Dates and Appointed Times – 22 Dec 2017

Dates are important in general, and appointed times carry more significance. For example, an appointment at the dentist becomes an ‘appointed/set time’. A wedding date is an appointed day and time.

Sometimes, we cannot be certain until the event occurs, such as the birth of a baby. We might know the approximate ‘due date’, but until that date passes, or if the baby is born earlier, we cannot be certain of that ‘appointed time’. Even should the day be accurately predicted, for a natural birth we cannot know in advance the exact hour of that appointed day.

YHVH, God of Israel and Creator of the Heavens and Earth, has given to Israel His appointed times for celebration, times which we call ‘holidays’ or celebrations, or the Feasts of the LORD. Continue reading “Dates and Appointed Times – 22 Dec 2017”

Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of God, is YEHOVAH – 12 Dec 2014

We are in the season of remembering and celebrating the God who is Light. (Jn 8:12; 1Jn 1:5)   Both Hanukkah (the Feast of Dedication) and Christmas, the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, are coming one after the other in the next two weeks.  It is often claimed that Yeshua never said that He was God, only the Son of God.  Let us look to see if the Holy Spirit did not inspire the writers of the New Testament to write what they did in a way to demonstrate that, in fact, Jesus is YEHOVAH God – Immanuel. (Is 7:14; Mt 1:22-23) Continue reading “Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of God, is YEHOVAH – 12 Dec 2014”

IN DEFENSE OF CHRISTMAS – 25 Dec 2012

As a Jew, I didn’t want to celebrate Christmas when I became a believer, partly because it wasn’t “Jewish”, and partly because it was too paganized and commercialized. But the Lord began to show me that my reasons were not all correct. In my other words, I was throwing the baby out with the bath water. The truth of God is not pagan, and it happened right here in Israel among Jewish people, as prophesied by the prophets of YHVH  long before. Continue reading “IN DEFENSE OF CHRISTMAS – 25 Dec 2012”

REVIVALS ARE TEMPORARY – 8 Dec 2012

Hanukkah brought in a revival in Israel.  This revival, like all revivals in Israel and in Church history, was temporary and partial.  The victory of the Maccabees over the Hellenists among the Jewish people reestablished the worship of God without the paganism of the Greek influence, and the altar of the Temple was rededicated to YHVH, from which the name of the holiday came – Hanukkah (which means dedication).

The hanukkiah (the special candle/lamp stand) differs from the menorah in that the menorah has a central lamp and six other lamps, with three on either side of the central stem; whereas the hanukkiah has nine candles, one of which is called the Shamash/Servant light (which is essentially the same word for the sun/shemesh).  This ‘servant light’ is lit first, and then used to light the other eight candles.  (There is no prescribed order for the arrangement of the lights on the hanukkiah.  Another difference is that the menorah in the Tabernacle and in the two Temples was to always be kept lit.  The hanukkiah is used only during the eight days of Hanukkah, and the tradition is to light the shamash and each of the other candles according to the corresponding days of the holiday.)  Continue reading “REVIVALS ARE TEMPORARY – 8 Dec 2012”

THE OFFENSE OF CHRISTMAS – 23 Dec 2006

Ps 69: 5-9 (6-10 Heb)   O God, You know my foolishness, and my sins are not hidden from You.  Let not those who hope in You, O YHVH God of Hosts, be ashamed because of me; let not those who seek You be confounded because of me, O God ofIsrael.  Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; shame has covered my face.  I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s children (Mk 3:21; 6:3; Jn 7:1-5).  Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.

Lk 2: 29-35   [Simeon] took [Yeshua] up in his arms and blessed God and said:  Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your peopleIsrael. . . .Behold, this One is destined for the fall and rising of many inIsrael, and for a sign which will be spoken against, . . .that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. Continue reading “THE OFFENSE OF CHRISTMAS – 23 Dec 2006”

JESUS CHRIST IS COME

(Our celebratory service this Shabbat was interrupted by a mob of unruly ultra-orthodox religious Jewish people.)

There was much messianic expectation around the time of Yeshua’s birth (Dan 9:24-26).  Hanukka itself is a holiday commemorating a messianic hope which gives Israel and the Jewish people freedom from their enemies in order to worship YHVH God in an acceptable way in our own land.  Simeon and Anna were waiting in hope for the Redeemer and Savior of the children of Israel and of Jerusalem, the City of the Great King.  False Messiahs also arose about that time (Acts 5:35-39); today also there is Messianic expectation – Moshiach Now! – amongst many Jews and also Muslims and other religious and spiritist groups.   Continue reading “JESUS CHRIST IS COME”

Worship God in Spirit and Truth – 20 Dec 2003

(Modified Dec 15, 2017)

Jude 3 – contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints
Mt 5:14-16  we are light to be seen, and to honor the true Light source
–light to be seen publicly
–draws attention for friend and foe

The Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) reminds us of the battle within Israel amongst the Jewish people over the worship of God in the Temple.  This was about 160 years before Jesus was born.  The LORD helped the Maccabees win the victory to re-establish the worship of God according to the truth as understood under the Law and the Prophets.  And the LORD was with them in the victory!  But the Maccabees, too, were but men like us, and before long, the decline reached to the point of no return.  There remained a remnant that sought true freedom, not only from the Roman powers which the Maccabees invited into Israel, but freedom to worship God with all their hearts, soul, mind, and strength, and to see Israel redeemed from all her unrighteousness. Continue reading “Worship God in Spirit and Truth – 20 Dec 2003”

The Gospel, The New Covenant, and The Messianic Faith Are Neither Jewish Nor Greek – 19 Dec 1998

Jude 3 – contend earnestly for the faith which was once-for-all delivered to the saints
[Lk 22:19-20]; 1Cor 11:23-26 – remember Yeshua and His death until He comes again

The heart and foundation of the gospel and of the New Testament and of our faith as Christians is Yeshua the Messiah and Him crucified, risen from the dead, ascended to glory, and coming again.  Our sins are forgiven through faith in the once-for-all sacrificial and atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.  We have fellowship (communion) with God our Father and with His Son, and with one another through the Holy Spirit indwelling all who are born again by the Word and the Spirit of God.

Does this sound like the religious teaching of Judaism?  Does it sound like the wisdom of the world’s great thinkers and philosophers?  NO!  For the cross is an offence to the one born with natural honor and privilege before God, such as to the Jews being the chosen  people, and  a  rock of stumbling to our fleshly pride and ambitions.   For the wise of this world, the cross – the means of a sure and shameful death for the transgressor – is foolishness, simplistic.  Yet for the one who believes, whether Jew or Gentile, the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God is the power of God unto salvation! Continue reading “The Gospel, The New Covenant, and The Messianic Faith Are Neither Jewish Nor Greek – 19 Dec 1998”