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”

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!

The Gap Between Believing God’s Word _______ and Human Wisdom

We are influenced by the world we are born into much more than we realize. Young children today have an intuitive grasp of some modern technology than many adults who are their parents and grandparents. The current generation is also entering and growing up in a world that is increasingly ignorant of the true God and of His Word, of His covenants, and with an evolutionary mindset and world-view that has displaced a general consensus of the fundamental truths of morality expressed in the Bible, even within the household of faith (at least in the western, Christianized, gospelized world). We have a natural tendency to subject God’s word to the teachings of men – or to the lies of the devil – rather than to subject all things to the Word of God. If we do not believe what God says about the beginning, we may not believe what He also actually says about the ending. If we twist His words at first, we will probably continue to twist them at last.

Many believing Christians want to accept evolutionary “facts” as a means by which God created and made the world as it has “evolved” to be. Mostly they do this because of the amount of time they think is needed to “evolve” to where we are today. Yet, the issue is much more than a matter of time: the evolutionary explanation of origins and destiny are totally incompatible with what YHVH God has revealed to us – especially through the Jews – regarding what He alone knows: He IS the Creator, and the Redeemer, and has a plan that He is carrying out, no matter what anyone may believe or not. “Let God be true, and every man a liar!”

For those who “keep and remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”: if you do not believe that God created the Heavens and the Earth in six days, and rested on the seventh, then you are not keeping the Sabbath, since this is the initial reason He gave it to Israel as the sign of His covenant relationship with them. And the Jewish people are His witnesses for who He is. This is so, also, for believing Christians, since they are in a new covenant relationship with the God of Israel, YHVH God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob/Israel. We bear false witness of Him if we deny His own testimony of what He did, how He did it, when He did it, why He has done it! The Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world!

When God, who is unapproachable light, created in the beginning the Heavens and the Earth, the “raw material” was in darkness. The creation was outside of Himself. Then God spoke and called the light out of the darkness, as He began to form and order His creation. This was not created light, for God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. Jesus said that He is the light of the world. And in the New Heavens and New Earth – in the New Jerusalem – there will be no night there, for the Lamb will be its light for the eternal day, without darkness:  the day after the Sabbath. The sun and moon are temporary lights for this creation, which God placed in this unique solar system within the universe on the fourth day to serve their purposes in His sovereign wisdom.

We must, like Elijah called upon the false prophets of Baal in Israel, make a choice: if Yeshua/Jesus is our Lord and God, let us believe and follow Him. We can not be of two opinions when God has spoken to us, if a serpent, or a man, or even an angel, comes to us with a different word which contradicts His.

Here are some articles which are helpful on this subject of “the gap”:

 

https://creation.com/ten-theses-todd-wilson?utm_campaign=infobytes_int&utm_content=%5BResend%5D+Eugenics+is+back&utm_medium=email&utm_source=mailing.creation.com&utm_term=Fortnightly+Digest+-+2019.01.25

https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_654.cfm

https://carm.org/gap-theory

http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=997

2Pt 3: The Day of YHVH Is Coming

2Pt 3:1-18

Peter begins this chapter by reminding his brothers and sisters in the faith of what both the prophets during the Old Testament and also the Apostles of the Lord and Savior in the New Testament have spoken: “knowing this first”, that scoffers [among even the people of God] will come in the last days, living according to their own lusts, and saying that there are no indications/signs that the Lord is coming; nothing has changed since the creation of the world. If Christians and Jews do not believe in their heart that the Lord and Judge is coming, why should we expect others to take the matter seriously?! If believers are not praying the last prayer of the Bible – “Even so, come, Lord Jesus”! – why should we expect Israel to say “Blessed are you, Lord Jesus/Yeshua, who comes in the name of YHVH!”?  Continue reading “2Pt 3: The Day of YHVH Is Coming”