“HaShem, my Strength, my Stronghold, and my Refuge on the day of distress! To You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say: ‘It was all falsehood that our ancestors inherited, futility that has no purpose.'” Jeremiah 16:19
In the End of Days, the times we currently live in, in my opinion, we are seeing a phenomenon occur among people who have a heart for following HaShem. This phenomenon is people are waking up, realizing the doctrines they have inherited from their ancestors were nothing, futility that has no purpose and as such, people are running to HaShem, His Torah, His Feasts, His Shabbat, etc, realizing anything outside of HaShem are nothing but lies! Replacement Theology would be very well defined this way per Jeremiah 16:19!
It is when we obey HaShem’s command as He stated it in Ezekiel 43, to study every aspect of His Temple and every piece of the Temple Services, that we will finally be able to see what He has been communicating throughout His entire Word, from Genesis to Revelation! We will be able to see Him for Who He truly is. We will be able to see the Agent He sent on our behalf i.e. Messiah Yeshua for Who He truly is, what He did on our behalf and by default we will be able to recognize the subtle, smooth, enticing, deceptive words and doctrines of the False Messiah currently operating in the world today disguised as an angel of light!
One of these services which was performed in the Temple, per the Torah, is what is known as the ‘Sotah Test.’ It is the test which is performed by the Sanhedrin to determine if a married woman is guilty of adultery against her husband. If she is guilty, then she will die as a result of this test. If she is innocent, then she will live, but in either case, this test is performed before HaShem and it is He Who renders the judgment. Why is this important in this Op? Because, idolatry, is akin to adultery in the eyes of HaShem and the judgment of ‘Wormwood’ (Means ‘Bitterness’ in Hebrew) in Revelation 8, is in my opinion, HaShem administering the Sotah Test on a global scale…those who are innocent, live and those who are guilty will die…I am getting way ahead of myself here, but this is what I would like to discuss in this Op and see where HaShem leads in this discussion.
This Op will be extra long as we have a ton of information to address in order to tie everything together and answer the questions which will emerge as we progress…please be patient.
But before we can begin, always remember the following:
– HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
– His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
– He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
– He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
– He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
– He says His Torah is eternal per Proverbs 3:19 and Psalm 119:160
– He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
– He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm Ps 119:45 and James 1:25
– He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
– He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
– He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
– He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
– He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
– He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
– He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
– He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
– He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
– He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
– He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
– He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
– He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
We read about a very important event from the Apostolic Writings, specifically in John chapter 8. In this event, Yeshua was sitting down inside the Temple of HaShem on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and is teaching Torah after earlier having gone to the Mount of Olives. Suddenly, a group of scribes and Pharisees bring to Him a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. Now this is where we have to stop and do some in-depth studying to find out the significance of several key points mentioned in John 8, such as Yeshua sitting in the Temple; the significance of the woman caught in the act of adultery being brought to Yeshua and what is the punishment required, per the Torah of HaShem, for the act of adultery? Answering these and subsequent questions will reveal so much more to this account than what is normally taught.
Bamidbar (Numbers) chapter 5 specifically discusses the circumstances involving a married woman having been caught in the act of adultery and how to legally treat her to ensure justice is carried out as well as how to preserve her honor and dignity if she is found innocent.
Remember, this section discussing an adulteress wife, also applies to the Bride of Messiah i.e. Israel when HaShem compares idolatrous Israel to an unfaithful wife! Point is, it has both literal and prophetic implications in which we need to pay very close attention too because HaShem is still addressing this issue in Revelation 8! Remember He reveals the end OUT of the beginning! I digress!
Bamidbar (Numbers) 5:11-15 says “HaShem spoke to Moshe, saying, ‘Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: Any man whose wife shall go astray and commit treachery against him; and a man could have lain with her carnally, but was hidden from the eyes of her husband, and she became secluded and could have been defiled, but there was no witness against her and she had not been forced; and a spirit of jealousy had passed over him and he had warned his wife, and she had become defiled, or a spirit of jealousy had passed over him and he had warned his wife and she had not become defiled. The man shall bring his wife to the Kohen (High Priest) and he shall bring her offering for her, a tenth ephah of barley flour; he shall not pour oil over it and shall not put frankincense upon it, for it is a meal offering of jealousies, a meal offering of remembrance, a reminder of iniquity.'”
Very interesting…so in these verses HaShem lays the foundation for how to handle an event in which a married woman goes astray from her husband and the potential for her to have had sexual relations with another man was there, but there are no witnesses against her and she had not been raped. Further, the husband must have warned his wife not to be secluded with a specific man and the warning must have been given in front of at least two witnesses. If the husband becomes jealous of his wife, then the only way to resolve the issue is to bring her before HaShem in the Temple and to meet with the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) at a specific location in the Temple i.e. the Nicanor Gate which leads from the Court of the Women to the Court of the Israelite’s. It is here the husband will bring a meal offering on her behalf as the Kohen will then have her partake of a specific set of steps laid out by HaShem in the Torah to determine her guilt or innocence.
This is where we have to know and understand not only the Torah, but also the Mishnah/Talmud because they discuss in-depth the justice system of the Kingdom of HaShem and how He has set things up, which is something we need to very quickly discuss.
There are three levels of courts in the Kingdom of HaShem: The Lower Court comprised of three judges. The Lesser Court comprised of 23 judges and then the Sanhedrin Gedolah (Great Court) comprised of 71 judges, which is akin to the US Supreme Court. The Sanhedrin Gedolah is located in Beit Avtinas, otherwise known as the Chamber of Hewn Stewn, in the Temple in Jerusalem. The Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) is the head of the Sanhedrin Gedolah and it is only the Sanhedrin Gedolah which can hear cases which incur the death penalty, such as a murder case or an adultery case. Their primary function is to keep Israel united and render right rulings on how to walk out and perform the Commandments of HaShem! The Mishnah for example, is the recorded right rulings of the Sanhedrin on how to walk in the Commandments of HaShem!
The Courts are only authorized, per HaShem, to meet and hear cases during the day, they are not allowed to meet and hear cases at night. Convictions are only made upon two or more credible witnesses! Judges must sit and hear, they cannot stand. These are very important to remember as we will connect the dots shortly. I digress.
HaShem commands us that whatever the Sanhedrin rules upon, we are required by HaShem to do what they have ruled upon. Refusal to do so is considered to be sin by HaShem! This is found in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:18-20 and 17:8-13! This means the Mishnah/Talmud ARE indeed endorsed and supported by HaShem despite what many in Replacement Theology teach. If the Sanhedrin makes a wrong ruling, then HaShem as the Great King, will deal with them and fix it. Think of it like a military hierarchy…the officer is appointed and granted the authority to render rulings per the US President and Constitution. If that officer renders an illegal order, can we still disobey that order or are there provisions in place to address that potential illegal order and it is the senior levels which ultimately deal with the issue? Same concept here…HaShem establishes the courts, appoints the judges and if they make a wrong ruling, He as the Great King fixes the issue. We as the servants of HaShem are not allowed to rebel against what He has established! We see Yeshua Himself obey this even during the events which led to His execution, which we will discuss shortly.
With this established, we can now examine the references from the Torah concerning the Sotah Test itself and what is required:
Bamidbar (Numbers) 5:16-18 says “The Kohen shall bring her near and have her stand before HaShem. The Kohen shall take sacred water (From the Laver) in an earthenware vessel, and the Kohen shall take from the earth that is on the floor of the Tabernacle and put it in the water. The Kohen shall have the woman stand before HaShem and uncover the women’s head, and upon her palms he shall put the meal offering of remembrance, it is a meal offering of jealousies, and in the hand of the Kohen shall the bitter waters (Wormwood) that cause cause.”
An excerpt from Tractate Sotah 1.4 in the Mishnah says “They bring her up to the High Court (Great Sanhedrin) in Jerusalem where they instill fear in her in the manner in which they instill fear in witnesses to capital cases.” In other words, they reinforce the seriousness of the issue and try to get her to confess her sin.
Bamidbar (Numbers) 5:19-20 says “The Kohen shall adjure her and say to the woman, ‘If a man has not lain with you, and you have not strayed in defilement with someone other than your husband, then be proven innocent by these bitter (Wormwood) waters that cause curse. But if you have strayed with someone other than your husband, and if you have become defiled, and a man other than your husband has lain with you!'”
Bamidbar 5:21-22 says “The Kohen shall adjure the woman with the oath of the curse, and the Kohen shall say to the woman, ‘May HaShem render you as a curse and as an oath amid your people, when HaShem causes your thigh to collapse and your stomach to distend. These waters that cause curse shall enter your innards to cause stomach to distend and thigh to collapse!’ And the woman shall respond, ‘Amen, Amen.'”
Bamidbar 5:23-24 says “The Kohen shall inscribe these curses on a scroll and erase it (Scrape the letters) into the bitter (Wormwood) waters. When he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter (Wormwood) waters that cause curse, then the waters that cause curse shall come into her for bitterness.”
It is very interesting thus far because Tractate Sotah in the Mishnah explains this further in 1.1 which says: “One who warned his wife, Rabbi Eliezer says, he must warn her in the presence of two witnesses…Rabbi Yehoshua says he (The husband) must warn her in the presence of two witnesses, and he can give her to drink the bitter waters only on the testimony of two witnesses.”
Did HaShem establish two witnesses against Israel in His Torah? Yes He did! Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:26 says “I appoint heaven and earth this day to bear witness against you that you will surely perish quickly from the Land to which you are crossing the Jordan to possess; you shall not have lengthy days upon it, for you will be destroyed.” This verse is in response to Israel committing idolatry/adultery and the consequences of what will happen in the future with Israel being exiled from the Land.
Did HaShem specifically warn Israel concerning idolatry/adultery? Yes He did! Devarim (Deuteronomy) 30:15-20 says “See, I have placed before you today the life and the good, and the death and the evil, that which I command you today, to love HaShem, your Elohim, to walk in His ways, to observe His commandments, His decrees, and His ordinances, then you will live and you will multiply, and HaShem, your Elohim, will bless you in the Land to which you come, to possess it. BUT if your heart will stray and you will NOT listen, and you are led astray, and you prostrate yourself to the gods of others serve them, I tell you today that you will surely be lost; you will not lengthen your days upon the Land that you cross the Jordan to come there, to possess it. I call heaven and earth today to bear witness against you: I have placed life and death before you, blessing and curse; and you shall choose life, so that you will live, you and your offspring, to love HaShem, your Elohim, to listen to His voice and cleave to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days, to dwell upon the Land that HaShem swore to your forefathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
Can you see how astounding this is thus far? Now consider once more how HaShem reveals the end out of the beginning? Do you recall The Golden Calf incident as it is recorded in Shemot (Exodus) 32? To summarize the incident, Israel has just been delivered from Egyptian bondage and has met with HaShem at Mt. Sinai where Israel agreed to the terms of the covenant i.e. His Torah or otherwise understood as being the ‘Ketubah’ or the Marriage Contract. At this point, Israel has entered into the covenant with HaShem. Moshe, a picture of the Redeemer, is up on Mt. Sinai meeting with HaShem. He ends up being longer on the mountain than Israel expected and what happens? Israel ends up worshiping the image of a beast i.e. the Golden Calf! Hint…hint…hint!!! What then happens when Moshe comes down from the mountain and observes this catastrophe? Moshe commands the golden calf be ground up into dust and sprinkled into their water source and everyone was required to drink it…those who were guilty died i.e. 3,000 died! Those who were innocent lived! Can you see the prophetic picture here? Moving forward.
Bamidbar (Numbers) 5:25-28 says “The Kohen shall take the meal offering of jealousies from the hand of the woman; he shall wave the meal offering before HaShem, and he shall bring it near to the Altar. The Kohen shall scoop up from the meal offering its remembrance and cause it to go up in smoke on the Altar; after which he shall cause the woman to drink the water. He shall cause her to drink the water, and it shall be that if she had become defiled and had committed treachery against her husband, the waters that cause curse shall come into her for bitterness, and her stomach shall be distended and her thigh shall collapse, and the woman shall become a curse amid her people. But if the woman had not become defiled, and she is pure, then she shall be proven innocent and she shall bear seed.”
In other words, the woman will drink the bitter waters and HaShem will then judge her and if she is guilty, then she will die. If she is innocent, then she will live and He will bless her with children. On a quick side note, it is known per the Apostolic Writings, that Miriam, the mother of Yeshua, went to Zechariah in the Temple after she was discovered to be pregnant. There are documents in existence today which show she went to Zechariah to specifically take this Sotah Test in order to prove to Yosef and the community she was innocent…notice after her visit to Zechariah, there is zero issue made of how she became pregnant? I digress.
So with all of this said, does it now make sense Yeshua refused to render a decision concerning the woman caught in the act of adultery in John chapter 8? Replacement Theology teaches the fact Yeshua refused to render a decision was proof He was ushering in a new way of doing things and slowly proving the Torah was soon to be rendered obsolete….utter nonsense!! Yeshua refused to render a decision because He had ZERO authority to render that decision and He knew the men who brought her to Him were setting Him up! If He had rendered a decision, He would have just nullified Himself as being Messiah for having committed the grave sin of encroachment i.e. assuming authority not given by HaShem!! This is precisely why He challenges the men and they drop their stones and flee because they of course knew they were required to bring her to the Great Sanhedrin along with at least two witnesses! This is also precisely why Yeshua tells the woman He didn’t condemn her….even though she was caught in the act and she was guilty. He tells her to go and sin no more, but He was in no way condoning her behavior…He simply didn’t have the authority of the Great Sanhedrin! Does this change the way we should view Messiah Yeshua in contrast to what Replacement Theology teaches? Absolutely YES! Can Yeshua change anything HaShem has established i.e. His Torah, His Shabbat, His Feasts, what He declared to be clean to eat, etc? No, He cannot change one thing! Only the False Messiah is all about change and it is he who teaches a doctrine of lawlessness (Without the Torah), changes the Feasts, changes Shabbat, declares unclean to be clean, etc.
Another example is at Yeshua’s trial! Per the Torah of HaShem only the Great Sanhedrin can hear the witnesses of capital cases i.e. death penalty cases and it can only convene during daylight in the Chamber of Hewn Stone i.e. Beit Avtinas in the Temple on the Temple Mount. We know per John 18 after Yeshua was arrested they took Him to the house of Qayapha, the Kohen HaGadol, which means it was at night and it was NOT in the place the Torah requires…this right here renders His trial null and void and not a legal trial, which is why, in my opinion, Yeshua said nothing in His defense. Only HaShem would vindicate Him and He did…three days later when HaShem brought Yeshua out of the grave! I digress.
I know it may seem I am bouncing all over the place in this Op, but there is a ton to try and encapsulate and tie in with Wormwood in Revelation 8! Please bear with me.
So with all this said, lets now examine Revelation 8:10-11 and see what it says: “And the third messenger sounded (Blowing a shofar), and a great star fell from the heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the fountains of water, and the name of the star is called ‘Wormwood’. And a third of the waters became wormwood (Bitter), and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.”
It is very interesting to note this is a star from heaven considering HaShem established heaven and earth as witnesses! Further, this judgment is specifically targeting the waters and turns a third of the waters bitter i.e. Wormwood. Then we see many people will die because of the waters having been made bitter i.e. these people will die because they were found guilty by HaShem of idolatry/adultery!
How can we know what constitutes idolatry/adultery? HaShem has been very clear about this from the beginning…His Torah is the Ketubah (Marriage Contract/Covenant). He then warns us in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:2-6 says the following: “If there should stand up in your midst a prophet or a dreamer of a dream, and he will produce to you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes about, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us follow gods of others that you did not know and we shall worship them!’ Do not hearken to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer of a dream, for HaShem, your Elohim, is testing you to know whether you love HaShem, your Elohim, with all your heart and with all your soul. HaShem, your Elohim, shall you follow and Him shall you fear; His commandments shall you observe and to His voice shall you hearken; Him shall you serve and to Him shall you cleave. And that prophet and that dreamer of a dream shall be put to death; for he had spoken perversion against HaShem, your Elohim, Who takes you out of the land of Egypt, and Who redeems you from the house of slavery, to make you stray from the path on which HaShem, your Elohim, has commanded you to go; and you shall destroy the evil from your midst.”
What does this warning in Devarim 13 teach us? Anyone coming along, even if there are signs and wonders, teaching a Replacement Theology doctrine that the Torah is now done away with, rendered obsolete, irrelevant or that the Shabbat has changed or the Feasts have changed or to follow and worship other gods not HaShem, that person or doctrine is to be utterly and completely rejected!
Remember Yeshua always points to HaShem! Yeshua does NOT replace HaShem, nor is Yeshua equal to HaShem. He is the Right Hand of HaShem, the Agent of HaShem and sits at the right hand of HaShem. Replacement Theology teaches a doctrine which either replaces HaShem or supersedes HaShem, something completely wrong and would be considered to be idolatry/adultery!
Since HaShem is unchanging, then it makes perfect sense He is still administering the Sotah Test in Revelation! We change, He doesn’t and therefore we must conform to His ways and not the other way around. It is very serious and something we all must constantly be examining our selves for. Learning His Torah and His Temple as He commands, is the only way to walk and serve Him in the midst of living in a world which grows in darkness, insanity and debauchery more each and every day! Can we do it perfectly? Sadly no, not yet, but Baruch HaShem He knows that and His mercies are fresh and anew every morning and we have a Kohen HaGadol currently serving on our behalf in the Heavenly Temple interceding on our behalf before our Great King, HaShem!!
This, my opinion, is further evidence of why we need to study the Torah and the Temple because the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation references the Torah and the Temple all throughout. Rejecting His Torah and His Temple is what has allowed Replacement Theology to flourish and become as entrenched as it is, but Baruch HaShem, He already knew this and is now dismantling the lies we all have inherited as He reveals them to be completely useless and futile!
Be encouraged! Events are developing quickly in the world and HaShem is opening our hearts and minds to the wonders which He has in His Torah! May it be very soon in our days!
Shalom and much to consider!
- The Stone Edition Chumash
- The Stone Edition Tanach
- Tractate Sotah from the Mishnah
- The Scriptures from the Institute for Scripture Research