Saturday, December 25, 2010

"Hilkiah's Discovery...

...It had been an unusually long day for the high priest, Hilkiah."

And so begins the prologue of a book titled "Torah Rediscovered" (which can be found HERE, as well as on the right side-bar of this blog) by Jewish believers in Jesus, Ariel and D'vorah Berkowitz.

I think it is worth a read if you believe that Jesus (Yeshua) is the Messiah, and the Son of God, and you trust in Him as your Savior.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Holiday Greeting

Happy Chanukah!

If you get the chance, read 1 Maccabees over the next several nights, and consider this time of "Dedication" (which is what the word "chanukah" means) as, perhaps, the time that you might need to re-dedicate yourself to the LORD.

Make a determination at this time to cast off the influences of worldliness ("Greek culture" in the Maccabean narrative) and take hold of biblical precepts - make this a time of renewal for you and your family.

Chag Chanukah Sameach!

Friday, November 19, 2010

New Addition

I recently added "Olive Tree Ministries" to the "Teaching Websites" bar on my blog. I've been downloading Jan's radio programs for about two years now (why I didn't add her website to my blog long ago, I don't know!), and find them very informative.

I found the October 30 program very good, yet extremely troubling as well. I want to encourage you (the reader) to listen to both hours when you get the chance, as I believe Brandon's interview (Brandon Howse, who is sitting in for Jan as she is recovering from back surgery) with John McTernan is right on.

You can get directly to the program HERE - simply left click on the Oct. 30, 2010 link to listen online, or right click and "save as " (or "save target", depending on your browser) to download to your computer. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Pure In Heart

 "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."
 - Matthew 5:8

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by our Pastor to do a teaching for our congregation in his absence. After thinking and praying about it, I ended up doing a simple teaching on "The Beatitudes" (Matt. 5:1-16). I saw how it was a description of God's people; people of faith - those that were being made into the image and likeness of our God and King. It is the "image" of Yeshua - the description of who He is, and who we are supposed to be. As I looked at it myself in study, I saw just how much I did not look like the compilation of descriptive attributes that should be the increasingly dominant nature of God's people. 

It's always good to take a long hard look into the "mirror" of God's word!

I wanted to share a few thoughts on one of the attributes that Yeshua mentioned, and that being of those that were/are "pure in heart." 

We live at a time in history where the words of Yeshua never seemed more true - that the days just prior to His return would be like the days of Noah, and like the days of Lot - and that being, namely, a time in which "violence" covered the earth. A time when men were exceeding blasphemous. When everyone went their own way, chose what was "right" for them. When homosexuality was blatant and in-your-face. When shame was no longer a thought nor care on the mind of anyone. When simple human decency was a rarity. 

Paul hit the nail on the head when he the following: "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty (This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come - KJV). For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power." 2 Tim. 3:1-5 ESV

So, in the midst of all of this, we are yet, and still, confronted with the simple (but NOT simplistic) words of Yeshua: "Blessed are the pure in heart...." But how are we to maintain purity in a day when we are surrounded by the impure? Further, how is this to occur in our lives when it is almost as impure IN THE CHURCH as in the world?!

I have, since the time that I began to really pursue and walk with the LORD, had a message, a burden that is the crowning message of all I say when speaking to anyone about God: Read the bible, and DO it. Get into the word of God WITH THE INTENT of actually obeying Him.But this message seems to be finding increasing numbers of deaf people (deaf spiritually, NOT physically!). Deaf Christians. Deaf and blind people who profess with their mouths the Lord Yeshua, but deny Him in their works.

Am I perfect? Do I think I am perfect? Do I need to answer that? We all (well, most of us) KNOW we are not perfect. But do you (or I) use that as an excuse to live as an impure, worldly, lust filled person?

"Blessed are the PURE in heart...." If someone is pure in heart, they will be pure in motive, and action. God help us. God help His people. If you are reading this, and you KNOW you are not/have not been pure in heart, then go before the LORD in repentance - TRUE repentance - and seek His cleansing, from the inside out. But do not let it be like the person that looks into the mirror, and then forgets what he looks like immediately afterward (cf. Jacob [James] chapter 1). Look into His mirror, the mirror of His word, so that you may see what you really look like, and then wash yourself in the costly, precious blood of His Son, who is able to save to the uttermost. Begin to walk in the newness of life! To "walk" implies that you are going somewhere, not just talking about it. We should walk in purity - now more so than ever. Do NOT let the world and all of it's impurity stick to you.

My first post on this blog was essentially a call for the "Church" to "wake up!" That urgent call has not diminished - not by one jot or tittle. So I will conclude once again with the words of scripture:

"Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled."
"Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame."

"Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."

Titus 1:15, 1 Cor. 15:34 and Eph. 5:14, respectively.

Pray For Asia Bibi

My family and I heard about Asia Bibi's story about a year or so ago when she was arrested, and began praying for her then. Tonight I read that she has been sentenced to death for "blasphemy." Please read about it HERE, and pray for her and her family.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wisdom Concerning Sin

"The wicked make no resistance, but abandon themselves to their evil inclination."1

"Sin lieth at the door" (Gen. iv. 7). Happy is the man who can rise above the sin that lieth in waiting for him."2

"Do not befriend an evil man, and no evil will overtake you."3

"The evil enticer is as cunning as the famous dogs of Rome, who feign sleep when they see the baker with the basket of bread approaching the palace, and are thus able to snatch the loaves from the incautious carrier. He pretends at first great mildness, the gentleness of a woman, but soon shows the boldness of a strong man; he begs admittance like an outcast, but eventually becomes master of the situation."4

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."5

"Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness."6

"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart."7

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."8

1,2,3,4: Genesis Rabbah
5: Heb. 12:1-4
6: 1 John 3:4
7: 2 Tim. 2:22
8: 1 Tim. 6:10-12

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The "Jewishness" Of The New Testament

We live during a period of time that has seen remarkable new scholarship and discovery within the pages of the New Testament writings, both from Christian AND Jewish scholars. The "Jewishness" of Jesus (Yeshua), once a fact known primarily in the back of a few Christian minds, and slightly more so in the academic world, though hugely ignored by the majority, is now at the forefront of much of what is written and spoken about in our modern time about Jesus/Yeshua...and for good reason: Jesus was (and still is) a Jew! That fact cannot (indeed, MUST not) be ignored, nor forgotten, especially when one seeks to understand His teachings (given in the NT), and how one ought to "...walk according to His commandments..." (see 2 John 1:6), and to "...walk, even as He walked..." (see 1 John 2:6).

 With this in mind, I wanted to re-print the following article form the website  My Jewish Learning, and while I don't agree with the idea that the New Testament is anti-Semitic, the bulk of the article is interesting and informative (for one, Jesus does not condemn ALL Jews, nor ALL of the Pharisees, as many "Jews" and "Pharisees" came to trust in Him as the Messiah. The word "Jews" in the NT, many times [though not all] refers to the  "Judeans", and more specifically, the leadership in Judea at the time - note that "multitudes" followed Him, listened to His teachings, and even hailed Him as King during what is commonly referred to as His "triumphal entry"). 

 So, enough said, here is the article - 

What Jews Can Learn from the New Testament

A rich source for understanding the history of Judaism and the history of anti-Semitism.

 By Martin I. Lockshin

It is daunting to think of the number of books a Jew "must" read in order to achieve Jewish literacy. With trepidation I suggest yet another volume to add to that list: the New Testament (NT).

Anyone who lives in a country with a Christian majority (such as the United States or Canada) should acquire basic knowledge of the foundational literature of the dominant faith. Students of the arts need to know stories like the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), the raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-44), and the "passion" of Jesus (i.e. his trial, suffering, and death) or they will be at a disadvantage when studying many works of literature, art, and music. But there are also reasons why Jews, specifically, would gain from study of the New Testament. It is a rich source for a better understanding of Jewish history, Jewish thought, Jewish law, and the history of anti-Semitism.
jews and the new testament
Almost all of the books of the NT were written by Jews, many of them during one of the most eventful periods of Jewish history: just before and just after the destruction of the Second Temple (in 70 C.E.). Very few Jewish writings from that century survive, and none by the rabbis, the representatives of what soon became normative Judaism, since the rabbis of that period felt that their teachings had to remain oral (a position they eventually abandoned). So really the only surviving religious books written by Jews in the first and second centuries are a few of the later Dead Sea Scrolls and the NT.

Ancient Jewish Sects

Any rabbinic text describing the factions and sects of Jews in Israel in the first century were written much later--only after groups like the Sadducees and the Essenes no longer existed.  And while biblical critics teach us that most of the NT authors never actually saw Jesus--and so their descriptions of his words and actions are at best second-hand reports--these authors definitely did record their first-hand knowledge and experience of what it was like for a Jew to live in the Land of Israel in the first century, under the oppressive Roman occupation.  They often described the old Jewish sects and the tensions between them in very realistic ways.

For example, the book of Acts (23:1-10) tells a surprising story about Paul, who realized he was in danger from a Jewish crowd because of his belief that Jesus had been resurrected and that faith in Jesus was the only way of achieving salvation. Paul figured out an ingenious way to escape their wrath:

 "When Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council (verse 6), 'Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead, I am on trial'." In other words, Paul convinced the crowd that all the opposition to him had originated from Sadducees--who did not believe in the concept of resurrection and who were angry that Paul was teaching that resurrection of the dead would occur. Once Paul made that claim, the book of Acts records that the Pharisees in the crowd rallied to Paul's defense ("We find nothing wrong with this man") and he successfully escaped the angry members of the crowd.

This text creates the impression that, in the first century, the followers of Jesus might have been very similar to the Pharisees--the faction that went on to become the dominant group of rabbinic Judaism.  And there are many other texts in the NT that support this idea.

Familiar Language & Ideas

In fact, the more a modern Jewish reader is acquainted with rabbinic literature, the more he or she is likely to find texts of interest in the NT, and to notice just how similar many NT teachings are to those of the rabbis. For example, Jesus is quoted in Mark as coming to the defense of some of his disciples who had been criticized by the Pharisees for breaking the laws of the Sabbath. Jesus said that they had done no wrong since "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27).

Some readers over the years have concluded that Jesus was making an antinomian statement, devaluing the Sabbath.  But students of rabbinic literature will recognize that Jesus' words sound very similar to those of Rabbi Yonatan b. Yosef in the Talmud,  explaining why the Sabbath may be desecrated to save a human life (Yoma 85b): "'It [= the Sabbath] is holy for you' means that the Sabbath was handed over to you and you were not handed over to it."  This is not to say that Jesus and Rabbi Yonatan would necessarily agree about the criteria that justify breaking the Sabbath.  But Jesus' remarks appear much more orthodox when read beside those of Rabbi Yonatan.

Much of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) reads, on a rhetorical level, like an anti-rabbinic text. In it Jesus argues that the righteousness of "the Scribes and the Pharisees" (= the rabbis) is insufficient and he challenges his followers to strive for what he considered a higher level of morality. The "Lord's prayer" (Matthew 6:9-13) is introduced by Jesus with a charge to his followers not to pray the way the hypocrites pray in synagogue.

But, in fact, every phrase in the prayer can be found in rabbinic literature.  For example the opening phrase, "Our father who art in heaven" is simply the Hebrew phrase avinu she-ba-shamayim, found in the beginning of many rabbinic prayers.  And the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount are, on most points, very similar to those of the rabbis. Books like The Jewish Sources of the Sermon on the Mount, by Gerald Friedlander, show just how many teachings of the NT, particularly those found in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), are parallel and sometimes even identical to the teachings of the rabbis. 

For example, Jesus claims in Matthew (19:9) that divorce is permitted only in a case of adultery and his position is presented there as being in stark opposition to that of the Pharisees.  Students of Mishnah know that a great rabbi in the generation before Jesus said the same thing (the opinion of the house of Shamai in Gitin 9:10). 

Both Jews and Christians ought to understand that most of Jesus' reported teachings are, from a rabbinic perspective, not particularly revolutionary or even new, and that the rift between Judaism and Christianity is a function of what was said about Jesus after his death.

The Difference between Jews and Christians

Of course, that is not the whole story. Careful Jewish readers of the NT will come to a better understanding of the vast theological differences between Jews and Christians--for example, on the issue of whether God can have a son, and whether God can be incarnated in a human body. Jews will also find interest in reading the virulently anti-Jewish passages of the NT that have resonated in the minds of many Christians over the ages.

It is hard for a Jew not to be taken aback when reading Paul's reaction upon hearing that a group of recent Christian converts were considering becoming circumcised.  Paul castigates them: "If you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you" (Galatians 5:2). And, for good measure, Paul expresses the hope that the (presumably Jewish) advocates of circumcision will let the knife slip and mutilate themselves (Galatians 5:11). While modern scholars have tried to contextualize and tone down the shocking words of Jesus to a group of Jews, "You are of your father the devil" (John 8:44), Jews should know about this and similar statements in the NT because throughout most of the last two millennia, many Christians did believe literally that the Jews were associated with the devil, their father.

Jews can read the NT to see both the strong Jewish values and the strong anti-Jewish values there. Virtually every page of the NT addresses Judaism either implicitly or explicitly. Jews who want to read a "Jewish book" will find much of interest there.
Martin I. Lockshin Martin I. Lockshin, Ph.D., is a professor at the Centre for Jewish Studies at York University in Toronto. He received rabbinic ordination after studying at the yeshiva founded by Rav Kook in Jerusalem.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Faithful Witness

"And so they did; therefore [Faithful] was
presently condemned to be had from the place where he was, to the place from
whence he came, and there to be put to the most cruel death that could be

     They therefore brought him out, to do with him according to their Law;
and first they Scourged him, then they Buffeted him, then they Lanced his
flesh with Knives; after that they Stoned him with stones, then pricked him
with their Swords; and last of all they burned him to ashes at the Stake. Thus
came Faithful to his end.

     Now I saw that there stood behind the multitude a Chariot and a couple of
Horses, waiting for Faithful, who (so soon as his adversaries had dispatched
him) was taken up into it, and straitway was carried up through the Clouds,
with sound of Trumpet, the nearest way to the Coelestial Gate.

Brave Faithful, bravely done in word and deed;
Judge, Witnesses, and Jury have, instead
Of overcoming thee, but shewn their rage:
When they are Dead, thou'lt Live from age to age.

     But as for Christian, he had some respite, and was remanded back to
prison; so he there remained for a space: But he that over-rules all things,
having the power of their rage in his own hand, so wrought it about, that
Christian for that time escaped them, and went his way. And as he went he
sang, saying,

Well Faithful, thou hast faithfully profest
Unto thy Lord; with whom thou shalt be blest,
When faithless ones, with all their vain delights,
Are crying out under their hellish plights:
Sing, Faithful, sing, and let thy name survive;
For though they kill'd thee, thou art yet alive.

     Now I saw in my Dream, that Christian went not forth alone, for there was
one whose name was Hopeful, (being made so by the beholding of Christian and
Faithful in their words and behaviour, in their sufferings at the Fair) who
joined himself unto him, and entering into a brotherly covenant, told him that
he would be his Companion. Thus one died to make Testimony to the Truth, and
another rises out of his ashes to be a Companion with Christian in his
- The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Joyous Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)

I am posting an update from HaYovel, a ministry of believers in Yeshua that goes to Israel on a regular basis to help with the pruning, and then in the Fall, the harvest of some of the vineyards there.

Shalom, and Happy Feast of Tabernacles!  You may want to pour a cup of tea and settle in, or gather the family around for a read-aloud, because our Heavenly Father has been moving, and teaching us, and I'm excited to tell you all about it!

Right now, the Waller family and the HaYovel harvest team are IN God's chosen land, WITH His covenant people, AT one of His appointed times, and they are blessed to be witnesses to His glory, as they watch His faithful hand of blessing at work! Here's a picture of the current crowd as they are rejoicing before the Lord in keeping the Feast of Tabernacles ("Sukkot," in Hebrew):

crowded sukkah

"These are the feasts of YHWH, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons."  (Leviticus 23:4)

All throughout scripture, we find the theme of holiness. We often think of holiness as something "above" us, but what it really means is "set apart" for God's purpose. He has chosen a holy place - Israel; a holy people - the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and holy times - His appointed feasts, through which to reveal Himself to mankind. And as one of the harvesters said recently, "When something's holy, it's holy forever!"

We only have to look at the story of Isaac and Jacob in Genesis 27 to find a vivid example of the irrevocable nature of a blessing. When Isaac realized that Jacob had "stolen" his blessing, he "trembled very exceedingly" (v. 33), but even he who had pronounced the blessing could not change it or take it back! How much more will our faithful God, who promised and delivered the Messiah to the world keep His Word regarding His covenant people and the land he set apart for them as their inheritance "forever" (Genesis 13:15)? 

Immediately after Abraham was promised this land, he "came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto YHWH" (Genesis 13:18). Our harvesters have had the enormous privilege this week of Sukkot, of taking part in a festival in this same city of Hebron!

A few weeks ago, the group went on a tour of Hebron with a local guide, David Wilder. They were greatly impressed by the stories of the Jewish residents of the city, and by the evidence of the unmistakable hand of God guiding their lives, strengthening their resolve, and granting them grace to face much hardship, as they are surrounded by an enemy who regularly seeks their defeat and death. The atmosphere in Hebron was significantly lighter this week as around 30,000 Jewish Israelis flooded into the city to celebrate the Festival of Sukkot with music, dancing and camping!

The group highlight on the initial tour was standing in the very gates of ancient Hebron, mentioned in Genesis 23, where Abraham bargained for the cave at Machpelah, in which to bury Sarah. For some, even that was topped by the opportunity this week to spend the night near the cave itself, with a few of the men being invited to sleep in the sukkah built adjoining the cave, where lie the bones of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Leah themselves!! (that's worth a few more exclamation points, isn't it?) !!!!

Here's a picture of the campout under the stars in Hebron, where God poured out His perfect love that casts out all fear, and 100 volunteers enjoyed a peaceful night's rest:

Hebron campout

Oh, and if you are wondering about the harvest, it is proceeding along, amid the celebrations. The morning after the campout, the teams of vinedressers were expected at three separate vineyards to continue bringing in the grapes. The work is much faster these days, with so many hands available to help!

And speaking of hands to help, the dates have been set for the Spring pruning trip (which is much easier to predict than the harvest! ;-) If you are interested in getting in on the sort of excitement we've been describing, please make a note on your calendar that the pruning trip is scheduled for February 1 through March 15. You will want to start thinking about passports and tickets soon. (Unfortunately, ladies, this trip opportunity is just for the men, due to housing and other concerns, so you just get that much longer to save up your pennies for next year's harvest!)

I also want to let you know about an addition to the HaYovel Shop, at www.HaYovel.com. We have added a book you will all want to read, called "The Mountains of Israel," by Norma Parrish Archbold. It is a quick read, and does an excellent job of explaining the history and extreme importance of Judea and Samaria, in relation to the Bible and God's covenant with this Land. If you already have understanding in this area, let me recommend this book as a great resource for you to lend or pass on to someone who wants to know more. This information is vital to HaYovel's message and work, and we love it so much we are offering it for sale at a 20% discount off the cover price! It is only $8 for a copy, so please buy one if you can, and pass it around!

There's so much more to tell, I could go on and on - about the favor the teams have found in the eyes of the vineyard owners and their communities; about one owner who entertained the children with balloon animals, about making flutes in Shiloh, and worshiping at the Tabernacle site on Yom Kippur, the "Day of Atonement!"

I'll leave you for now with a final vision of a grateful recipient of help from HaYovel - Nir, the owner of the Har Bracha vineyard, saying "thank you!":

Nir saying "thanks!"

And thank YOU again for your prayers and support!

Be blessed in the Name of Yeshua,

Amy Mucklestone

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

As America Does to Israel...

This post from John McTernan is just one of many posts he has written in order to show the correlation between when America pressures Israel to divide their covenant land, and many "disasters" that come our way, neck and neck, or on the heals of said pressure. I think it's worth the read, and worth really considering.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Death, Resurrection, Repentance, and Remission of Sins - In the "O.T."

Luke 24:45-49 -

"Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."

These words of Yeshua were spoken by Him to His disciples when He finally made an appearance to them all at once. Previously, He had been seen by a few of the woman that had followed Him, including His Mother, as well as some of His disciples. Now He is showing Himself to the group as a whole, as He is preparing to depart from their sight into the heavens, which, as Peter put it in Acts 3 "...must receive [Him] until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."

What is intriguing is how He rebuked them, in a sense, for not believing that He should have died and rose again from the grave, because, as He said, these things were spoken of by Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. In other words, the picture was painted in the scriptures, so why were they so unbelieving when reports of His resurrection came in?

It is also interesting to note that "Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms" are what make up what is today referred to by Jews as the "Tenakh" (an acronym for "Torah", "Nevi'im", and "Kethuvim" - ie, the Law [Moses], the Prophets, and the Writings [Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ruth, etc.]).

Many Christians will point out this verse and share while witnessing that Yeshua's death, burial, and resurrection are described in the (what they call) the Old Testament, and will often point to Isaiah 53, and Psalm 22 as the main texts to speak of these things. And in this, they are correct. Furthermore, modern Judaism rejects these passages as speaking of the Messiah (probably because Christianity points to them as being fulfilled by 'Jesus', whom Judaism for the most part rejects as being the Messiah), but the ancients definitely point to these passages as speaking of the Messiah (cf. the Targums, the Midrash Rabbah, the Dead Sea scrolls, et al, for example). In fact, the Talmud states that "All the prophets prophesied not but of the days of the Messiah" - (Sanhedrin 99a). If "all the prophets" spoke of "nothing" but of the "days of Messiah", then that would include Isaiah, who was a prophet, and of whom Is. 53 was written, and it would include David, who made many prophetic utterances in the Psalms that he wrote.

While Isaiah 53, and Psalm 22 certainly have been pointed to by both Christians, and more anciently, Jews as speaking of the Messiah, Yeshua said that Moses also spoke of "these things." Furthermore, Yeshua said that not only was His death and resurrection spoken of by Moses and the prophets, and the writings, but that the message of repentance, and the remission of sins were also spoken of by Moses and the prophets, and the writings. But that's not all. Look at Luke 24:49 - apparently there was/is a "promise of [His] Father, that, in the context of verses 45-49, are also spoken of in the Tenakh! And what was/is that promise? It is the promise of the outpouring of His Spirit upon His people!

Now, here is the million dollar question: Where, in Moses (the Torah, or, "Law") specifically, but also in the prophets and the writings is it spoken of that the Messiah would die, then resurrect; that repentance and remission of sins would be preached unto the Gentiles (Nations), and that the Father would pour out His Spirit upon His people? (BTW, if you are wondering why I am saying that the "promise of [His] Father" is the pouring out of His Spirit, it is because Yeshua told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the promise was given. The book of Acts, which was written by Luke as well, picks up where he left off in His gospel narration - and in Acts chapter two, the disciples were waiting in Jerusalem, specifically in the Temple, at the festival of Shavuot, or "Pentacost", when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them in power. Peter then told the crowds that what they were witnessing was a fulfillment of that promise).

I have made the study and understanding of these things a big priority in my life, and have learned many wonderful things that I never learned, saw, nor understood before. I hope to provoke you to seek out these things as well. The purpose of this blog in the beginning was to provoke God's people to "prove ('test') all things", and to "hold fast that which is good." It is to sound a wake up call to His people, and to the world to WAKE UP, open up their (our) eyes, and repent (return to the LORD).

Study the word of God, for there are many wonderful truths within it, truths which we have not known. Isaiah 53, and Psalm 22 are not the ONLY places where Yeshua is "spoken" of. And there are MANY, things spoken about concerning the place of the Gentiles within God's work with and among Israel. If you are  Gentile who believes in the Messiah of Israel, you may want to search and see what Moses, the Prophets, and the Writings have to say about you!

Be blessed in Yeshua the Messiah.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Don Ross and Andy McKee

Not an extremely spiritual post this time - I hope to have a REAL post soon (been very, very busy these last 6 months) - but I thought I would share a couple of YouTubes that I enjoy very much.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tribute To My Dad

I wanted to take a few moments to offer a small tribute to my Dad.

My Dad was a crew chief on a helicopter in the Vietnam war. He fought for his country, and whether the war was "right" or not, he did his part because he felt that it was the right thing for him to do. When many others were protesting, or running and hiding in school, or in another country, he went straight to the recruiters office so that he could serve his country.

I am proud of my Dad.

In 1979, my Dad became a follower of Jesus. I was 6 years old. Before that, we had no religious upbringing at all. We were a secular family. But through a series of people witnessing to him, and situations, he came to put his trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Over the next 9-12 months, my Mom came to believe along with him, and so our family came to know the Lord. And since then, many of our extended family have become believers in Jesus - all beginning with my Dad. He led his immediate, and then extended family to the Lord, and many of us have obtained eternal life because of it.

I am Thankful for my Dad.

Through the years my Dad has faced many obstacles (too many to enumerate now), and has been loyal to my Mom, my brother, myself, my two sisters, all of his grandchildren, his extended family and friends through it all. He has always been there for us, and has been an example of loyalty, honor, respect, leadership, devotion, and self sacrifice. he has shown himself to be the kind of man that I would like to be.

I love my Dad.

Happy Fathers day Dad.

May you have many more days before you, and may they be blessed and honored.


Friday, June 11, 2010

How This World Is Going Mad (Or, The Lopsided Position Of The World Against Israel)

I found this video very interesting, and I am blessed to see this young man showing such bravery and boldness. May God grant to His people flint-like faces (see Is.50:7) in the face of a growing world enemy.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Great Article By Shmuley Boteach

I thought this article on WND was very good...and unfortunately, so true.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

As Becometh Saints

So, my wife and I made a commitment 2 or 3 years ago that I want to share, not only just for sharing sake, but also because I believe it is biblical and good for ANYONE who seeks to follow Yeshua (Jesus). We got to talking one day about movies and entertainment, and began asking ourselves why it was that we would not let our children watch certain movies because of language, sexual content, etc., but allow ourselves to watch such movies. We had been growing increasingly uncomfortable with movies that had the language, etc., and felt a bit hypocritical watching movies that contained these elements while not allowing our kids to watch them because of those very elements! After all, what was the reason for not allowing them to watch movies that had cussing, excessive violence, etc.? Well, just like anyone I suppose, it was and is because it is inappropriate material for children. But here's the question we asked ourselves - why is it not appropriate for them, but o.k. for us? Why should supposed "adult" material actually be appropriate for...adults? Where on earth did we get the idea that foul language, sexual content, etc. was "adult"? To be honest, these were the very behaviors I had picked up during jr. high and high school, and had to turn from when I came to the LORD. Rather than "cussing" being an "adult" activity, it is quite juvenile. Sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman (you have to be specific nowadays!) is not only inappropriate, it is plainly sinful. Let me ask the question - is pornography wrong (especially for a follower of Yeshua)? Why would a sexual encounter in a movie, while maybe not as explicitly shown, not be wrong? Actually, the bible is not silent concerning this issue. There is no supposed "Christian liberty" concerning the matter. Paul tells us plainly the following:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things."

"But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks."

"I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes...."
(Phil. 4:8; Eph. 5:3,4; Psalm 101: 2,3a respectively).

There is absolutely no justification for any believer/follower of Yeshua to put in front of their face "entertainment" that contains so-called "adult" material. The supposed "adult" material that is so pervasive in today's culture is for the world - NOT for people who seek to follow Yeshua (Jesus)! In fact, the above quotes are from the KJV (obviously), but check out Eph. 5:3,4 in the ISV - "Do not let sexual sin, impurity of any kind, or greed even be mentioned among you, as is proper for saints. Obscene, flippant, or vulgar talk is totally inappropriate. Instead, let there be thanksgiving." Here I'd like to share a quote from Andrew Murray's "Abide in Christ":

"In him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not."--1 JOHN 3:5,6.
"YE KNOW," the apostle had said, "that He was manifested to take away our sin," and had thus indicated salvation from sin as the great object for which the Son was made man. The connection shows clearly that the taking away has reference not only to the atonement and freedom from guilt, but to deliverance from the power of sin, so that the believer no longer does it. It is Christ's personal holiness that constitutes His power to effect this purpose. He admits sinners into life union with Himself; the result is, that their life becomes like His. "In Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not." As long as he abides, and as far as he abides, the believer does not sin. Our holiness of life has its roots in the personal holiness of Jesus. "If the root be holy, so also are the branches." (Emphasis mine).

What we call "adult" material is not "adult" at all - it is completely juvenile, immature, and wholly inappropriate. We are supposed to be maturing in the LORD. Let me assure you, if it is inappropriate for your children to watch because of what has already been mentioned, it is inappropriate for YOU. In fact, Yeshua even said the following:

"Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Matt. 18:3

Children are innocent and pure regarding filthy language, sexual immorality, etc. It is when they are exposed to these things that they become defiled. We are not only to protect them from such filth as much as is in our control (because you can't control the world, but you CAN control your own household), but are ourselves to "become like children" - not in immaturity, or in knowledge and understanding, but in purity and innocence.

This is a clarion call (or even better, a shofar blast!) to all who name themselves followers of the God of the bible...the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob... the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua Meshiach (Jesus Christ), that we put away ALL filthiness from our face, and prepare to meet our Bridegroom...after all, He is returning for a pure and spotless bride!

In closing I want to say that there ARE certain things to be watched that may be inappropriate for little children, such as a holocaust documentary, etc., that are certainly appropriate for adults/young adults - but it is inappropriate for obvious reasons. I'm not talking about such things - hopefully that is apparent.

Saint...believer/follower of Yeshua (Jesus)...Christian - please seriously consider what I've shared. It is time that believers quit acting like the world, and begin molding their lives after the Savior that they claim to follow, who happens to be Lord and Savior!

Hoshiana Adonai!
Maranatha Yeshua!



Sunday, May 16, 2010

Your Opportunity

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

Today, if you are reading this, you have the opportunity to have your sins washed away, never to be accounted to you again. Many people mock God today (exactly as Paul said would happen - cf. 2 Timothy 3:1-5), as evidenced on Ray Comfort's blog every single day. May God open the eyes of their understanding. However, maybe you have begun to experience a hunger, a longing to be released from the burden of guilt that you have. You are tired, and weary, and are longing for something to come and free you from an inner bondage that you may or may not even understand. If this is you, re-read the verse above. Then read the following: "Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness...."

There is cleansing for you, if you will listen the word of God, believe it, and obey it. Troublesome times are upon us, and they are only going to get worse. You don't need the burden and guilt of unresolved sin piled upon your head as well. Obey the gospel, and be free.

To those that would pass by without a care towards God, His Messiah Yeshua, and the cleansing He offers, I pray that one day your heart will be softened.

For those that "...hunger and thirst for righteousness..." Yeshua says "...they shall be satisfied." Take hold of Him (Yeshua) TODAY!

If you have a bible, pick it up and start reading it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Resistance On A Bicycle

My wife and I listened to a man speak about two months ago about his experience of growing up in Holland during WWII. His name is Dirk Van Leenan. His parents had a direct impact during that time as they were a part of the resistance - hiding Jews, smuggling food cards, etc.

He wrote two books, one of which we purchased a couple of weeks ago, titled "Resistance on a Bicycle." It's very gripping, and I wanted to make mention of it, and encourage you to read it. I believe that when people have experienced things such as the holocaust, it is our responsibility to listen to their stories, especially at a time when there are actually people in the world who DENY that it happened! Well, you can't silence the truth. The rocks will cry out, if necessary!

My family and I had to move to AZ. temporarily for work, and Dirk happens to own a Flower shop just two miles or so from where we are staying. So if you are in "the valley" in AZ. (Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix, etc.), then I want to urge you to make your floral purchases through "Roses Galore Floral Designs" located at 3048 E. McKellips Dr. in Mesa.

Here is the link to where his book can be purchased - or, if you are in Mesa, you can go to his flower shop and purchase it there, and say hi to him (and have him sign it).

May we not let the memory of the events of the holocaust, and the many precious people who suffered by it be lost.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

RE: Jennifer Knapp

Most of you by now are probably aware of the "coming out" of popular "Christian" music artist Jennifer Knapp.

I thought this blog post by Pastor Bob Botsford (never heard of him before until I read his post concerning Jen), was a good, balanced post, though I have to say that what we are seeing in the "Christian" world concerning the coming out/exposing of many of it's beloved artists, and the hypocrisy of the Evangelical community and it's open stance against homosexuality while being consumed in sin itself (rampant divorce, adultery, etc.) is telling of the times. A "Church" that has rejected God's word, and wallowed in it's continued downward spiral are now reaping what it has sown.

One last comment. While I agree with the second to the last paragraph in Pastor Bob's post in that sexual sin is by no means on par with eating shellfish, etc., I do not agree with his statement that the NT brings out a "new level of understanding" regarding them (though I am aware that much of Christendom would agree with him).

When Yeshua returns, will He find faith on the earth?!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Commandments or traditions?

"He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with [their] lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do." - Mark 7:6-8

I'm sure that many reading this would be familiar with the passage, as much as they would understand that this statement was made by Yeshua to the Pharisees, a first century sect within Judaism, in the presence of His (Yeshua's) disciples. Yeshua was responding to an accusation made by the Pharisees that His disciples were basically in the wrong because they ate some grain (basically bread) without having washed their hands first. If you read the passage (Mark 7:1-23), you will get a much better understanding of the whole context of the dispute - I do not want to take the time to flesh it all out right now so that I can get to the issue I want to point out. (BTW, I do not recommend that you read it in the NIV, nor in the ESV, because I believe they slaughter the translation of this passage, particularly in vs. 19!)

One of the favorite labels, or accusations that Christians like to ascribe to other Christians when they feel that the other is being too strict with their own life, or with another is..."Pharisee." It is the best way that many feel they can get another Christian to "back off", so-to-speak, or, to discredit the alleged "Pharisee" to others. Now, I do believe that with "right judgment" (cf. Lev. 19:35; John 7:24), people that are "Pharisaical" can be identified. However, I also think that the "Pharisee" label is way to often employed. And one area that is often the situation for accusation is in the case of holidays/holy days. There has long been debate over the issue of what day/days are biblical/non-biblical.

Without getting into specifics here, let me simply ask a few questions: Why do you celebrate the days, and, or, times that you do? Where did/do they come from? How did they develop? Are they simply traditions of men, or do they come from the scriptures? And last but not least...are you sure that God is pleased with them?

In time to come I hope to flesh this out more, but in the mean time I hope you will take the time to begin to ask some very pointed questions of yourself, and what it is that you believe. If you truly care about what God has to say about it in His word, are you willing to really prove your beliefs and examine yourself (1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Cor. 13:5 respectively)? Are you following the scriptures, or the traditions of men...traditions that are not harmless, but are in fact contrary to His word?

Do you know?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Holocaust Memorial Day - Today

I'd like to mention that today is Holocaust Memorial Day, so if you have a moment, visit the link I have on the left side labeled "Yad Vashem" - a link that takes you to the official Holocaust Memorial website.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Long Time - No Post

I'm sorry that I haven't posted in a while - work ran dry where I live so I had to go out of town for a month and a half. I hope to post something substantial soon - in the meantime, I have added a new website link to the "Teaching Websites" section. The ministry is called "Shatter the Darkness", and is the ministry of Pastor Russ Dizdar. I want to warn you that at first glance, you might be freaked out by his website. His ministry deals with confronting the satanic agenda in all of it's forms. You must listen to his teachings and read his writings before you make any judgment calls based on the website design and titles of much of his material. I've been somewhat following his ministry for approx. 2 years now, and have learned some very disturbing, but I believe, important information from him. For a brief bio of Russ, you can go here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sycamore: The 9/11 Tragedy Movie

Several months ago I posted a link to an article at HolyBibleProphecy.com called "Sycamore: The 9/11 Tragedy, where a very powerful argument is presented to show that the 9/11 events were indeed judgment from God - a kind of warning judgment that if we (America) do not repent, worse judgment is coming.

Well, the movie version is now available. I will provide the link below with this disclaimer -linking to this movie is not necessarily an endorsement by me of everything at Holy Bible Prophecy, or even the political views of the film makers. However, I DO agree with the basic message of the movie.

The movie can be viewed here:


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Allusions In Numbers

It is no secret that the Tenakh ("Old Testament") uses numbers symbolically - most readers of the bible are familiar with the frequent use of the number 7 for example. In fact, there is a method of bible study called "gematria", which is the study of numerics in he bible. While I DO believe there is some merit to numerical study in the scriptures, I am very cautious, as one could really come to some bizarre conclusions, hence, I don't particularly follow gematria per se, but rather, I take note of common numerical themes which are demonstrably in the biblical text.

In the first chapter of Matthew, we read of the genealogy of Yeshua. Matthews genealogy is interesting, because he starts at Abraham, and counts it in such a way as to achieve a certain numeric outcome. The verse reads as follows: "So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations." Matt. 1:17

Three times Matthew draws out the number fourteen (7x2) in referring to Yeshua's genealogy. Why was this number so important to Matthew? One of the reasons is readily seen if you understand the link that Matthew is seeking to point out to the reader between Yeshua, and His Messianic link to David.

David was anointed King of Israel by Samuel the Prophet in 1 Samuel ch. 16. Of course, he didn't actually take the office of King until many years later. In 2 Samuel ch. 7, David is given a promise by YHVH that his "throne" would be "established for ever" (spec. vs. 16). Without getting into all of the details concerning the issue, I will just point out that, both within Judaism and Christianity, it is understood that the Messiah would be the King of Israel, sitting on the throne of David, His Patrilineal Ancestor.

So, with that quick (very quick!) lesson, let's understand Matthews desire to point out the relevance of Yeshua's genealogy to the fact that He is the Messiah of Israel, via His link to David. The numeric value of David's name happens to be fourteen (David's name in Hebrew is comprised of the letters 'dalet', 'vav', and another 'dalet'. The numeric value of the letter 'dalet' is 4. the numeric value of the letter 'vav' is 6. so with two 'dalet's' and a 'vav', we have fourteen.).

This link between the numeric value of David's name, and the way that Matthew breaks Yeshua's genealogy into three sets of fourteen has been pointed out before by many bible teachers. I simply wanted to explain it so that my next point would have a backdrop that made sense.

This weeks Torah portion is called "T'rumah", and encompasses Exodus 25:1 to Exodus 27:19. This portion begins with the receiving of offerings from the people of Israel for the purpose of constructing the Tabernacle, as well as the various "furnishings" that would go with it. The first three items that we read about are the "Ark" ("of the covenant" as it came to be known), the "Mercy seat", and the "Table" ("of shewbread"). Each item came with specific instructions as to how they were to be built, including the exact size of the item. Now what I really want to get to is the size of these three items. We read in Ex. ch. 25 the following, concerning the actual dimensions of the "ark", "mercy seat", and "table", respectively: "They shall make an ark of acacia wood. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height...You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth...You shall make a table of acacia wood. Two cubits shall be its length, a cubit its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height" (Ex. 25:10,17,23 - ESV).

Notice that the total size of the ark is 5.5 cubits. The mercy seat comes out to 4.0 cubits. The table ends up being 4.5 cubits. When these three are added together we get a total of 14 cubits!

The symbolism of these three pieces of "furniture" are significant indeed, when viewed from a Messianic perspective, and in light of the Apostolic writings ("New Testament"), however that is not the scope nor purpose of this post. I simply wanted to point out that the measurements of the three first items listed in Ex. 25 equal 14, a number associated with David, the King of Israel, and, according to Matthews genealogy of Yeshua, the "son of David" who is to assume the throne in the future.

I have by no means exhausted the meaning and symbolism of this in my own study (which I will continue to do), and even less so in this post. I merely wanted to share these simple correlations here, and hopefully provoke others out there to examine it in more detail. Hopefully together, we can gain a deeper understanding of the scriptures that will continue to equip us in the knowledge and understanding of God's Holy, AWESOME word!

Be blessed in Yeshua our King!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

America's Eventual Downfall? More Evidence...

Steve Collins had a good post this morning (not "good" as in "good news", but "good" as in "good info."), highlighting an important development in the continuous, bizarre actions of the current "administration" in the White House.

Lord Yeshua, come quickly - Maranatha!

Friday, January 29, 2010

That They Should Believe A Lie

"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12

When I saw the above ad for Chris Angels' new "show", I was immediately struck by the name of his new offering, and how the three middle letters were purposely highlighted. I had never seen any of Chris Angel's programs - I had only heard of him. So, after I saw the ad, I went to You Tube and punched in his name. I ended up watching two videos - one of him walking on water, and one of him walking through a window pane! How interesting that Yeshua both walked on water, and after His resurrection could just appear in a room with a locked door.

I cannot judge a man that I know very little about, and while it is tempting to ascribe "demonic power" to the source of Chris' "stunts", the truth is that I just don't know whether his "tricks" truly are just "smoke and mirrors", or if there really is something more sinister involved (as some claim). Either way, it's not really important for the sake of this post. What is germane to what I would like to address is the interesting correlation between the name of his show that is being advertised: "Believe." Notice that in his ad, the "L" "I" "E" in the word "believe" are in bold, so as to stand out. This made me immediately think of the verse that I highlighted above, namely, that those who refuse a love of the truth (Yeshua said "I am the way, the truth, and the life..." - John 14:6; He also said "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." - John 17:17, quoting Psalm 119:142 - "Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.) would "believe the lie." Notice the word "believe" and "lie" in that verse.

When I watched the You Tube videos, I asked the LORD "what is this?!" Immediately my thoughts were taken back to the Torah portion just two weeks ago, where Pharaoh's magicians mimicked with their "enchantments" the first few miracles that Moses performed by the hand of YHVH.

After Chris walked on the water, the reaction of the crowd was, of course, amazement. One woman in particular just kept saying "Chris is the MAN!"

When someone does something great (at least, "great" in the eyes of some), they are usually given immediate respect and honor. If someone were to perform a "miracle", most people would automatically begin listening to, and believing whatever they say. This is precisely the opposite of what the bible would teach us to do: We should pay attention to a persons words, AND ACTIONS - as in their lifestyle - in order to determine whether they are someone to be listened to or not. Biblically, a person can perform great miracles and signs, but be a false prophet (cf. Deut. 13 for example) actually allowed (and dare I say, sent?) by God, to further deceive the deceived, and to test His people.

Whether Chris' "magic" are simply clever "tricks", or whether there is something more involved is not the issue. What does Chris say? How does he live? What if he, in the future, began platforming some of his religious and political thoughts? How many people would listen to him solely because of the "amazing" things he performs? How about if someone in the future were to perform even greater "tricks" (say, like calling fire down from heaven perhaps? - Revelation 13:11-14 "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.)? How many people would listen to and believe a person who could do such things (Hint: We have the answer already. he will deceive "...them that dwell on earth by the means of those miracles....")?

I am convinced that the spirit of Antichrist has been at work for Millenia. I am even more convinced that he is stepping things up in these last days. And remember that John told us (in 1 John 2:18) that though there is/will be THE Antichrist, there are also "many" Antichrists already! I believe the spirit of Antichrist is becoming more brazen and bold as the days pass on, and the time of the "end" draws near (not "end" as in ceasing to exist, but "end", as in end of this "age"/"era").

Chris Angels' new "show" is just one more warning sign (I.M.H.O.) of the times we are heading into. The title of his new "show" is very revealing, I "believe" (yes, pun intended).

Read your bible daily (B.T.W. - when I say "bible", I don't mean the Quran, or the Bhagavad Gita, or the Tao, et al - I mean the "Bible", as in Genesis to Revelation!). I will say it again - READ YOUR BIBLE DAILY. Get to know the mind of God via His word (again, Yeshua said "Thy word is truth"), seeking His Holy (set apart) Spirit to teach you all things (cf. 1 John 2:27), and obey what you read, for He is able to guide you into ALL truth! In doing so you will gain maturity, and in maturity wisdom, understanding, and discernment, all of which will be, and already are, desperately needed in the days in which we live.

Chen v'shalom (grace and peace) in Yeshua our Messiah.

Secret Destiny Of America?

I am about 2/3rd's of the way through Tom Horn's new book "Apollyon Rising 2012: The Lost Symbol Found and the Final Mystery of the Great Seal Revealed" and I have to say that so far it is staggeringly alarming. I have been looking into the issues surrounding our "Founding Fathers", the founding of America, the obviously pagan architecture and symbolism that is all over D.C., as well as the one dollar bill, Freemasonry (My wife's Grandfather was a 32nd degree Freemason when alive) and their involvement in the direction this country has moved, and is still moving in.

I have appreciated David Barton's (Wallbuilders) work as well, and much debate surrounds the issue of the faith and belief of America's Founding Fathers. Personally, I believe that it is an issue of Tares among the Wheat (see Yeshua's parables concerning this if you don't understand).

The questions at this point are: Where are we now, where are we headed, who's taking us there, and what will be the outcome?

I would highly recommend Tom's book Apollyon Rising as it reveals some interesting facts surrounding the Great Seal that is on our dollar bill, and the fact that it is actually a prophecy concerning the direction and fate of this Nation, at least as is intended by certain groups and individuals.

In the meantime, you can get a glimpse of things at his blog, and this post is a good representation of the kind of information Tom is revealing via his vast research into the subject.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

All Of Scripture Is Prophecy

In my last post (Thematic Connections...) I made the statement that biblical prophecy is pattern rather than just simple prediction and fulfillment, and that ALL of scripture, including the first 5 books of Moses, and even books like the Psalms, Proverbs, Ruth, etc. are prophetic in nature. And I might add that not only is biblical prophecy pattern, but also that biblical history is prophecy. This does not mean that the books of Moses, nor the books of Ruth, Esther, et al are primarily books of prophecy (such as is the case with Daniel, or Revelation for ex.), for the narratives are indeed historical, but the patterns and details within the narratives give us prophetic glimpses that are more plainly laid out in the overtly prophetic books. In fact, though books like Daniel and Revelation are overtly prophetic, people often find difficulty in understanding them. I believe much of the answer (though not the whole of it) is in the fact that the prophetic themes found within them are drawn from the patterns that are already embedded in the other books of the bible, most notably the first 5 books (or, the books of Moses)! If we want to better understand Daniel and Revelation, for example, then we need to get very, very familiar with the narrative texts (as well as the prophets in the Tenakh - or, "Old Testament" - which is not so "old" if seen from the perspective that they speak of things relevant today through their narratives, a point I will explain further in this post).

In John 5:18, Yeshua is accused by the Jewish leadership of "...breaking the sabbath..." and "...making himself equal with God...", both of which were false accusations. Yeshua begins to answer them, and in vs. 39 He says to them "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." This statement is powerful, when viewed in light of the fact that the "scriptures" that he spoke of were those which make up the "TeNaKh" (an acronym for the "Torah", or, Gen. through Deut.; the "Nevi'im", which are the Prophets, and the "Ketuvim", which are the "writings", ie., the Psalms, Proverbs, Esther, Kings, etc.). The reason this is so powerful is that when one reads the Tenakh, it is not readily noticeable that they are speaking about Yeshua. There is no explicit verse that states that it is about a man named Yeshua, who would come to this planet, die on a cross, lie in the grave for three days, and rise again on the third day. In fact, Yeshua Himself said that the only "sign" that He would give for Himself was the "sign of Jonah", which of course, is a reference to Jonah the Prophet. The interesting thing to note concerning this is that when you read the book of Jonah, you don't really get the idea that it is supposed to be an historical narrative as well as a prophetic glimpse, a peek into the life, mission, and ministry of Messiah. When you read about Jonah being swallowed by a great fish, and being in the belly of the fish for 3 days and 3 nights, you only see it as being prophetic from our point of history. In other words, because Yeshua singled that narrative out specifically, and said that it represented Himself, we can now read the book of Jonah with that understanding - but I doubt that very many people that came before the time of Yeshua readily understood it as such (though I will say that the ancient sages of Israel DID in fact see many of the narratives of the Patriarchs and Prophets as being prophetic concerning the Messiah, such as is the case with what they call the akeidah - the binding of Isaac, or as Christians would understand, the narrative of Abraham and Isaac, when Abraham set out to offer Isaac up as an offering).

So to get back into the meat of this post, when Yeshua said to the Jewish leadership that the "scriptures" were they that spoke of Himself (again, understanding that He was speaking of the Tenakh, ie. "Old Testament"), He wasn't waxing cute with them - He meant it! And this means that, taking the Jonah narrative for example, when we read it we are also reading prophecy! This point is further reinforced by the fact that in Revelation 19:10, an Angel tells John "...worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Now, remember that Yeshua had already told the Jewish leadership that the "scriptures" were they that spoke of Himself. Now we have an Angel declaring that the "testimony of Yeshua" is the "spirit of prophecy!"

In my previous post I quoted Luke 24:27 where Yeshua tells two of His disciples that the scriptures spoke of Himself, and "...beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." So again, we see that when Yeshua says that the "scriptures" speak about Himself, we are given specifics as to what scriptures He is talking about..."Moses."

If you are at all familiar with Yeshua's teachings in the gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, etc.), then no doubt you have noticed that He often taught using parables. This is a very common style of teaching in the bible, and Yeshua made prolific use of the style for various reasons including the use of parabolic narrative to illustrate spiritual truths, as well as using parables to hide the truth from the proud and arrogant (who would not bother to ask, nor seek to understand the parable) and give it to the humble of heart (who would ask, and seek to understand).

Eddie Chumney of Hebraic Heritage Ministries has made the statement that the Torah (the 5 books of Moses) are actually a parable! He bases this off of the following scripture -

Psalm 78:1,2 - "Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old."

I believe Eddie is right. What is the subject of Psalm 78:1,2? Well, it begins with God telling His people to give heed to His "law" (ie. the 5 books of Moses). So, His law is the subject. He then goes on to tell them that He will "...open [His] mouth in a parable." In other words, the "parable" that He will speak; the "dark sayings" that He will "utter" will be/is a parable - His law ("law" here is literally "Torah" in Hebrew, which means "teaching, instruction, etc.")!

So to summarize, we can see that Yeshua Himself taught that ALL of the scriptures (which consisted only of the Tenakh in His day) spoke/speak of Him. We see that the "testimony" of Yeshua, which are the "scriptures" (again, the Tenakh), are the "spirit of prophecy", or, in other words, the scriptures themselves are "prophecy." And we see that the "scriptures" (at least the 5 books of Moses) are actually a giant parable!

This has immense implications for us today. You see, what many call the "Old Testament", that body of work that is, for the most part, simply viewed as ancient history, is really a prophetic document that contains FAR, FAR more than we could have ever imagined. And what's more, it has prophetic implications for the days and times that we live in today! In fact, books that are commonly accepted as "prophetic" (such as the book of Revelation, the book of Daniel, etc.) cannot be understood, without first having a good grasp of the beginning, ie., Genesis to Deuteronomy. In fact, Isaiah says the following in Is. 46:10 - "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." Literally he is saying that the "end" is declared "out of" the "beginning." The "beginning" is a specific reference to the book of Genesis, and more specifically to the very first Hebrew word in the bible - "B'reishit" - ie., "In the beginning." If we want to understand the times of the "end", then we need to firmly understand what is taught in the "beginning."

In the future I hope to flesh this out more, and go into specifics as to the prophetic "pictures" that are displayed in the "parable" of the "Old Testament!"

Until next time, shalom.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Thematic Connections...And How They're Relevant

Under the heading "Teaching Websites" on my blog, I have listed Tony Robinson's website called "Restoration of Torah." Tony's main teaching emphasis, is finding thematic connections in the scriptures. The main motivation for this is that Yeshua told His disciples in Luke 24:25-27 the following - "Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (emphasis mine). Notice that in vs. 27 Luke explains that, starting at Moses, Yeshua showed the two disciples on the road to Emmaus the scriptures that spoke about Him.

It is written in Psalm 40:7 the following: "Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me." This verse is quoted in Hebrews 10:7, and applied to Yeshua. Notice that it says "...in the volume of the book it is written of Me." In other words, we are being told that the whole of the scriptures (and at the time of this verse being written, and even in the time when the writer of the book of Hebrews was written, the "volume of the book" referred to what we call the "Old Testament", or, as is referred to in Judaism, the "Tenakh") speak of Yeshua.

There is a problem with this however. Nowhere in the "books of Moses" (Genesis - Deuteronomy) do we read about the Messiah coming to the Earth, suffering, dying, and then resurrecting three days later explicitly. The only way we are are going to find these things are if we begin to look for the patterns that are strewn throughout the Tenakh (ie. "Old Testament"), and see the thematic connections between the narratives of the Patriarchs, and the fulfilling of the narratives, which happen to be prophetic patterns (the Hebraic and/or biblical understanding of prophecy is pattern, not just prediction with a single fulfillment - more on this another time) by Yeshua and His disciples. In the future, I hope to share many of these patterns with you.

Having said all of that, I wanted to share a "thematic connection" that I found this Shabbat, and I hope to share with others what I have found in the days and weeks to come - not only to share just how amazingly the scriptures tie together from beginning to end, but also to share how I believe these "connections" are relevant to us today (because as I said above, biblical prophecy is pattern, and I contend that ALL of scripture has prophetic implications).

(A quick word about thematic connections - it is making connections between various biblical passages based upon similar themes, or words, ideas, etc. that, when made, bring more clarity to the whole picture once viewed in it's thematic totality - in a nutshell!)

So, here we go with a thematic connection I made just this weekend.

In Exodus 12, we read about the first Passover. Within the narrative, we read about the who, what, when, why, and how of the very first Passover, which occurred in the land of Egypt, when the Hebrews were kept in bondage there by a Pharaoh that simply did not want to release them unto their freedom. Up to this point (chapter 12), the book of Exodus narrates the rise of a new Pharaoh in Egypt, the ensuing enslavement of the Hebrew people (the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), the birth of Moses (and his subsequent departure from Egypt to Midian), his calling by the God of his Fathers and return to Egypt to bring deliverance to and for the Hebrew people, and the progressive plagues that are brought upon Egypt by God for the refusal of Pharaoh to let them depart (for more info. and detail concerning these matters, read Exodus 1-11).

The points that I want to highlight here for the sake of the thematic connection that I want to share are as follows:
1) The setting/time frame is the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread (the two run together, and are thus considered basically one and the same, though they ARE technically two separate "Feasts").
2) Verse 11 says the following: "And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD''s passover." Notice in this verse that they were to have their "loins girded", and their "shoes on [their] feet", and they were to eat "in haste."
3) They were delivered shortly after having eaten the Passover meal, and were thus delivered out of bondage (cf. vs. 51)

So, to recap, it was during the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread. They were to "gird" their "loins", put on their "shoes", and eat "in haste." And last but not least, they were delivered from bondage.

Now comes the thematic connection. In Acts ch. 12 (interesting that the chapters of the two events I want to share happen to be 12!), we read about Herod having James, one of Yeshua's disciples, killed. And because he saw that it pleased some of the Jewish authorities, he had Peter arrested, intending to have him put to death as well. But here is where I want to start pointing out specifics.
1) In v.v 4 and 5, we see that the timing is the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is during this Festival time that Peter is in "bondage" (v.v. 3 and4, Peter is put into chains and prison, ie., "bondage").
2) Peter is visited by "the Angel of the LORD" (who turns out to be a "deliverer" for Peter) in the prison, and told to "rise up quickly" (in Greek, "anistēmi en tachos" - Lit. "arise in haste"). So, Peter is to be "in haste." He is also told to "gird" himself, and put on his "sandals."
3) He is delivered out of the prison ("bondage").

So, to recap, we have Peter in bondage during the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread. He is told to arise "in haste", "gird" himself, and put on his "sandals." He is then delivered out of "bondage."

I believe that what we have here is a thematic connection. This "connection" shows us a link between the first Passover/Exodus from Egypt ("bondage"), and subsequent deliverence of God's people, and a later deliverence from "bondage." The narrative of the Exodus of God's people is also prophetic pattern for how God will deliver His people out of bondage again, and again. The deliverence of Peter represents the future deliverence of God's people from the bondage of this world system, of which Egypt is a biblical "type and shadow."

I hope this encourages you to begin to seek out the patterns that God wants to teach us in His word, so that we may grow in understanding.