Knowing God

Had God not created anything at all, but was content to remain alone with Himself (in trinity), then we would not even be here to know that He is who He is.  He would be truly the unknown God.  Praise YHVH for who He is, and for all His marvelous works! 

When Does The Day Begin?

Could it be that we have got it wrong?  In Judaism, we have tended to take the Genesis 1 account as saying that the day begins in the evening,  because God said, “And there was evening and there was morning — one day; the second day, etc”.  

In the world today, we say that the day begins in darkness at midnight, at 12:00am/2400 hours.  Today is January 1, 2020, and the celebration climaxed at the turn of the clock at midnight from what had been December 31, 2019. Continue reading “When Does The Day Begin?”

Christmas and Hanukkah

Holy, holy, holy . . .merry Christmas! And a blessed Hanukkah, too!

The 24th of the ninth month (beginning with Israel’s first month in April/Aviv/Nisan) comes together to bring attention of the light which pierces the darkness, and will ultimately banish it forever! Praise God the Father and our Lord Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ! The darkness that is of the world is deepening; the lights of the redeemed are coming into focused view; the battle of the ages is brewing; and the glorious victory of the Lord of Hosts and of His saints draws us hopefully onward. This day about 2024 years ago was born in Bethlehem Messiah the Lord, who saves His people from our sins! The promises of God are sure; His covenant faithfulness is unfailing!

A Time For Unity

It is very difficult to avoid the special character of this time of year.  For us, we like summer more than winter!  It is cold in our home; sometimes it is warmer outside than inside.  Hanukkah and Christmas are in the air.  The spotlight on Jesus during this season of His birth shines brighter than the light that the Maccabees re-lit.  They were called saviors (just as the Judges during their time), but they could only point Israel to our need of a true Savior, the true Savior — from every form of idolatry and oppression, sin being chief among them.  As I write this there are spiritual songs being played and sung in the background, praising our God and Savior; and it is freeing to be able to enjoy them without a scrooge spirit that I used to have.  Praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit enlightening me and Randi to rejoice in the great and holy thing that God did to bring His Son into the world among His people as the promised Savior and King!  The God of gods came to redeem the human race and all of His universe that He created and made, buying it back from the rebel and liar!  The day belongs to Him whom all the angels of God worship.

At this time of year which should unite all Messianic/Christian believers, there is much division.  If we are divided on something so ‘obvious’, what surprise should it be that we will also be divided on many other ‘lesser’ issues.  We worship Him who has come, the One of whom Moses and the Prophets spoke.  We are AD and not BC in our clarity.  Yeshua/Jesus increases as we decrease.  All that was spoken in time past to the fathers at various times and in various ways has now been spoken to us by the Son.  This Scripture is particularly written to Messianic Jews in the Epistle to the Hebrews, but speaks to every one brought into the Commonwealth of Israel by the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob/Israel.  Just as we can use and need simple arithmetic to help understand higher math, so, too, can we use the roots and foundations of the faith to better appreciate the fullness of the much higher thoughts and ways of YHVH God. 

As an expression of the unity of the Body of Messiah, we will again go, with others from Yeshua’s Inheritance Cong. joining us, to Bethlehem to an evangelical Palestinian Arab church to celebrate with them the birth of the Lord, and also to be with them as a testimony that we are brothers and sisters in Christ.  As a church, they are not particularly favorable towards the purpose of God regarding Israel.  But at the personal level, we have a friendship and fellowship as we walk in the light together about what we disagree about.  The Holy Spirit will do His necessary work in each and all of us.  Our going is an encouragement to them, and we are all reminded that Jesus/Yeshua/Yasua is not in anyone’s particular camp.  We must go to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. And Yeshua said that He bears the reproach of the Father. (Ps 69:5-9; Rom 15:1-7)  We mutually build up each other as we rejoice in our Savior, born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, moved to Capernaum, crucified in Jerusalem, to where He will return at the appointed unexpected time, just like when He first came.

The prayer for unity also goes out for us within Israel ‘proper’.  As everywhere, we have our differences and disputes.  But we are family here in a way that I think is a bit unique, since YHVH has chosen a family to be His people, the Children of Jacob/Israel.  The Church is also a family that the Father is calling out from every tribe and tongue and people and ethnic group, whom Jesus redeemed to God by His blood of the New Covenant.  When we acknowledge that we are brothers and sisters, we will “try harder”, in love for our Father and His beloved Son, to resolve matters peaceably, even bearing Messiah’s reproach for the sake of greater reward than merely “being right” now.  Who knows?; we may be wrong now.  SO PLEASE ALSO KEEP THE BODY OF CHRIST/MESSIAH IN ISRAEL IN YOUR PRAYERS, FOR HOLY SPIRIT-UNITY IN THE BOND OF PEACE.  WE ARE CERTAIN THAT IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY AND CHURCHES THIS IS ALSO DISCERNIBLE AND UNDERSTANDABLE.  IN ISRAEL, WE ARE UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, NOT SEPARATED BY VAST DISTANCES OR STRONG DENOMINATIONAL DIVISIONS.  YET THE SAME SPIRIT WHICH BRINGS DIVISION IS ALSO HERE WITHOUT LABELS.

Jesus the Israeli Jew

(Updated Dec 30, 2019)

After writing this post on Dec 8, several articles and pronouncements have come forth that proves the point of appropriating Jesus as a Palestinian, who though a Jew born under the Law (of Moses), is claimed to have been a Muslim prophet, just like Mohammed.  Not only that, but that He was an Islamic martyr!  However, in Islam, the Koran seems to say that Isa (their name for Jesus/Yeshua, who they make into another Jesus) did not die on a cross, and perhaps not at all — which, for those paying attention, makes Him greater than Mohammed, who did die for sure.  Ignorance and darkness are the seedbed for lies, confusion, and deception.  Although wanting to claim that Jesus was a Palestinian from Palestine, on the other hand Palestinian leaders have also claimed that they are Canaanites.  If they want to be considered “indigenous” Canaanites, then they are neither Semites nor, therefore, descendants of Abraham.

Here is an article from yesterday highlighting this false identity “narrative” — “Jesus Was Not Only First Palestinian, He Was Also First Islamic Martyr” : 

Both Islam and Rabbinic Judaism reject and deny Yeshua/Jesus for who He actually is and for what He did.  Both deny His resurrection.  Neither is the faith of Abraham.  Jewish people are physical descendants of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.  Arabs are physical descendants of Abraham, of Ishmael, and of Esau.  Muslims are not a people group; neither are Christians:  they are both “faith” groups.  Only Jewish believers and any Gentile believers who believe the truth of who Yeshua/Jesus is — the LORD (YHVH), the Messiah, the Son of the living God — and in His atoning death and resurrection for their sins is of the faith of Abraham in YHVH God.

Mt 2:19-23  

Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.

But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” 

Continue reading “Jesus the Israeli Jew”

The Judgment Seat of Messiah

The PM of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the President of the United States, Donald Trump, are both facing charges and efforts to remove them from their elected offices.  Both reject the charges against them.  Both claim that what they do, or have done, is no different than what others before them have done; or else that they are simply being falsely accused of some degree or other of misconduct.  (I am not saying here whether either of them is criminally guilty of the charges against them.)  In both countries, those who are most excited about the prospects of their political demise are those who are actively and openly pursuing giving up national sovereignty, and openly advocating for erasing all the boundaries of order — not only politically, but also down to even of gender.  How low will we go? Continue reading “The Judgment Seat of Messiah”

The Center

Not everything is relative, without any reference point.  The Earth is God’s center in the universe, His reference point. He created it “in the beginning”, and everything else that He did is in reference to it. Yeshua/Jesus came here to put away the sin of the world, and to cleanse things on Earth and in the heavenlies. I do not know if that means the Earth is the geographic center of the universe. It might be. Beer Sheva is close to being the geographic center of the State of Israel, but Jerusalem is the “center” of God’s purposes here.

First the Natural, Then the Spiritual

All who are born generally have a birthday celebration:  mostly by parents and their friends and relatives around the birth; later by the person him/herself with his friends and relatives each year on the date.

One who has become born-again from Above as a believer in Yeshua/Jesus celebrates his/her new birth as a child of God, and remembers this yearly, even daily. 

Israel/the Jewish people celebrates her birth as a nation at the Passover each year, when YHVH God redeemed and delivered them as a people from Egypt and hard bondage.

The Fall “Feasts of the LORD” — beginning with the Memorial of [Trumpet] Blasts, through the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles — look ahead to the new birth of the nation as the Israel of God, when their sins are forgiven under the New Covenant. 

Double birthdays; double New Years.  Save your people, O LORD, God of Israel!  May many more Jewish people come to know Yeshua/Jesus as their Savior and Lord during this coming year.  It is better to know Him “today” and be found in Christ/Messiah, than to wait uncertainly if any might be shown mercy and included in His salvation of “all Israel” in that Day. 

Repentance and Forgiveness Brings New Beginning

The Jewish “New Year” begins on the evening of the 29th.  This mo’ed/appointed time is actually the beginning of the seventh month on God’s redemptive calendar, and is called the Memorial of [Trumpet] Blasts.  Prophetically, it is a call to repentance for the people of God — whether Jews or Christians — in preparation to acknowledge their sins as His covenant people saved by grace (the Passover), and accept the Father’s provision of His one-and-only acceptable sacrifice for the sins of the individual, and of the nation/people as a collective whole.  Yeshua/Jesus, the Son of God, is that sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit is working in the lives of those in covenant relationship with the one true living God to bring us to complete dependence and trust in His grace and love through even the severe chastenings of a holy and righteous Father.  There is glory and holiness on the other side.  That is surely a new beginning!  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Day One, Seventh Day

As I consider the Shabbat (Saturday), God told Israel to remember that He created the heavens and the Earth in six days, and rested on the seventh.  He also told Israel to keep the Sabbath because He delivered us out of bondage in Egypt.  In other words, on the Shabbat, the Jewish people are to remember our Creator, and our Redeemer/Deliverer.  When we remember what YHVH did when He created the world, the first day (Day One/One Day) He called the light out of darkness, and divided/distinguished the light from the darkness, which was created that same day. 

When a person is born-again by the Spirit from Above, we are brought into God’s light, and we see.  Both the first day of the week and the 7th day of the week are unique days, and the day after the Sabbath recalls both:  we are a new creation in Messiah Yeshua/Christ Jesus, our Creator and our Redeemer/Savior; and God still has His plan for this creation through the salvation of Israel.  Our sins are forgiven, and through Him we know the Father and receive the Holy Spirit unto everlasting life with the Lord!  Isn’t that wonderfully good news?! 

And connected with this good news is that Yeshua is coming again, and all who are His will be gathered together with Him.  The Kingdom of God will be established throughout the universe that He created and made for His glory, and the joy of all who love Him.