Shavuot/Pentecost – Feast of [Seven] Weeks/50 Days

Lev 23:9-22

2Cor 5:13 – 6:2

Tomorrow, Sonday, is the celebration of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, and the Christian holiday of Pentecost.  They are one and the same, except that the two calendars have diverged.  In this case, the celebration on the Sonday, the 50th day of the seven weeks since the resurrection of the Passover Lamb of God, is in line with the Word of God through Moses to Israel, and to us who believe in Yeshua/Jesus as both Lord and Messiah, our God and Savior.  He is YHVH who came in flesh and blood to redeem us from our sins. Continue reading “Shavuot/Pentecost – Feast of [Seven] Weeks/50 Days”

1John 3:1-10 — Sons of God, or Sons of the Devil

(Presented at Kingdom First Conference – May 2019)

1Jn 3:1-10

1. See what manner of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God! Because of this, the world does not know us because it did not know Him.
2. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet manifested what we shall be; but we know that when He shall be manifested we shall be like Him! For we shall see Him as He is.
3. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He is pure.
4. Everyone that practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
5. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him is no sin.
6. Whoever abides in Him does not sin; whoever sins has not seen Him, nor knows Him.
7. Little children, let no one lead you astray: he that practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.
8. He that practices sin is of the devil, because from the beginning the devil sins. For this the Son of God was manifested, that He might undo the works of the devil.
9. Whosoever is born of God does not practice sin, because His seed is in him; and he is not able to sin because he is born of God.
10. In this are manifested the children of God and the children of the devil. Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, and he who does not love his brother.

The Apostle John writes in his gospel account, and in his letters to those in the household of faith, in terms of black-and-white. There is no middle ground with him. You are either in, or out of, the Kingdom of God. Continue reading “1John 3:1-10 — Sons of God, or Sons of the Devil”

Gen 4: Crime and Punishment, With Redemptive Hope

Gen 4:1-26

We may not realize that sin is a crime against God. Sin is lawlessness (1Jn 3:4); that is, it does not accept or live by any law that governs society, or that establishes what is good and what is evil. It is disobedience and rebellion against God and His Word. (Is 1:18-20) It began with Lucifer, now the Devil, and he brought it into Eve and Adam. Sin separates us from God our Father. (Is 59:2) Yeshua came to destroy the works of the devil, and to restore us to a relationship with God, knowing His holiness and righteousness, His goodness, His love. (1Jn 3:8) Continue reading “Gen 4: Crime and Punishment, With Redemptive Hope”

Chewing the Cud – 24 Mar 2019

Rain is expected again today and tomorrow, which may finish off the season.  Other countries are having massive flooding or else drought.  “Normal” becomes a convenient snare, yet we all, I presume, like it when things are “normal”.  Unfortunately, “normal” is not what it used to be — not only in nature, but also in morals.  When God’s Word is marginalized, or otherwise ignored or disbelieved, then ‘abnormal’ will rush in and push ‘normal’ out!

We have begun a series in Yeshua’s Inheritance Cong (Nachalat Yeshua) on the first 12 chapters of Genesis, which are the seed-bed and roots of our faith, and for all the rest of this world’s history.  When these chapters, beginning from the Beginning, are made irrelevant as regards the faith once-for-all delivered to the saints, then at worst we become part of the falling away leading up to the revelation of the antichrist, or else we are becoming and encouraging others to become ‘doubting Thomases’, who needed proof, evidence, that he would be satisfied with, before he would believe not only what he had heard from being with Yeshua for 3 1/2 years, but what he also heard from the other believers who actually saw the Lord after His resurrection.  “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Faith always believes God; He will always be proven right; and not merely right, but wise in His rightness. By acquiescing to the wisdom of this world, we become enablers of the increasingly rapid slide into darkness and chaos.  Jesus told us that “the night is coming, when no one can work”.  God will raise up a bulwark against the rising flood, but the damage will be great.

This year, Purim — with its Full Moon — began on the same evening as the beginning of Spring; it was the first time since 2000, and it will not happen again until 2030.  This Purim much attention was drawn to the continuing hostility of Iran (Persia) towards the Jews, especially Israel.  The law of the Persians can not be changed, it is written for us in the Book of Esther.  So neither can the law that was passed to give the Jews the liberty to defend themselves from those of the Persian Empire who sought their destruction.  And, praise God, HIS Law can not be changed which promises His direct intervention at the time of the end to once-and-for-all deliver and save His covenanted people from their sins!  For it is not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of YHVH!  When you consider it, this reliance on one’s own — or one’s nation’s own — power and might to overcome victoriously is no different than the evolutionary world-view and explanation of the survival of the fittest, and might makes right.  No, the meek shall inherit the Earth, and the righteous, says the Lord.

We had a very nice Purim party for the children of our congregation, along with children from Arad, and also from other congregations nearer to us.  The lessons of Purim should not be lost on this generation, but we want them to know that it was God, working providentially ‘behind the scenes’, who saw to it that those who acted on behalf of His people overcame the age-old antisemitism, and that those who acted actively and unrepentantly to stir up the irrational hatred were found out and defeated.  The devil is still doing the same things today to deceive and lie about Jesus, about Israel, about New Covenant faith in Jesus, but the day of YHVH will come, and the righteousness of GOD will be vindicated!  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Gen 1:14-31 — Days 4-6 of Creation

Mk 10:5-6 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

Gen 1:14-31

We have seen in the first three days of Creation how God created the heavens and the Earth, at first in a state of darkness and lack of order, and without any gap of time between the first and second verses. Then He began to speak things into existence, and made distinctions: between light and darkness, between waters and waters, between seed and seed, between kinds/species and other life in their own kind. God was forming the Earth for its unique place in His created universe, and for the unique life that He filled on it. Continue reading “Gen 1:14-31 — Days 4-6 of Creation”

Genesis 1:1-13 — Days 1-3 of Creation

Mk 10:5-6 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

Gen 1:1-13

As we begin our study of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, I want to emphasize again: it is the Word of God; it is truth. Doubting what God says about the Creation will negatively affect us to doubt what He tells us about other matters throughout the Scriptures. It will weaken our faith in His Word, but it is His Word that He will not change, because He does not change. God’s Word judges us; we do not judge Him. (Heb 4:9-13)  God Himself lives by His Word (which gives Him sovereign authority to do what man may not), and has magnified His Word above His Name. (Ps 138:2b) Yeshua is the Word of God, and He lived by it, and will continue to fulfill all that is written. As we trust God more to believe all that He says, our praise and worship will also enlarge. Continue reading “Genesis 1:1-13 — Days 1-3 of Creation”

Genesis 1 – 12: Introduction

Ps 19:7 (8 Heb)  The law of YHVH is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of YHVH is sure, making wise the simple.

Why study Genesis 1 – 12? The whole of the Bible is under attack from those who never believed it for what it is, and from those who have fallen from the truth they once held. This attack has become the very fabric of the educational and intellectual spheres of influence, and has infiltrated down to the general public. We want to be equipped to be faithful witnesses and stewards of the mysteries of God. Continue reading “Genesis 1 – 12: Introduction”

Towards Unity of the Spirit in The Bond of Peace

I returned home on Friday night from one week in Kenya. I was invited to be part of a small team for a diplomatic mission, speaking with senior church leaders about reconciliation of Gentile Christians — and church “positions” — with Jewish believers in Jesus/Yeshua, with a conference being planned in two years. For my part, my Jewish identity is not conflicted with my faith in Jesus and being also identified as a Christian, along with other believers and followers of the Messiah. But this is also something that might not necessarily have been so just a couple of hundred years ago, and even lingering until today in many quarters. Continue reading “Towards Unity of the Spirit in The Bond of Peace”

Chosen People, or Myth?

Those who would make the Creation account given in Gen 1 and 2 (and even the history thru ch. 11) in the Hebrew Bible a myth open the door for those who say that it is a myth that the Jewish people are God’s chosen people:  the Jews created their own God and myth to compete with, and separate from, the other gods and myths of pagan nations.  (What a powerful myth!) They would be in agreement — knowingly or not — with those who claim that there is no God who intervenes in human affairs, no center of the universe or of this spherical Earth, and that there is no “specialness” of any thing, not even human beings, whom God uniquely created in His image and in His likeness.  God has a plan and a purpose for His creation, and redemption to accomplish it is at the heart of it from before the beginning.

But YHVH God has chosen this planet as His focal point in the universe which He created; He has chosen a particular man — Abram/Abraham — through whom He promised with a covenant and an oath a chosen people — through His choice of Isaac and of Jacob — and an inheritance, and to be a blessing to all the families of the Earth — and towards whom all people would be held to account; He has chosen a particular land — the Land of Canaan — for that inheritance; He has chosen a particular city — Jerusalem — within this chosen Land of Israel as His city; He has chosen a particular tribe — Judah — through whom the King whom He has chosen will establish His righteous kingdom when He comes again, with His elect saints, from that city in that land over all the Earth and nations; He has chosen a particular person of that tribe — David — to whom He promised in covenant and with an oath that this King Messiah would come from him; He has appointed one mediator between Himself and humanity — Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ, the unique and beloved Son of God — and one way of salvation through the forgiveness of sins in order to be justified for inheriting all of these great and precious promises, and especially eternal life together with Him:  repent and believe the gospel — that Yeshua died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day, all according to the Scriptures, which are Holy Spirit/God-breathed inspiration written through chosen men of His choice.

Our God is holy, and He is Sovereign. He is the God of Truth.  Nor is He a liar or a deceiver, which the devil is both.  All myths and false narratives will fail.  This Heaven and Earth will pass away, but His word will never pass away!