The Inheritance of Yeshua – 28 Oct 2016

1Pe 1:3-9  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  (4)  to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and unfading, reserved in Heaven for you  (5)  by the power of God, having been kept through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time;  (6)  in which you greatly rejoice, yet a little while, if need be, grieving in manifold temptations;  (7)  so that the trial of your faith (being much more precious than that of gold that perishes, but being proven through fire) might be found to praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,  (8)  whom having not seen, you love; in whom not yet seeing, but believing in Him you exult with unspeakable joy, and having been glorified,  (9)  obtaining the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Eph 1:18  the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints  Continue reading “The Inheritance of Yeshua – 28 Oct 2016”

ISRAEL, THE ISRAEL OF GOD, THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL, THE CHURCH OF GOD

(Updated on 11 Oct 2013; 31 May 2016)

Beginning with an unrelated e-mail from John D, and the link that  he wanted me to read, we began a serious and edifying exchange of ideas, and of our own present understanding regarding the names and concepts of Israel, the Israel of God, the Commonwealth of Israel, and the Church of God. (Rom 9:6; 11:25-28; Gal 6:16; Eph 2:12; 1Cor 10:32).   We agree on some issues, not on others.  The discussion hinges on whether these names refer to only one entity by various names, or whether to two or three, or even to four distinct yet related entities.   It connects with historic ‘theologies’ like replacement/fulfillment /divestment theology, expansion/enlargement theology, the two-house theory, and dominion theology as we seek together to understand that which is of the truth as we have more light.   

If any of you readers have anything of substantive value to contribute to helping us all better understand who we are and what God is doing to fulfill His will and purpose, please add your comments for the building up of the Body of Messiah in love.  The conclusion of the matter may just have to wait for a brighter day. Continue reading “ISRAEL, THE ISRAEL OF GOD, THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL, THE CHURCH OF GOD”

The Lord’s Day

The Lord’s Day, mentioned by that term only in John’s vision of the revelation of Jesus Christ, is not to be confused with the Day of YHVH (Day of the LORD), mentioned numerous times throughout the Bible. The former signifies a particular day of the week; the latter to the ultimate day of judgment, either for salvation and deliverance, or else for condemnation and cutting off.

Can we determine from the Bible which day the Apostle is referring to when he uses the name, the Lord’s Day? Continue reading “The Lord’s Day”

LEAVENED OR UNLEAVENED BREAD? – April 2012

(Updated Feb 26, 2017)

—– Original Message —–
From: R
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 22:00
Subject: GREAT TO SEE YOU BOTH!
To: Howard

Dear Howard,

It was good to catch up with you both so soon again – another of God’s ‘God-incidences’ I think!   You said something at one of our recent meetings that rang an immediate chord: that the Muslims have no father, whereas the father of the Arabs is Abraham/Ishmael.  I have always understood that every Arab is a Muslim, whereas not every Muslim is an Arab.  Could you enlighten me as to which nations are Arab (such as Egypt) as against those that are non-Arab Muslim (such as Iran)?

Finally, in the DVD of the Nachalat Yeshua fellowship that we saw at the Conference last month you mentioned that you use leavened bread at Communion to remind everyone that Jesus was our sin-bearer – our sin-offering.  As I come from another persuasion, I wonder whether you would be willing to have an email dialogue with me on this subject? (Iron sharpening iron always seems a good idea!).

Blessings in Messiah,
R Continue reading “LEAVENED OR UNLEAVENED BREAD? – April 2012”

VISION AND MATURITY: ONE NEW MAN IN MESSIAH TO THE GLORY OF GOD – 19 Nov 2011

Many believers – especially Jewish – seem to have an identity crisis.  Are we Jewish?  Are we Christian?  Are we neither, or both?  This confusion is seen already in the New Testament, and some strong words are written for our admonition and encouragement.

Is 41:17-20   The poor and needy seek water, and there is none; their tongue fails for thirst, I Yehovah will hear them, I the God of Israel will not leave them.  I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.  I will plant the cedar in the wilderness, the acacia tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree. I will set the fir tree in the desert, and the pine, and the box tree together;  so that they may see, and know, and look on, and understand together, that the hand of Yehovah has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Gal 6:13-15   But may it never be for me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision has any strength, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them and upon the Israel of God.

Eph 2:14-16   For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, the law of commandments in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting death the enmity.

Phlp 3:14-16   I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Let us therefore, as many as are mature, be of this mind. And if in anything you are otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you.  Yet, as to what we have already attained, let us walk in the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

Jn 17:20-23   And I do not pray for these alone, but for those also who shall believe on Me through their word,  that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.  And I have given them the glory which You have given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one;  I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.

THE DESTINY OF NATIONS AND THE GOSPEL TO WHOMSOEVER

(Delivered at “The Government Shall Be Upon His Shoulder” conference in Canberra, Australia, July 23, 2010)

Acts 17:30-31   Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.  He has given assurance of this to all by raising [Jesus] from among the dead.

Some basic assumptions:

  –Jesus Christ is Lord/YHVH!
  –The whole of the Bible is the Word of GOD, and inspired by the Holy Spirit.
  –The Scriptures are written for us living at the end of the age (end of the last days). 1Cor 10:11, Rom 15:4
  –Messiah came to fulfill all that is written in the O.T., not to annul them.  We are not to add to them nor take away  from them.  Mt 5:17-19
  –Each of us is responsible for searching the Scriptures if we are unsure about anything taught.  Acts 17:11
  –The Lord Jesus Christ is coming again!  Rev 22:7,12,20  Continue reading “THE DESTINY OF NATIONS AND THE GOSPEL TO WHOMSOEVER”

TO BE A JEW – 7 Dec 2008

I was born to a Jewish father and a Jewish mother.  They were each born to a Jewish father and mother.  They brought us up with a Jewish identity through circumcision, observance of Jewish holy-days, Bar-Mitzva (‘Son of Commandment’).  We lived with an awareness of being Jewish in a Gentile society, and an even larger world.  We sought our acceptance by the Gentile Christians, hoping to prove ourselves worthy in their eyes, while also considering ourselves as much Jewish in our identity as Conservative Jews in comparison to Orthodox Judaism, and more Jewish in our identity and practice (praxis) in contrast to Reform Jews.  We are God’sChosen and Peculiar People, even if we did not personally know Him who chose us, nor understand why.  We are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Israel was our special nation and land, even if we did not want to live there.

I was born Jew-ish; I was born-again a Jew!  Continue reading “TO BE A JEW – 7 Dec 2008”

GOD’S PLANT: ONE NEW MAN IN MESSIAH

1Tim 1:1-7   not to allow another doctrine (torah; teaching) but gospel truth promoting love from a sincere   heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith

Shavuot is nearing, which marks the beginning of the new phase in God’s plan of redemption to bring the Gentiles into His covenant promises to Israel and the Jewish people.  It was difficult for the Israeli Jewish believers of the early church to accept that God wanted to — could! – relate to the non-Jews/Israelis in the same way as to them who also believed in Yeshua as the Christ, the Anointed One of YHVH.  Then, through the centuries, the situation became reversed:  the Gentile majority of the Body of Messiah could not understand how a Jewish believer in Jesus could be a Christian and still a Jew.  Praise God!  His foolishness is wiser than men!

Today – for some years already – there is movement, a tendency, on both “sides” to separate what God has united.  This is one – and a big one! – of those “other doctrines” which the Apostle Paul was writing to Timothy about, that such a teaching should not be embraced within the Kehila/Ekklesia/Church of God. Continue reading “GOD’S PLANT: ONE NEW MAN IN MESSIAH”

LIVING BREAD OF REDEMPTIVE PROGRESS

The distinctiveness of Israel, even of its 12 tribes  — 12 loaves of the showbread [Bread of the Faces/Presence] (Ex 25:30; Lev 24:5-9) —amongst the nations remains valid all the way through to the end of the coming millennial kingdom.  The last nine chapters of Ezekiel make this abundantly clear, as does chapter 7 of Revelation (not to mention the names of the gates of the New Jerusalem being the names of the 12 tribes of the children of Israel).  God knows how to keep track of this somehow (reverently speaking, of course!).  Only priests could enter inside the Holy Place:  the priests were in Israel but not of Israel.  The showbread presented the face(s) of all God’s people represented in the whole House of Israel, the twelve tribes, and only the priests partook of the leavened loaves of the bread of God (Lev 21:6), as they represented all the Children of Israel to God, and were God’s mediators to the people.  God looked upon His people through the lens of the ultimate sacrifice by fire of His Son for them to dwell forever in His presence. Continue reading “LIVING BREAD OF REDEMPTIVE PROGRESS”