Author: Hollisa Alewine

Dr Hollisa Alewine – Footsteps of Messiah Part 65 (No Place for Chickens Part Two)

Prayer makes you think.

For instance, who was better prepared for what happened after midnight in the Garden of Gethsemane, Yeshua or his disciples? Why?

Apparently, Peter needed to go to bed with the chickens, and by the time the cock crowed three times the next morning, he’d denied Yeshua and run away. Just hours before, Peter didn’t imagine such a thing were possible.

An often-quoted proverb helps us to understand the inner process of prayer:

“As a man thinks within himself [b’nafsho], so is he…” (Pr 23:7)

“B’nafsho” is “in his soul.” The soul is defined as a bundle of appetites, emotions, desires, and intellect. The soul thinks. We don’t usually hear the beginning or the end of the proverb, though. The beginning of the proverb is:

“Do not eat the bread of a selfish man or desire his delicacies…”

The rest of the verse is:

 “…he says to you, ‘Eat and drink!’ But his heart [lev] is not with you.”

The heart is sometimes seen as the mind, interconnected with the soul. Even scientists understand there is a “heart brain” that communicates with the head brain. In context, the proverb warns us that in spite of the generous words he says, a selfish person’s silent soul and heart think the opposite and wish that you would not accept.

The connection between prayer and the proverb is that it is possible to pray one thing with the lips, yet not to really believe it or want it to come to pass. It is possible to pray one thing and think the opposite. Yeshua struggled in this like we do, yet he prayed the perfect solution in the Garden of Gethsemane:

“Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done.”

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Dr Hollisa Alewine – Footsteps of Messiah Part 64 (No Place for Chickens Part One)

Thanks to the availability of rabbinic reference books, most people now understand that the rooster crow in Jerusalem wasn’t likely on the Temple Mount. When Yeshua warns Peter that he will deny Yeshua by the third rooster crow, the meaning is likely referring to the official Temple trumpet blowers, who signaled the Temple’s daily activities from special posts on the Temple Mount. To this day, you can view the tumbled stone on which they stood, which was found lying in the rubble at the base of the Temple Mount in 1968.

It is forbidden to raise fowl in Jerusalem because of the “Holy Things”, [fowl may bring impurity in to sacrificial items] nor may priests raise them [anywhere] in the Land of Israel because of [the laws concerning] pure foods. (Mishnah Bava Kama 7)

On the other hand, the rooster was used to signal the trumpet blowers when it was daylight, which was especially important on feast days with so many to accommodate in the services. Where was this rooster? Perhaps just outside the city walls, in which case, he would be easily heard.

The Temple was no place for chickens.

Now that you are called into covenant of royal priesthood with the Holy One of Israel, a little Temple sent to the nations, there’s still no room for chickens. There’s no room for a people too afraid to obey the Word.

The appearance of Yeshua as the conqueror in Revelation is one of authority, and his feet are bronze, just like the bronze sea of the Temple. Seas in Scriptures often represent the peoples. The washing of water by the Word is what Yeshua sacrificed himself for on the altar. It is also what a royal priesthood is called to do. No chickens.

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Dr Hollisa Alewine – Footsteps of Messiah Part 63 (The Foot Festival to Straying or Sealing)

It doesn’t take long to learn about Passover and Sukkot, but Shavuot? What, exactly, are we supposed to do? There is a lot of celebration, storytelling, camping, and general hilarity during our bookend feasts of Passover and Sukkot, but I’ve had more than one email or student question concerning Shavuot and what to “do.” Just eat dairy products? Just stay up all night reading Torah? That’s it?

No, no, that’s not it. Shavuot forms the axis of the foot festivals. They are called foot festivals because these are the feasts that Israel was expected to walk to three times per year. The more fortunate could ride donkeys. As we listen for the footsteps of Messiah, then where else should we listen the most closely? Yes, the foot festivals.

Two most important themes of Shavuot are the bringing of the firstfruits of the wheat and commemorating the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

Our working text in the Footsteps of Messiah comes from Song of Songs Chapter 4:1-5. In past newsletters, we related these two symbols, a flock of goats and clean sheep as the nation of Israel come up from her two washings, the crossing of the Reed Sea and the three-day washing to prepare for the visitation at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah. The goats represent the Israelites descending from “Mount Gilead,” or the “Mount of Witness,” symbolizing Sinai, where they witnessed the Words in fire, smoke, hail, and rain:

How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful you are!Your eyes are like doves behind your veil; your hair is like a flock of goats that have descended from Mount Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of newly shorn sheep which have come up from their washing, all of which bear twins, and not one among them has lost her young. Your lips are like a scarlet (shani) thread, and your mouth is beautiful. Your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate behind your veil. Your neck is like the tower of David, built with layers of stones on which are hung a thousand shields, all the round shields of the warriors.Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle that graze among the lilies.

The goat’s hair formed a covering for the Tabernacle: “All the skilled women spun with their hands, and brought what they had spun, in blue and purple and scarlet material and in fine linen. All the women whose heart stirred with a skill spun the goats’ hair.” (Ex 35:25-26)

After the “mount of Witness,” the Israelites begin to work under the inspiration of the Ruach HaKodesh with Betzalel and Oholiav. As an aside, it is a given within the ancient Jewish way of viewing the Revelation at Sinai, that the offer of the Torah was made to the other 70 nations on earth as well as to Israel. Out of those 70, there was a remnant who desired the Torah, yet only one nation that unanimously, and with ONE VOICE replied, “We will do and we will hear.”

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Dr Hollisa Alewine – Footsteps of Messiah Part 62 (Footfalls on Kings)

The double Torah portion has a common thread: Those in need of purification, healing, and restoration must go through the agency of a human priest. This human priest is a type and shadow of Messiah Yeshua, a priest after the order of Malkhi-Tzedek. With types and shadows, expect some things to be identical, yet other things to be slightly different in application. As Pastor Mark and Tammy like to say, “patterns and principles.”

The one seeking restoration brings his or her various offerings to the doorway of the Tent of Meeting. From there, the service works its way inward to the bronze altar. The flames of the bronze altar purge out sin, and they provide atonement, or covering. It is from these very coals that the incense service moves the process of restoration even closer to the Divine Presence, the golden incense altar.

In performing their services, the Cohanim were required to wear a turban-like headcover (the high priest wore a type of crown on his) and to be girded with a belt, or sash. Without these, the priests could not perform the service.

In contrast, the metzorah, or leper, was required to let his hair go loose and wear torn clothes. These practices were forbidden to the priesthood when they served in the holy spaces, for they are identified with death and mourning.

Then Moses said to Aaron and to his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not uncover your heads nor tear your clothes, so that you will not die and that He will not become wrathful against all the congregation.” (Le 10:6)

“As for the leper who has the infection, his clothes shall be torn, and the hair of his head shall be uncovered, and he shall cover his mustache and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’” (Le 13:45)

“The priest who is the highest among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes.” (Le 21:10)

The moral of the story? Those who minister on behalf of others have fewer “rights” and more “atonement, covering” responsibilities. Priests are not allowed the depth of grieving behaviors permitted to others.

So what does that have to do with us?

Following the pattern, from Shavuot onward, members of a royal priesthood need “working clothes,” not just a garment of salvation:

A headcover, possibly a “credit crown”
An untorn garment (why else was Yeshua’s garment left whole?)
A sash or belt

Shavuot is the axis of the journey. The Mishkan and priesthood were inaugurated at Sinai to serve the tribal kingdom of royal priests. We should expect these priestly clothes to be explained in the context of Sinai. Having followed the Presence from Egypt to Sinai, from ”animal food” barley to the finest of wheat at Shavuot in untorn garments of salvation, it was time to receive the additional garments and crowns of a royal priesthood. When the Israelites said, “We will do, and we will hear,” they were awarded two…no, one…crown(s).

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Dr Hollisa Alewine – Footsteps of Messiah Part 61 (The Pomegranate Seal)

The Footsteps of Messiah are echoing through the earth. Yeshua is returning for the righteous, to gather them. He is coming to judge the wicked as well. But what about the “in-betweens”? From the beginning until today, there are “believers” who don’t believe so much that it changes their lives significantly. What should they know about these Footsteps?

The model is found within the feasts of Israel, which culminate in the final feast, the Feast of the Nations, Sukkot (Tabernacles). Three of the seven feasts are the chagim, or “foot festivals” in which Israel was commanded to go up to Jerusalem to celebrate: Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot. Those who are expecting the Footsteps of Messiah Yeshua might also check where their own feet have trod in expectation. Have they proclaimed the Good News of Messiah and the commandments of Elohim?

There are three seasonal firstfruits contained within the foot festivals: barley (Pesach), wheat (Shavuot), and everything else (Sukkot).

At barley, Yeshua resurrected. In Egypt, the Israelites were delivered from sin and death at Pesach. There was little “Torah” to obey, they simply trusted in the lamb’s blood and followed the cloud in faith.

At the wheat harvest of Shavuot, the Israelites made a commitment to the full Torah based on their deliverance by and in the cloud so far, which was in faith. They were in the wilderness. Not yet resurrected in body, but not dead in Egypt, either.

At Sukkot of the nations, a cloud of greater resurrection would occur, one that included the nations. It is then that the Torah cycle concludes, rolling up the commandments. The Torah scrolls are re-rolled at this foot festival, and the reading begins again in Genesis 1:1. Sukkot leads to Pesach, a new beginning.

Let’s return to Shavuot, which comemmorates the giving of the Torah at Sinai. Every year, Israel accepts the yoke of the Torah anew at Shavuot, firstfruits of the wheat, echoing the commitment, “We will do, and we will hear.”

Oddly, the day is never celebrated as one of repentance from sin. Tradition sees the intervening weeks between Pesach and Shavuot as time to do work removing the “encrustations” of sin left over from Egypt, yet Shavuot itself has no repentance themes. In fact, the mussaf sin offering, an extra offering required on feast days, does not apply to Shavuot. It is as if the Israelites are considered sin-free when they received the Torah.


Our Footsteps text is the Song of Songs. From there, we read:

“Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is beautiful. Your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate behind your veil.” (So 4:3)

The symbolism of the pomegranate is thus: the pips represent the individual commandments, because the number of pomegranate pips is approximately 613, the number of the commandments. The high priest wore a garment hemmed with bells and pomegranates, and these made a musical noise as he walked, creating a pleasant atmosphere. Walking in the Word should be both musical and pleasant!

Another symbol of the commandments is jewelry. When Israel sinned with the golden calf, Moses made them remove their jewelry, the ornaments of a Bride. When people removed their gold rings to make the golden calf, they already exchanged the righteousness of Adonai for an idol, and stripping them of the rest of their jewelry pointed out that if they could not remain faithful for 40 days, then they were not ready to enter the Land of Israel.

If the ornaments represent commandments, then it is easy to see that they were adorned with “commandments” on credit to await Moses’ return from the mountain with the rest of the Torah. As we’ve established in the last few newletters, this was the righteousness of Yeshua, the Living Word, credited into their accounts before they had a chance to walk in them. This is the same righteousness the apostles assured the Gentile believers that they’d been credited when they came to faith in Messiah Yeshua. Commandments wouldn’t make them more saved, but they would result as they walked faithfully in the righteousness of their salvation, Yeshua. The Ruach HaKodesh would teach them from that starting point, just as Yeshua promised, and just as was experienced in Acts Two at Shavuot. While they learned, grace would abound.

The fulness of the Torah is promised the betrothed. If we continue to walk faithfully, repenting as necessary, then Adonai makes us to stand and live in the righteousness of them before we fully realize perfection of the body. He clothes our “red” souls. The soul is associated with Esau, or Edom, the “Red One” because it is a bundle of appetites, emotions, desires, and intellect, which must be disciplined by the Ruach (Spirit) within each person, represented by Jacob in the twin analogy.

The righteousness is not our own, for we did not invent it! It is the righteousness of the Father and His son Yeshua, our salvation. Our pips are red, reflecting the salvation and redemption of our red souls. Proverbs Thirty-one is a parable of the Ruach HaKodesh. This is what the Ruach does, it clothes us in the righteousness of Yeshua, which protects us from the judgment of snow (Job 38:22-23):

“She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet.” (Pr 31:21)

The lips like a scarlet thread is the mouth of the righteous, and the Word spoken through them in prayer and faith is a protection against judgment. The betrothed of Yeshua have slice of red pomegranate on their foreheads. Out of 613 pomegranate pips, only a small number apply to each person. It takes a full house of Israel with a functioning Temple and priesthood to observe them all. Each person, however, has his or her own slice, depending upon whether the person is son, daughter, father, mother, merchant, farmer, seller, buyer, animal herder, etc. The number may grow or shrink as the person ages or changes occupation. Just a slice of the whole.

“Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth (speech) is beautiful”

When we confess our faith in Messiah Yeshua and make our equivalent expression to “do and hear” the commandments given by the Father through Moses, we declare our Intention to walk in the Word, which is counted as “doing well,” righteousness credited before learning and performance:

“Go near and hear all that the LORD our God says; then speak to us all that the LORD our God speaks to you, and we will hear and do it.’ The LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the LORD said to me, ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have spoken.” (Dt 5:27-28)

When we make this declaration with true intention, it is believed that we receive two crowns of Torah:

Royalty and leadership

We are welcomed into a royal priesthood nation, and we begin to learn the instructions through which we will lead others to salvation. The righteousness is awarded to us on credit, and we are clothed in scarlet against the day of judgment.
The garments of of righteousness are seen as having protective power to guard against sin, like the scarlet clothes of the Ruach HaKodesh.

When we know what sin is, then we can walk worthy of the credit in our accounts and avoid sin while learning to do good as well. Once we know what sin is, then it is easier to avoid it. When we avoid it, we avoid the judgment and consequences that follow rebellious sin.

What if it’s not rebellious, just ignorant? (Nu 14:9) This is the where grace abounds while we learn. Yeshua knows our suffering and that we are still housed in a corruptible body. For this, he makes intercession. We long for the resurrection of this Old Man Chametz to be raised incorruptible so that we no longer have to live on credit.

Rebellious sin, however, is a retreat to the “in-between,” or lukewarm status of the Laodiceans. But what about the person who just retreats? He or she doesn’t really sin rebelliously, just passively? What if there is no attempt to know Yeshua in the fellowship of his suffering for the sake of righteousness? This, too, is rebellion. Passive aggression is still agression. Passive rebellion against doing good is still rebellion. For those who are lukewarm in redeeming their time, there are ten days between the Feast of Trumpets and Yom HaKippurim for them to repent before the Feast of the Nations at Sukkot.

As we count toward Shavuot, let us commit anew to our slice of the yoke of the Torah and the testimony of Yeshua.

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