End

By Robert Mock MD


Jim Caveziel Topics

”The Passion of The Christ” – a Two Edged Sword


Jesus’ Death, the Earthquake and the Omens to the Jews


Is the Passover 2004 at the Conjunction of a Major Prophetic Event?


Gleanings on Global News at the Time of the End


      In the Footsteps of the Master - "Crucified in Christ”



The Passion of The Christ – a Two Edged Sword


On Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2004, a revolution hit the box offices in America, the Mel Gibson movie, ‘The Passion of The Christ’.  Preceded by an emotional and vitriolic firestorm in the national and international media, within the first twenty days, “The Passion” claimed its role among the all-time top 25 domestic blockbusters.  “The Passion” quickly overshadowed the most successful religious movie on the life of Jesus, Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ”, which starred Willem Dafoe portraying a reluctant Messiah which fizzled at $US8 million earnings, the most successful independent movie, “My Bid Fat Greek Wedding” and then going on to topple the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time, Matrix Reloaded with gross earnings of $US281 million.  The future estimates, with Easter’s earning still unknown, “The Passion” is destined to surpass ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” ($US371.1 -$A501.35 million) and enter the arena of $400 million blockbusters, “Spider-Man”, “Star Wars – Episode 1—The Phantom Menace” ($US461 million - $A622 million) and “ET the Extra-Terrestrial”.  Will the “The Passion” compete for the No 1 movie earner, the mega blockbuster, “Titanic” at over $US600.8 million ($A811.67 million)? The bets are favorable.


In the religious film market, Mel Gibson shattered all conceptions of religious cinematography when with the rejection of 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros, he went alone with the independent distributor Newmarket Films and $25 million out of his own pocket, he produced the most bloodied and divisive religious movie of all times at over $55 million. Yet the foreign movie market is still untapped.  Conservative total worldwide theatrical earnings are estimated to gross over $1 billion compared to “Titanic” at $1.8 billion, and with profits coming from licensing and merchandizing earnings from a tie-in book, collectables, soundtrack CDs, pay for TV and then the mega market of CD, DVD sales and rental. Mel Gibson stands to earn from $500 to $750 million on the gross earning of $1.5 to 2.5 billion. 


While the initial firestorm has centered on the bloodiest and goriest ‘superman’ image of Jesus or the anti-Semitism depictions of the Jews in the movie, very little discussion has centered around; what is the psychological impact of “The Passion” on the international population?  What is the discussion as the world is heading towards a global economy and advocates of world government narrow their global geo-political focus on Jerusalem?  What is the spiritual impact on the ever strident discussions on the humanness of Jesus verses the deity of Jesus?  Can the movie move beyond the suffering image of a super-man which no human can emulate and the ‘Suffering Servant’ of a God-man whose skin is gouged out by beatings and torture? 


Overall a majority of the written comments of the American media on the effect of ‘The Passion’ on the American public were initially positive. Yet in private conversations many express reservations or emotional conflicts of aroused passions that are subterranean and latent.  As we watch carefully the trends, more and more reservations are being aroused about thoughtful and sensitive Christian writers. Yet we must ask how will the European or the Middle Eastern populations respond to the movie? A movie, stripped of its message of hope and love that is part and parcel of the historical ministry of Jesus and the portrayal of the Risen Christ with its images of salvation, redemption, resurrection and glorification, devotes itself to the basest of emotions; terror, fear, power, greed and control.


The first part of “The Passion” that impressed me was the reality of the movie set in a context of Roman Judea.  The two hours of Aramaic and in specific the Eastern dialect of the Aramaic language with a scattering of Hebrew and Latin, though not understood by a majority of the audiences, instills a psychic imprint that will not be erased; Jesus was a Jew and that His life was as a Jewish Rabbi, living in a Jewish culture.  It only points only to a further fact that we must understand him not as a Christian but only within the Hebrew-Judaic roots of the Christian faith.


What was missing is the lack of context with the life and times of Jewish society in the midst of preparing for the Passover during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  The death of Jesus was not a Christian event, it was a Jewish event.  The death of Yahshua came within the context of; a seventh-day Sabbath-keeping, Torah observing, Festival observing, kashroot (clean and unclean meats) living people chosen by God for a mission and a destiny.  The death of Jesus must come with the reality of the covenant God made with Abraham and the re-Newed Covenant Jesus made with His disciples at the Last Supper.  The death of Jesus must be understood as the fulfillment of the necessity of the ‘sin offerings’ that were sacrificed on the temple mount for the atonement of individual and national sin.  The death of Jesus must bring with it a reality of His true mission to restore and redeem “the Lost Sheep of Israel”.  (Matthew 10:6; 15:24; Isaiah 53:6; Jeremiah 50:6)


The death of Jesus was not as much as a human event as it was a Divine event.  It was not the martyrdom of a super-human as much as it was a triumph of God that assaulted the bastions of Satan and shattered the foundations of hell. The clutches of sin were forever broken.  The Great Controversy between God and Satan which depicted Satan assaulting the heavenly dominions of God was now to be refocused on the recovery, redemption and restoration of those that had fallen to the power of evil, self-centerness, and the obsession for power and control over all of God’s creation; humans, animals, birds, plants and the land that He created and pronounced “very good”. 


We must understand that the historical context of the death and resurrection of Yahshua was not a Christian Easter holiday but a Jewish Passover-First fruits festival.  To understand the purpose of the death of Jesus could only then and now be understood in the context of the Passover festival in which it was enacted.  The blood that came from the death of the Pesach (Passover) Lamb saved the children of Israel in Egypt from the death angel, so also the living anti-type, the blood of Yahshua as the real Pesach Lamb sealed forever the destiny of man and saved him then and now from the ‘Egyptian oppression’ that controls each of us.  After the death of Yahshua, man now had the security that by his choice He is separated (sanctified) and redeemed from the Satanic clutches of sin. 


As the human Yahshua separated Himself from the power, greed and control systems of the Roman Judean society around Him and followed solely the will of His Father, He became a type for us today to separate ourselves from our society as we follow solely the will of Jesus. Jesus never did renounce His Jewishness. He did come to restore the corruption of how Torah (Law of Moses) was observed and lived in His Jewish world. He did come so that the literal “Lost Sheep of the House of Israel” could be restored back to the brother relationship with the House of Judah. He did come so that all mankind, Jew, Israelite and Gentile, through Him could be restored back to a family relationship with His Father


It was the will of the Father that “He gave His only begotten Son so that the world through Him might be saved.”  (John 3:16)  The cross or the tree was not an event that just happened in the life of Jesus.  The cross or the execution on the tree was Jesus’ purpose for being here.  His purpose for coming to this earth was that He would die for all mankind for He was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8)  Taking the birth of the ‘only Begotten Son of God” as a mere human babe to a teenaged mother, Mariam had no meaning without His execution on the tree.  Yes it was He “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree…” (1 Peter 2:24) 


Jesus as the Passover Lamb


The life of Jesus can only be understood if it remains central to a Jewish debate about the life of a Jewish Messiah that was prophesied by the Jewish prophets.  Even beyond is that enshrined in the life of Yahshua is a complete drama cast in the shadow pictures and min-dramas of the Jewish festival of the Lord. 


Throughout Passion week, everything that the Passover Lamb was doing, Jesus as the Pesach Lamb also reenacted.  Whereas “The Passion” depicts Caiphas the high priest as being there every minute of Jesus’ trial in Caiphas’ home, the Sanhedrin in the Chamber of Hewn Stones near the temple, the Pretorium of Pilate and on the hillside watching the crucifixion, the Biblical picture shows a different story. 


As the high priest, Caiphas, brought the Passover (Pesach) lamb in from the fields outside Jerusalem through the northern Damascus Gate, so also Yahshua rode through the same gate in triumph on a donkey as the ecstatic crowds were waving branches of palms shouting, Hosanna in the Highest, Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.”  (Matthew 21:9) As the Pesach Lamb was taken to the temple to be inspected and observed so that the lamb could be declared unblemished.  So also Yahshua was interrogated and inspected by the Pharisees and scribes, while He demonstrated the real ‘kingdom of God’ as He healed and taught the multitudes in the courtyard of the temple for three days.  Yes, Jesus did have control of the temple for the temple leaders ‘feared the people because they took Him for a prophet” (Matthew 21:46). 


When the high priest, Caiphas, proclaimed that the Pesach Lamb was perfect and unblemished, Yahshua was being interrogated and inspected by the procurator Pilate, who then proclaimed, “I find no fault in Him”.  While the Pesach Lamb was on the altar and the knife was in the hand of the high priest, Caiphas ready to slay the lamb, Jesus, as the Lamb of God, was on the cross or tree, proclaiming, “It is finished”.  Here we see in real life the literal fulfillment of the Pesach Lamb, as a ‘sin offering’, was fulfilled as type met anti-type with Jesus hanging on the execution tree.  (1 Peter 2:24)


Jesus as the Red Heifer


By understanding the crucifixion of Jesus with all the shadow-pictures of the Hebrews, we see Jesus as the fulfillment of the sacrifice of the ‘red heifer’The holiest of all the sin offerings using a young bullock was the sin offering of the Red Heifer. The red heifer, offered as a sin offering for purification of the collective congregation of Israel was slaughtered according to the dictates of the Lord of hosts to Moses outside the camp of Israel. (Numbers 19:3) Unlike the other sin offerings, the Red Heifer was walked over to the Altar on the Mount of Olives (outside the camp of Israel/Jerusalem) and there burnt in its entirety. The difference of the red heifer and the other sin offerings is that the other three were absolving sin, giving the recipient freedom from sin or in a sense, salvation.  On the other hand, the ash of the red heifer was to bring holiness


The blood of the red heifer was sprinkled outside the camp, the body burned to ashes and then the ashes through some mystical process that transcended even the wisdom of Solomon, when it was mixed with pure spring water bestowed holiness and purification as its was sprinkled over not only people, but over the land.  They purified the temple with it. They could purify the entire city of Jerusalem if needed or the entire Land of Israel.  


After the death and resurrection of Jesus, our way to holiness would come only through the sacrifice and blood of Yahshua, the Son of God.  It was Jesus, who was sacrificed as a ‘sin offering’ not only to bring holiness for his brethren the Jews and the “Lost Sheep of the House of Israel” but to all people who by belief in the sacrifice of the blood of Yahshua are “adopted” and “grafted “ into the literal and spiritual House of Israel.    


According to the historical records kept by the Jews in their Mishnah, a total of nine perfectly red heifers have been burned.  In the Mishnah 5, called the Tractate Parah, is a record of these nine heifers burned in the sacrificial history of the Israelites and the Jews in their Sanctuary and their Temples: 


Mishnah 5, Tractate Parah - “The first heifer that was burned was under the supervision of Moses on that 2nd day of Nissan in the second year from the Exodus.  The second heifer was burned under the supervision of Ezra; two were burned by Shimon Ha Tzaddik; two were burned by Yochanan, the High Priest, the seventh by Eliehoenai, the son of He-Kof, the eighth by Hanamel, the Egyptian, the ninth by Ishmael, son of Piabi and the tenth will be burned in the time of the Moschiach.”  


During the special ceremony of slaughtering the red heifer, which we need to be reminded occurred only nine times between Sinai and the destruction of the temple in 70 CE, the red heifer was led out of the eastern gate, across the doubled tiered arched bridge called the Bridge of the Red Heifer, to the Mount of Olives and led up to an altar near the summit of the mount. (Middoth 1:3; 2:4; Yoma 7:2 plus the Talmud in Yoma 68a and Zebahim 105b).  Here on this altar called the Miphkad (Appointed) Altar, the ceremony of preparing and burning the red heifer was performed.


Let us note the words of the author of the Book of Hebrews in the reNewed Testament of the Brit Hadassah. 


Hebrews 13:9-13 - “We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.  For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the gate. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside, the gate.  Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.”


Consider now the entire scene of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.  Jesus was condemned and died just before a High Shabbat (Sabbath of the festival Passover), was judged and condemned in the Chamber of Hewn Stones in His Father’s House and in the presence of God, His Father.  As Adam was cast out of the Garden to the east, so also Jesus, accursed and condemned, was led out the Eastern Gate away from the presence of His Father.


The Red Heifer had been examined and inspected and was found perfect and without blemish, so Yahshua was examined and interrogated by the High Priest, the whole Sanhedrin and then Pilate, who could find “no fault in Him”. (Luke 23:4) The Path of the Cross or the Via Dolorosa in Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of The Christ” is a medieval recreation of orthodox Christianity which has very little historicity.  When the script says that Jesus was “led away to be crucified” (Matthew 27:31), the most prominent passage and path for the temple priests to go outside the city was out the Eastern Gate of the temple, across the Kidron Valley over the Bridge of the Red Heifer to the summit of the Mount of Olives.  There where the red heifer was slaughtered and burnt (Holocaust), Yahshua was executed on a tree. (1Peter 2:24) 


Jesus as the Tzaddik, the Righteous One


The second part of “The Passion” that impressed me was the lack of understanding not in the super-human character of the actor for Jesus, Jim Caviezel, but in the nature as a human nature of the Tzaddik or Righteous One, that Yahshua lived on this earth.  It was the Apostle Paul who understood best the inter-dimensional role of the death of Jesus, His life as a righteous man (tzaddik) on earth and the role of the Anointed Moshiach (Messiah) who would return again as a Savior to recover the remnant of His people who are surrounded by the demonic forces of evil at Armageddon.  It was this Tzaddik/Moshiach, who would sit on the right hand of the throne of His Father. Did not Paul state?


Romans 5:16 – “Therefore, as through one man’s offense (Adam at Eden), judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act (Yahshua as the Second Adam) the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience (Jesus) many will be made righteous


Jesus wants us to be like Him, righteous ones or tzaddiks who will someday stand holy in the presence of His Father. The prophet Isaiah also portrayed accurately the role of the Suffering Servant of Jesus when he stated:


Isaiah 53:5 – “Though He was wounded through our pasha (transgression), bruised through our iniquities, yet the musar shlomeinu (bond of our peace) is upon Him and in His fellowship, we shall heal ourselves.”  (Hebrew translated by Maggid ben Yosef)


Yahshua went to the cross as a righteous man (tzaddik) is accepted by all, but many fail to comprehend that it was Jesus’ righteousness which came by implicit obedience to His Father Will, moment by moment throughout His life, that made His sacrifice complete. 


Did not Pilate’s wife accept that Jesus was a tzaddik when she said, “”Have nothing to do with that just (tzaddik) Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him”? (Matthew 27:19)  Did not the Centurion say as Yahshua died on the stake, “Certainly this was a righteous (tzaddik) Man!”? (Luke 23:47) Jesus did not come here as God to accomplish something that man could not do.  Rather He accomplished it as a human being in perfect obedience with His Father so that we could follow in His same footsteps.  He was the living revelation of Torah and followed all the commandments of His Father given at Mount Sinai.  In essence Jesus was the Living Torah, the Torah in the flesh, and the most perfect revelation of His Father.  The “Passion” of Yahshua can only be understood when the Hebrew festivals, the Hebrew rituals and the Hebrew ideas are all kept aligned with a Hebrew philosophical foundation. 


It is out of the matrix of this Hebrew philosophical foundation that we read this text in Isaiah about the Holy One of Israel who was the Servant of God and the Redeemer of Israel.


Isaiah 49:1-2, 6-7 - “The Lord has called Me from the womb; from the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.  And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, and made Me a polished shaft in His quiver He has hidden Me…


Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give you as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the end of the earth’


Thus says the Lord, The Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, to Him whom man despises, to Him whom the nation abhors.   To the Servant of rulers; ‘Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel; and He has chosen You.”


The Drama of the Plan of Salvation given to the Hebrews at Sinai would not be understood without the context of the dramas yearly enacted by the Festivals of the Lord given at Sinai.  Yeshua, who was the revealed Torah in the flesh, was now to depict in living drama the real purpose of the Passover. It was a prophetic drama that was re-enacted year after year to keep God’s chosen people sensitized with shadow pictures of the great mystery of God, that He was to send His own Son to reveal in living color and in human drama how the halachah of the Torah was to be lived. Jesus lived the life of Torah and truly was a Righteous One (Tzaddik), and the Holy One of Israel.  So also we must obey like He and walk in His footsteps a life that is, moment by moment, in harmony with His Father, God. 


Yet because the wages of the sins of all men is death (Romans 6:23), it was Jesus who came down to break the bonds of death. As Yahshua passed through that barrier of death to a glorified life, so now we can follow Him into death with the hope that as He was resurrected as the “first fruits of those that sleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20) so also we will be resurrected in His Name... 


“The Passion” has garnered a firestorm concerning the anti-Semitism of the Jews.  Yet a Semite was more than a Jew.  The rejection of the divine plan for the House of Judah at the time of the end may also be our rejection of the divine plan for the House of Israel who is yet to be revealed.  The fact that we, each one of us, may be literal descendants of the lost House of Israel is a historical reality.  The fact that each one of us is ‘grafted’ into the vine of Israel is a spiritual reality.  The most potent anti-Semitism is our ignorance of the Jewishness of Jesus’ mission to the “lost Sheep of the House of Israel” and a denial that we may be literal descendants of the House of Israel, lost in the vast migrations of the tribes across Macedonia to Europe and America and the vast migrations across the Levant to Arabia, Persia, India and China.  Any anti-Semitic beliefs may be a denial of our own reality, our own heritage, and our own destiny.


Brutality and Evil as part of “The Passion”


The third part of “The Passion” that impressed me most was the overemphasis on brutality and the super-human strength of Jesus, with the lack of historical gospel evidence to account for it.  To put the life of Jesus in a context that He is doing something that is super-human or non-human reduces the role of all of us to seeking only a Savior.  As such, we do not feel responsibility to act in obedience to God the Father. 


It all began in the Garden scene of “The Passion” which has the appearance more of an abandoned meadow rather than the olive groves that resided on the Mount of Olives. In “The Passion”, Jesus was met by Judas and a company of Roman soldiers coming to arrest him.  Yet in the Book of Mark, it states that Judas was with “a great multitude, with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and scribes and the elders.” (Mark 14:43) 

The temple did have a security force under the direction of the high priest to be used for civil order and crowd control.  The presence of Roman soldiers anywhere near the temple compound with the Roman ensigns had more than once caused protests, massive riots and hundreds of deaths of the Jews. 


These temple guards, which no doubt included the ‘servants of the high priest’ Caiphas and his powerful father-in-law, Ananus the Elder, were used, as recorded in Josephus, as armed mercenaries to oppress their own people.  It was they who were sent to capture Jesus and bring Him to the temple authorities.  This act was done in the presence of a paid informant, Judas Iscariot, the treasurer of Jesus’ own inner circle of twelve. 


There was an armed struggle, not with Jesus, but with his disciples.  This is attested by the fact that Peter, who acted as the bodyguard of Jesus, cut off the ear of the servant of the High Priest, Malchus (John 18:10-11).  It was Yahshua who restored that ear in the presence of His captors.  In the midst of the melee a young lad, whom I feel was the author of the text, John Mark, hanging around as an observer with only a linen outer garment, left his nightclothes in the hands of one of the temple guards and fled away naked. (Mark 14:51-52)


The gospel does not give any other testimony of brutality or beatings until He arrived at the residence of the high priest, Caiphas and “they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.” (Mark 14:64) There was no throwing over a bridge with heavy-duty chains with enough trauma and contusions to sustain fractured ribs or crushed vertebras.  There were no floggings while in route to Caiphas home for they had not questioned him to determine a reason for either confinement or death.  It was in this courtyard, a non-official court trial was conducted by the “chief priests, the elders, and the scribes” (Mark 14:53).  There they sought to find “testimony against Jesus to put Him to death”, but found none. Jesus throughout His life remained in full obedience not only to Torah law, Jewish civil law, Roman Judaic law but He also showed even proper respect for the Caesar. 


It was true that many bore false witness against Him but no two of their testimonies were in agreement.  These were therefore not useful in the Jewish or Roman court of law.  (Mark 14:56) Jesus was later found guilty in this illegal nighttime trial only when Caiphas asked, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” (Mark 14:61)  Here with Jesus’ testimony “I am, and you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” was He was charged with blasphemy, with no need for two witnesses. He was later condemned by the full Sanhedrin of “deserving of death.”  (Mark 14:64) 


Only then does the script state,


Mark 14:65 - “And some began to spit on Him, and to cover His face, and to buffet Him, and to say unto Him, “Prophesy!” and the servants did strike Him with the palms of their hands.” (translation from the Aramaic by George Lamsa) 


In the words of George M. Lamsa in Gospel Light we seek greater understanding of this event within the culture of the Middle East.


George Lamsa – “Jesus was condemned for the blasphemy of making Himself equal to God.  When a man was condemned for a crime or blasphemy, everybody spat on his face, signifying they had no part in his guilt and actions.  The condemned man was also considered unclean, not to be touched or looked at. Holy men who considered themselves pious would have felt defiled if they had accidentally looked at a condemned.  The high priests and other Jewish dignitaries would have refused to look on the face of one who had made himself the Son of God.  When these men passed by Jesus, they turned their faces away from him so as to avoid seeing Him.  This was after the high priest had convicted Him and condemned Him as a blasphemer.  (George Lamsa, Gospel Light, an indispensable guide to the teachings of Jesus and the customs of his time, Harper, San Francisco, 1936, 1964) 


Still what we see was not a lynching, nor a mobbing or a scourging.  Neither was Jesus stoned because since Yahshua was a Galilean, He was under the jurisdiction of Herod and the Judeans were not allowed to stone anyone outside of their jurisdiction.


It was only after the crack of dawn that an emergency meeting called of the full Sanhedrin to the Chamber of Hewn Stones in “consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; that they bound Jesus and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate.” (Mark 15:1) 


The Orthodox Image of the Cross of Jesus (courtesy of Icon Distribution)


It was Pilate who was the image of Rome’s ruthless power.  Pilate was well known for his cruelty yet he knew integrity and honor and recognized that Yahshua was a man without sin and properly proclaimed, “I found no fault in Him.”  Yet, standing in front of Pilate were the chief rulers and priests of Israel who were selected to be the righteous ones who atoned for the sins of their own people. Instead of righteous ones, we see wicked, ruthless and greedy rulers who used their power to oppress their own people along with the weakness of a governing ruler who appeased wickedness.  After washing his hands of this whole affair, the gospel states;


Mark 15:15-20 – “And he (Pilate) delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.   Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison.  And they clothed Him with purple, and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and began to salute Him, “Hail, king of the Jews!”  They struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshipped Him.  And when they had mocked Him they took the purple off Him and His own clothes on Him and led Him out to crucify Him.


What do we see in this account, superhuman beatings?  No!  In Biblical times, scourging was limited in Hebrew Law (and the Roman’s respected other religious laws) to 39 floggings in which 40 is the number of judgment less one flogging tempered by mercy.  In the movie, Yahshua, in “The Passion” was struck with over 65 blows with reeds and metal tipped whips up to the time of the mock crowning with the ‘crown of thorns’ in Pilate’s Praetorium.  In ‘The Passion” in route to Golgotha Yahshua was continuously beat until His outer tunic, called a tallit or prayer shawl, was in shreds as is lay at the base of the cross.  Yet again the scripture states,


John 19:23 – “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece.  They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be.” 


Does this scriptural account suggest that Jesus’ tunic was shredded and matted in blood?  The evidence suggests otherwise.  Here was a finely woven tunic that was worn by noted rabbis or Tzaddiks in Israel.  It was the outer mantle of a righteous man which carried the power or divine energy that flowed through their body.  When the priests wore a fine linen tunic it was to be a spiritual atonement for accidental killing or intentional murder.  I doubt that there was any motivation to ‘cast lots’ for a shredded piece of garment matted with blood.  Here were the Roman solders who used their upper body to create literal acts of homicide and genocide and to create an atmosphere of fear and oppression.  Yet, now they were casting lots for the garment that could atone for their sins. 


The Passion as a Two Edged Sword


Is there any meaning to an understanding of the symbol and shadow pictures that surrounded the death and resurrection of Jesus?  I believe so.  The Lord of hosts used the shadow pictures of the Festivals of the Lord to portray the drama of the exile and restoration of the children of Israel and the role for all mankind in the final drama at the time of the end.  The death and resurrection of Yahshua was a fulfillment of several typologies that portrayed the role of the Anointed One of Israel.  The death and resurrection of Christ was a new prophetic drama of the saint, whether Jew or Gentile, who at the time of the end will follow their Lord through death and resurrection. 


Conceptual understanding of the Spring Festivals gave the Jews a visual mini-drama of the life and ministry of the Son of God in which the Father would send them.  The fact that the temple service became a commercial enterprise of power, greed and control by Sadducean families that bought the office of the High Priest from the governor of Rome suggests that Jesus had every right to assault the bastion of evil and corruption as a “den of thieves”.  Yahshua was truly being about His Father’s business. 


The fact that the death of Jesus was portrayed and prophetically foretold in the Passover services suggest that with the fulfillment a new prophetic role was being instituted.  The festivals were never intended to be abandoned.  Just like the Passover looked back upon the redemption and Exodus from Egypt, it also looked forward to the redemption from sin by Jesus.  So also the Passover death and resurrection of Jesus looks forward to the death of the old and carnal man and the resurrection to a new life literally and spiritual in Christ. 


How does this affect “The Passion of The Christ”?   Is there a reason the Lord of hosts has allowed this movie to be produced?  And why now?  Many have applauded Gibson for portraying Jesus not as a wimp but as a intentionally driven man to do the will of His Father in spite of the persecution.  Yet, on the surface it is a portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus not as we have seen by the Hebrew types and symbols from which it occurred. 


In the coming tribulation, all opinions will soon be reduced to two:  God’s view of Jesus His Son and Satan’s view of Jesus.  Evil will not be cloaked in laughing demonic children, witches, neutered images with piercing eyes prowling amongst the masses.  Evil will be cloaked with images as ‘Angels of light’ who will deceive the very elect. 


Up to “The Passion”, the world’s view of Jesus has been eclectic, mosaic, and altered by many centuries of cultural adaptations and societal passions.  Today we are on the verge of seeing a “Global Jesus”  that is still divorced from its Jewish roots and the panorama of God’s Plan of Salvation portrayed in the festivals of the Lord. 


Mel Gibson’s, “The Passion”, as many authors have testified, is an updated recreation of the death of Jesus from the viewpoint of medieval orthodox Christianity as preserved and upheld by the Roman Catholic Church.  This is a replay of the medieval ‘passion plays’ where abuse after abuse was heaped upon the ‘Christ’ in the play. The Roman crucifixion was incited to its fullest manifestation by the high priest, the temple rulers and its hoards of followers seeking to preserve their hegemony of power in institutional temple Judaism.


After “The Passion” has made its international showing, and praised alike by the Pope, Arafat, and countless Christian, Arabic and international leaders, will we have succeeded to imprint in the international consciousness the Christ image of the Anti-Christ?  Will we be one step forward in a homogenized religious expression that will be international in its scope?  If so, then we are one step forward in seeing the coming of the real “Son of Man” who will be coming in all the power and glory invested in Him by His Father.  Will we believe or reject Him when He comes?  


The power and emotions evoked in this movie are truly divisive.  As an observer, we will affirm those parts of the movie that touch our own beliefs and suppress those parts that are alien to our belief system. Yet, the ideas and images will have been imprinted in our minds to be resurrected in a future day.  With his hundreds of millions of dollars, what will Mel Gibson do next?  According to public press releases, he now has the intention of re-creating on film “The War with the Maccabees”.  Is it not amazing that now we will see a recreation of the Abomination of Desolation from the eyes of a globalist and an ardent follower of conservative Roman Orthodox Christianity?  Are we now setting in screen drama the blue-print of how the final Abomination of Desolation will be replayed in the final years before the coming of the Messiah?  Is Satan, the Master of Evil, now preparing the world for his version of the final conflict? 


If we truly believe that we are in the time of the end and the Lord of hosts is intervening in the history of man, then Jesus is already in the process of dividing the ‘sheep and the goats’.  Those that are inherently good will become righteous and those that are evil will become fully demonic.  That is the story of Revelation. Either way, we will eventually be possessed; either by Jesus or by Satan.


The fact that “The Passion” provokes extremely good and extremely evil and violent passions leads this movie of becoming a two-edged sword.  Is the movie anti-Semitic?  Yes it is!  Yet, it is not any more anti-Semitic than the world that you and I live in today.  Anything that does not accept the literal and spiritual role of the chosen-ness of the House of Judah and the restoration of the House of Israel is anti-Semitic.  The Jews have a chosen role to accept their own destiny is a part of the prophetic oracles of old.  The fact that this chosen role of Israel is against the control of the powers of darkness that oppress our world gives us pause.  There is an inter-dimensional battle for control of the hearts and minds of mankind. There is an inter-dimensional battle for control of ‘The Land’.  This is the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan.  Whenever the drama on earth comes close to the script of how the Lord of hosts wrote it, hell and fury descends upon our world.  It so happened that the Lord of hosts chose the children of Israel to be the leading actors in this drama and with the return of the House of Jacob and the eventual House of Israel will also be the return of the Lord of hosts as He completes His role laid out from the foundation of this world. The facts also exist that the chosen habitation of the Lord of hosts is ‘The Land’ and the land is in Israel and in Jerusalem.  The Lord of host states, ‘Jerusalem is Mine!”  It is my assumption that we must believe it.


With an acceptance of the chosennes of the House of Jacob and all of its descendants will come a new respect to the trauma and challenges of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.  It does not mean we have to accept the geo-politics of the present government of Israel as they choose to develop a secular and oppressive state.  It does suggest that the Nation of Israel is being ‘tried in the fire’ first and our turn is coming.  What we see going on in the State of Israel can reasonable be suggested that in the future it will be our turn. This includes daily terrorist threats and catastrophes until enough people stand up and say, “Let us follow the God of Israel as has been portrayed in the life of His son, Jesus who was called Yahshua (Yeshua) the Nazarene


Essenes of Mount Carmel


Jesus overlooking the Temple in Jerusalem


Jesus’ Death, the Earthquake and the

Omens to “The Jews”


Signs at the Time of the End

Part One




The Rending of the Temple Veil

Omens that Began at the Death of Jesus

The Sanhedrin banished from the Chamber of Hewn Stones

Forty Years of Omens on the Jewish People

The Lord’s Lot came to the Left Hand

The Crimson Red Cord would not turn White

The Lamp on the Menorah refused to give any Light

The Doors of the Hekel open on their Own

The Star, the Comet and the Lamb birthed to the Red Heifer




Consistent with the Gospel accounts of the death of Jesus and the independent testimonies of the Talmud, Josephus, Tactitus, and early ante-Nicean fathers of the Christian Church, the final moments of the life of Jesus were surrounded with cataclysmic events and fateful portents.  These portents shadowed the esteemed high priest’s family, the House of Ananus and the temple hierarchy all the way to   the final destruction of that glorious temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE.


Stamped it into the psychic of the Jewish people, these same cataclysmic events will be replayed at the time of the end before the restoration of Israel is completed by the return of Jesus in the clouds of glory as the Moshiach Yahshua ben David (Messiah Jesus son of David). 


Let us look how the natural world was rent and torn while the agony of the Suffering Continue to Full Article  


Is the Passover 2004 at the Conjunction of a Major Prophetic Event?


The Biblical models and especially prophetic timetables are awash in dating sequences of seven (7) years and three and one-half (31/2) years.   This Passover we are at a conjunction of a seven year and a three and one-half years timetable back to back.  Is it significant?  Let me outline the evidence.


It was in September 13, 1993, the Oslo Accord Agreement was signed and the geo-political drive of all the nations of the world was to find a lasting peace for the Palestinians by offering “Land for Peace”.  What is amazing is that this date was also the Jewish New Year, Tishri 1 in the Jewish year 5754.  Yet to get this date match, you have to follow the Jewish lunar calendar and the Torah commands on how to begin and follow the feasts of the Lord. 


Exactly seven years later, On September 28th, 2000, Tishri 1 5761 on the Day of the Shofar, according to the calendar of the Lord, candidate Ariel (Lion) Sharon, running for the Prime Ministers office of Israel, went up to the Temple Mount to ‘inspect it’ and there he read the ‘last days’ prophecy of Ezekiel 36. 


Violence immediately erupted in the Days of Rage and two days later, the Jerusalem Post announced that the Oslo Accords were declared null and void, exactly seven years to the day, September 13, 1993, Tishri 5754 - September 28, 2000, Tishri 5761, when according to the calendar of the Lord, this ‘covenant of death’ was annulled.


Isaiah 28:14-15 - “Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men, who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we are in agreement.  When the overflowing scourge passes through, It will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.”


The Intifada, started on the Days of Rage, on September 28th, 2000 will be exactly three and a half years old on Passover, April 5, 2004.  Is there a prophetic significance to this date?  Let us look at all the profound events that will be tied together at this date. 


According to Michael Rood and his team, the first sliver of the new moon gleaming over the horizon in Jerusalem occurred on March 22, 2004/Aviv 1 5764.  The barley sheaves were also found ripened in Aviv on the side of the Mount of Zion and also ripened in Aviv in greater quantities at lower altitudes out the limits of the city of Jerusalem. 


According to Nehemiah Gordon with Karaite Korner, their teams found barley ripened in Aviv in the Jordan Valley and in the northern Negev.  Therefore the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot) will begin on sunset, Monday, April 5 and end on sunset on Monday, April 12, 2004.  This is the month of Aviv (Abib) known as the Head of the Biblical New Year. 


Tishri 1 5761, starting on September 28, 2000 was also a shemittah or Sabbatical year. According to Rabbinic traditions “the year that changes everything” would also herald a war cycle that would last until the next Sabbatical year in the Year 2007.  Then according to the rabbis, the messiah will come. We feel that the Sabbatical Years were part of the fulfillment of the ministry and death of Jesus in the 1st century C.E.


This same year, the leading rabbi chose this year as the “Year of the Mikveh” and the “Year of Purification”.  The mikveh is a baptistery in which they performed the rituals of purification. Taking our minds back to the biblical days, the mikveh was designed to hold 5,760 egg volumes of water, or the number of a full baptistery.  Was the Jewish year 5760, when the mikveh baptistery became full?  Was the Jewish Sabbatical year 5760, September 1999 to September 2000, the year in which the “Fullness of the Gentiles” was fulfilled?  We need to remind ourselves of John the Baptist who was a ‘voice crying in the wilderness’ who said;  


Matthew 3:2 - “Repent and be baptized, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  


There in the Jordan, Jesus descended into a mikvoth ‘baptism’ and thereby began His ministry on Tishri 1, in the Sabbatical year of 26 CE.  Three and a half years later, Jesus went through “The Passion of The Christ” and was crucified in the ‘midst of the week’ as He descended into hell and then was resurrected in triumph to a new life as the first-fruits of the dead.


Does the Apostle Paul suggest that the “blindness” of the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel and that the lost of identity of the Lost Tribes of Israel will end when the ‘fullness of the Gentiles is completed? 


Romans 11:25 – “I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob (House of Judah and Israel); for this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.’” 


Did not the Apostle Paul state concerning the Israelites, “Has God cast away His people?  Certainly not!  For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of the Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.” (Romans 11:1-2 (parts)  The Pharisee and Rabbi Paul the ‘blindness’ of Israel was the due to the goodness of God’s will. 


Romans 11:8 – “God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day.”  


Is there a possibility that in the midst of the Sabbatical Year 2000 to 2007, at the setting of the sun on Passover (Pesach), Monday, April 5, 2004 (Aviv 1, 5764) that the restoration of the House of Israel will begin?  Are we on the eve of the greatest revival of all ages, the revival of the identity of the House of Israel in the Moshiach (Messiah) of Yahshua?


Or, is there another prophetic event that will happen? 


Gleanings on Global News at the Time of the End


With three and a half years since the beginning of the Intifada, major and potentially catastrophic trends appear to be colliding.  It was only one month ago that we reported in February, 2004 BibleSearchers Reflections that there was a mass convergence of more peace plans than ever have been proposed in Middle East politics. Were we on the eve of a new peace pact and will this be the peace pact of the Antichrist or the Little Horn? 


The Palestinian Authority under the rule of Yasser Arafat appeared to be in decline and the power of Hamas was in ascendancy trying to wrestle control of the minds of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip from the PA.  And then, on March 22, 2004, three missiles appeared to end the hope of all peace plans and in an event that may be one of those colliding events in history, three Israeli missiles were used to surgically assassinate the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, the wheel-chair bound cleric, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as he left the mosque from his early morning prayers. 


Yassin’s Killing Opens New Chapter in Israeli-Palestinian War – March 22, 2004

DEBKAfile Special Report and Analysis - Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has fired the Israel-Palestinian war up to a new plane. The targeted assassination of Hamas founder, leader and moving spirit, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Monday, March 22, was the prime minister’s thunderous reply to the critics who argue that his disengagement strategy would hand the Gaza Strip over to Hamas control. It signals his determination to purge Gaza of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists ahead its evacuation. Yassin’s death is but the precursor to liquidating the violent movement he founded in 1987 to "cleanse" Middle East of Jewish sovereignty and replace it with an Islamic republic. Before Yassin’s death, the Hamas was moving in the opposite direction, boycotting the PA and Arafat and accepting collaboration only with his Fatah-al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades for suicide attacks against Israel. The other party to watch now is Arafat himself. He may decide to take advantage of Hamas disarray and move in on the Gaza Strip and Gaza City where his people have been pushed to the sidelines in recent weeks.  More.


Just on the eve of Passover, the Nation of Israel is now plunged into one of its most highly secured times in recent history.  Now the question need to be asks, is this cycle the time for the Abomination of Desolation? Antiochus IV Epiphanes was a type.  Is the future abomination literal or spiritual?  Will the future Abomination of Desolation include a temple or not?  Will it be a mega-disaster over the Temple Mount (over or near the site of the Holy of Holiest)?  Will it be a nuclear dirty bomb with local, and very disastrous and geo-politically catastrophic?  These questions are on the minds of some prophecy observers, including the article by David Dolan, author of “Israel in Crisis”.    


All-out war in the Middle East? – March 25, 2004

WorldNetDaily - Ariel Sharon is trying to carry out the "Roadmap" peace plan. This has greatly upset most world leaders, including some of the primary sponsors of the international plan. They are angry that the Israeli leader has chosen to take matters into his own hands after his alleged peace partner, the Palestinian Authority, totally failed to implement its side of the bargain.


What is the aging PLO chairman advocating here? Does he really expect hundreds of thousands of kamikaze bomb-wearing Muslims to come marching into Israel's largely unrecognized capital city to blow themselves and their Jewish victims to smithereens? I think Arafat is promoting something far more sinister. He is calling upon the Palestinian's Mideast allies to fire non-conventional weapons, possibly nuclear ones, onto the territory of the detested "Zionist entity." If a million local Arabs die in the process, so be it. It should be somewhat difficult for Israel's many critics to construe this cheery Arafat admonition as "declaring an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism."  More.


Here we see the archetypes of Amalek that was discussed in the March 2004 BibleSearchers Reflections.  At the same time, the vulnerability of Yasser Arafat has increased significantly.  With the mantra gone that Israel cannot go after the major league players in terrorism, Arafat is feeling considerable heat.  Calls for help to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, Egypt’s Mubarak, Yemen’s Salah, Jordan’s Abdullah and Tunisian Bin Ali were received with deadly silence at the other end of the telephone.  George Bush and the White House do not respond to the entreaties of Yasser Arafat.  Yet at the beginning of the Intifada over three years ago, Arafat threatened that if they did not have a Palestinian State in three and a half-years that they would resort to more

violent and severe measures in their bid to drive the Jews into the sea.


US Refuses to Guarantee Arafat’s Safety – March 26, 2004

The Lekerev Newsletter - Apparently Arafat got the message sent by Israel with the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Hearing comments from the IDF Chief of Staff certainly didn't ease his mind. Arafat's men have now turned to the United States asking them to intervene and protect Arafat from any possible attack by Israel. The United States has refused to respond.

Israel has embraced a policy of intentional vagueness regarding further targets for assassination. In the framework of this policy, Israel does not intend to specify which terror leaders are targeted for future elimination, with the exception of Yassin's successor - Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi - whom Israel already tried to eliminate six months ago and who is known as a target. It is being reported that Rantisi has gone underground.

During the past week security measures for Arafat's protection in the Muqata in Ramallah were beefed up. Fearing those measures inadequate, Palestinians requested help from the American Intelligence service - the CIA- to intervene for Arafat's protection. Simultaneously, the Palestinians also pursued other avenues of assistance in the US. According to American sources, the US has refused to give a commitment to Arafat's men that Israel would not eliminate him too.


This has also led the BibleSearchers to reevaluate the Oracles of Zechariah and the King/s of Gaza in Zechariah 9:5.  What has puzzled us is that even though Yasser Arafat has fit the imagery of the “King of Gaza” because he ‘liberated’ that city in 1974, Arafat does not live or reign in power in Gaza but at Ramallah, the home of Joseph of Arimathea.  At the same time, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin who was assassinated on March 22, 2004 has lived and reigned in Gaza. Again we ask, will Yasser Arafat return to Gaza

Continue to full article


In the Footsteps of the Master – “Crucified with Christ”


Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ …”


The literal pathway to the cross by Jesus becomes a spiritual pathway for His followers.  We are not asked to deny our literal lives and the mission of life that we are destined to fulfill no more than we are asked to deny the literal lives of the chosen ones of the Lord, the House of Judah and the House of Israel and transform them into spiritual lives for ourselves.  When Jesus asks us to “Follow Me” to the cross, it is an affirmation of our literal and physical being and yet it is a surrender of anything that is pretentious and deceitful in our lives.  It is our mental reality that must be changed before we can be willing to grasp our new spiritual destiny. 


The pathway to the cross is to surrender the destiny that we have plotted out for ourselves.  It is a surrender of how we look at life and our world around us and begin looking at it from the perspective of God.  It is a unmasking of ourselves and the willingness to become transparent to all mankind. It is a willingness to give up any claim that we are worthy to be counted as a righteous one of the Lord.


The affirmation of the Tzaddik nature of Yahshua is a willingness to accept that He truly was the Righteous One of Israel.  This is an affirmation of the humanness of Jesus and that the pathway to the cross that He walked is also a pathway that we also must go.  It was the role of Yahshua that He had to surrender Himself fully to the mission revealed to Him by His Father.  If we choose to live the life of Jesus, we must give up our claim to everything we possess, desire or emotionally wish, to surrender any rights to ourselves and ‘follow Him’. We do not give up our individual uniqueness, but our motive for living in this world becomes radically changed. As Jesus cried out aloud on the cross, "Eli ... Eli ... Lamah azavtani" (from Psalms 22:2) which is interpreted as "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?" so also we must cry out aloud on this pathway of absolute loneliness before we can affirm our new destiny as ‘sons and daughters of God’. 


We are not asked to ‘beat up’ on ourselves.  We are not asked to transform our literal lives but what will be transformed is how we look at life.  We are not asked to give the Lord our ‘self-righteousness’, our goodness, integrity and our morality. Jesus does not need them.  He wants us.  We are asked to give up our sins, our hidden taboos, our secret passions, and those things that we nurture in the secret recesses of our souls.  When we follow Jesus, we do not take with us our own roadmap, we follow His.


The pathway to the cross goes through the despair of the garden.  It is the agony of Christ’s plea, “if possible, let this cup pass from me.” (Matthew 26:39)  We come with our loneliness and despair will dwell all around us.  When we kneel at the cross, it is not our sins that shock our reality, but the pride that opposes Jesus in our hearts. We begin to see ourselves as the captors of Jesus, as one of those that spat on His face and cursed Him, and as one of those who raised the whip and lashed His body.  With shame, terror and horror, we realize that we are at the cross and with our pride we are afflicting the gashes upon His body and hanging the crown of thorns upon His head.  Only then and there are we willing to surrender and give it all up to our Master. It is at this time that we sign our death certificate to ourselves.  We lay down our sins at the cross; our emotions, our opinions and our intellectual beliefs on how our life should be.


In its place Jesus will install in our heart a new moral conviction against lust (the desire to have things now), emotions (the desire to pamper your own passions), and pride (the right to any claim to myself).  No, we will not seek to imitate Christ, manipulate our lives so that it appears we are following Christ, or cast a façade over our lives to hide our satanic pride. We will release our claims to ourselves and allow God to instill a ‘new heart’ within us.


Yet the act of surrender is also the act of a purposeful determination to live a ‘new life in Christ’. When we surrender to Jesus, the Lord of hosts will give us new equipment to become defenders of our Master.  These are called the ‘armor’ for the warriors for Jesus.  As Jesus was the Agent for His Father, so now we must be the agent for Jesus.  With the surrender of our ‘old life’ we are now willing to pick up our assignment or quest for our new life.  So as Jesus truly did say on the cross, "Eli ... Eli ... Lemanah sabachthani," or "My God, My God, this was my destiny” just before He hung His head and gave up His spirit, it is our exciting mission to fulfill our destiny that will be given to us by the Lord.  With the death to ourselves, we will shout with a new determination, “This is my destiny.  I am now part of the remnant of the Lord’s and the family of God.” 


Robert Mock MD


The Ministry of BibleSearchers Reflection

BibleSearchers Reflections is a spiritual ministry of Robert D. Mock MD and the ‘BibleSearchers’ as we build ministries with all who are seeking the return of the Messiah or Moshiach of Israel.  We seek to speak with all the children of Abraham, whether Jew, Christian or Muslim.  The Restoration of Israel and Redemption of the Saints are all part of the message of the prophets.  We are but BibleSearchers searching for literal clues to that unfolding Drama of the Ages that is upon us at what we feel is the ‘time of the end’. 


We hope you will let us share our Biblical research ministry with you.  If what we are sharing is valuable to you and your life and you wish your friends, relatives or pastors to participate, you may give us their email addresses and we will invite them to join, BibleSearchers Reflections.