Reflecting Pool

This page provides opportunities for other believers to express their views.  As lights in the world, we are to reflect back onto the true Source of the true Light that is now within us:  Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ.

You may either reply/comment to any of the reflections (it does not matter what date they were first posted), or else offer a reflection of your own.  (Vulgar language or racist comments will not be approved.)  Reflections posted will be those of their authors, not necessarily of the site administrator, who may or may not reply to all points approved for posting.

I will not always be able to respond or post immediately.  Your understanding will be appreciated, and I pray that this Reflecting Pool will be helpful to walking in truth, for edification, exhortation, comfort — and for honor to the name of Yeshua/Jesus, Lord and Messiah/Christ.

268 Replies to “Reflecting Pool”

  1. YESHUA RAISED THE BAR – 26 Jan 2019

    The Law of Moses allowed divorce, which Yeshua told us was because of the hardness of men’s hearts. Differing opinions within Judaism allowed husbands to divorce their wives for almost any reason. Yeshua allowed divorce for one reason only – sexual unfaithfulness.

    The Law of Moses commanded Israelis to love their neighbors as themselves. Other religious codes do the same, such as Islam; however Islam’s meaning of that is much different than the Law that YHVH gave to Israel. Yeshua commands us not only to love our fellowman as ourselves, but also our enemies. And above all that, He gives His disciples a new commandment, that we are to love one another as He has loved us. The royal law to love one another as we love ourselves is already a high bar for most human beings; the new commandment raises this standard to the level of God’s love. The Father has redeemed us to become conformed to the image of His beloved Son, who is the express image of the invisible God. What love He has bestowed upon us to call us the children of God!

    The Law of Moses teaches us that God forgives sins, and provides a substitutionary sacrifice for us to receive His forgiveness. The Law of Messiah teaches and commands us to also forgive sins. When Yeshua forgave the paralyzed man, the religious berated Him, saying only God can forgive sins. But the Lord said that the Son of Man also has authority to forgive people their sins. (Forgiving is implied in the command to love our neighbor as ourselves, but it is not explicitly commanded in the Torah. Yeshua brought it to light, and makes it a condition of true godliness — being like God, our Father.) Jesus tells us that if we do not forgive sins of others against us, then neither will our heavenly Father forgive us. If we, who have been forgiven so much by God through the sacrifice of His Son, do not forgive our fellows for the far less debt they may owe us, then the Lord will take back His mercy shown us and require us to pay back the full amount! (Mt 6:14-15; 18:21-35)

    Joseph is the best example we have from the Tanach of someone who forgave grievous sins and betrayal. He lived before the giving of the Law of Moses, but, by Joseph’s fear of the LORD and his faith, the Holy Spirit and grace of God enabled Joseph to overcome those very difficult circumstances that he suffered; and he also saw how God worked all things to together for good for him, who loved the LORD and was called according to His purpose.

    As believers and disciples of Yeshua, we do not want to return to the lower standard of the former covenant – a standard which the Apostle Peter said was a yoke that they nor our fathers could bear — but to go on to full maturity in the liberty and exceeding glory of the blood of the New Covenant of the Lord and Messiah. (Acts 15:9-11)

    “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Messiah Yeshua has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phlp 3:12-14)

    1. Amen!
      Thank you for walking in the Truth and the Way and declaring God’s Word as it is.
      We are called to say the Truth in Love. We are called to get sin out of the camp and not to compromise His commandments in order to please our flesh or men.
      Praying for men of God to rise up and call the body of Messiah to walk in holiness so we can see His Kingdom come!
      Thank you
      God bless you and your family,
      Ophir

      1. By the way Howard, while disappointed in general with the comments to your article as posted on Kehilanews, I enjoyed the response to the first comment….19 total comments so far. I am a gentile. I am saved by faith in Yeshua, being ignorant of the Mosaic Law. Paul was personally tasked by Yeshua to explain to gentiles like me what we should do after justification by faith, to live to please Him. Paul taught the moral aspects of the Law, yet did not require Titus the Greek to be circumcised. Paul, as the ambassador to Gentiles like myself, did not ever explain to gentiles like me to quit fishing for octopus, or to exterminate my herds of swine…..rather he stressed to consider the needs of others above those of myself……..so, I could be wrong, and maybe should not be eating shrimp, one of my favorite proteins. I will find out in the millenium, but as far as I can tell from the teachings of the ambassador to gentiles like me, Paul emphasizes adherence to the moral aspects of the Law, not because of the written letter, but because the written letter reveals the character of G_d, and under the New Covenant, in which the law is written in our hearts, we resonate with the moral attributes of the law from time immemorialable…..because the Mosaic Law was completed at the cross….yet the Mosaic Law still today reveals His character, which we yearn to be like and to please……

        But, since 70 AD, we cannot practice a huge chunk of Mosaic Law, and one might well argue the Mosaic Law ended when the Temple was destroyed, the Sanhedrin abolished, and the People Amiyim scattered, according to Devarim 28-32…..while the Mosaic Law died on the cross, the everlasting covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob still thrives, and is being fulfilled before our very eyes.

        Therefore, Paul teaches us gentiles through his letters, as the appointed ambassador to the gentiles, to abide with the aspects of the Mosaic Law that are important, and we can see those aspects deal with the moral character of G_d. The Mosaic Law does not apply as the New Covenant has taken precedence, in that the Covenant in His blood is “written upon our hearts”, Jew and Gentile, and our hearts resonate with His character as revealed in the Tanach……

        Shalom, and I most certainly do not have everything down correctly!

        1. Hi Sam. Thanks, as always, for your encouragement.

          It is my understanding that no born-again believer — whether Jewish or not — is under the Law of Moses. As you say, there are very many things that can not be observed, and many others that no one chooses to do, or can do. Yet the NT, through the gospel, calls us to a higher standard of righteousness, and by living by the Holy Spirit, we will fulfill that in Messiah, who did fulfill all the righteous requirements of the Law given to Israel, which He submitted to in order to redeem His people.

          As for culture, every culture has redeemable elements, as well as unredeemable, and we need to learn to discern the difference. Not always so simple. There are also cultural aspects which are lawful for us, but not really appropriate for us, or which do not build up other believers, especially younger in maturity. And, if the God of Israel has told His chosen people, to whom He gave them their “culture”, that there are some changes and differences for those who believe in Jesus/Yeshua, then how much more so for Gentiles regarding their heathen cultures.

          As for food, though, the NT is clear that it is no longer an issue for believers; yet none of us are to eat blood, eat meat that we are told has been offered to and idol; or from an animal that was strangled in order to eat it. Yeshua made all foods clean: the clean foods under the Law were already clean, therefore He has through His sacrifice made the unclean animals clean for eating. If He has made me clean, a sinful and unclean Jew in my sins; and if He has made the Gentiles equally clean by faith in Him; then He can make any food clean, which goes in and then out. He wants US not to be like those unclean animals. This issue of food is brought up in several places in the NT, and they are consistent in applying what Yeshua taught about that. And by this gospel truth, the Lord has also freed us up to be sent anywhere for His service, and to fellowship with those to whom we are sent, and with others with whom we serve Him. I am free to eat, or not to eat, unless I am required to to prove something to them.

          1. Sam, just to add another few thoughts:
            The Law of Moses is not finished; it is finishing. It is not obsolete; it is becoming obsolete (obsolescent). It IS finished for believers for RIGHTEOUSNESS.

            Every jot and tittle of the Law and the Prophets will be fulfilled, and there are still quite a lot of those, including judgment and redemption. The law during the Millennial Kingdom seems to be a modification of the Mosaic Law, according to Ezek 40 – 48.

      2. Thank-you, Sam, for coming to my defense (in a personal e-mail). I appreciate that. Those who tried to ‘shame’ me do not really know what they are talking about. It is not me that sets God’s standard for righteousness, and I did not get into any contingencies. The gospel came to the Jews first, so the changes and differences are first of all for Jewish believers to ‘get’. The Messianic roots of the Christian faith are in the Word of God given to the Jews, through whom salvation comes, even through Yeshua, of the seed of David, and of Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham.

        Yeshua raised the bar for righteousness, though, above what He gave to Moses for Israel. Not only that the Law is written in our hearts and in our minds, but beyond that to a higher standard of perfection, which the Law could not do. Paul writes (and he was the quintessential Jew) in different places that the Law is for sinners, for children, and for slaves. So if we — who are now called sons and daughters and friends of God — live by the Spirit (which I do not always do), and live by faith (which I do not always do), then we will fulfill the righteousness of the higher standard — which is the Lord Himself — which incorporates the lower standard in it. Thanks and praise to God that He is still my Savior! My righteousness is in Him! There are still Jewish people and still Gentile people and still the Church of God — made up of both, but being neither. And for born-again believers, we are under the one Law of Christ, and not under different laws, one for Jewish believers and another for Gentile believers. We are a priesthood together; and just as the Levites and the Priests had different regulations to live by than the rest of their Israeli brethren, so, too, do we than those who are not in Christ.

        God has not done away with the Law, as I wrote. It will all be fulfilled, even throughout the Millennial Kingdom, as well as modified. But it is passing away; but that which is eternal will never pass away. As far as I understand what I read, at the end of the 1000 year kingdom, Jesus returns all authority back to the Father, so that God will be all and in all (not at all like pantheism now). When love is perfected, there will be no need for ruling over anyone, nor for law. [Perfect] love is the fulfillment of the Law — whether of Moses, or of Messiah.

        There is a lawful use of the Law, Paul writes. There are many principles within the Law for us to learn from and apply. But that is not the same as being under the Law of commandments. The doctrines of the Apostles, as taught them by the Holy Spirit, based upon the teachings of Messiah, who spoke only that which the Father gave Him — these are what we are “beholden to” in the grace of God. Yet even here, we are saved by faith in the finished work of Yeshua on the cross!

        O for that day!

        1. Yes Howard, I agree with you…..we are not under the Law of Commandments, yet we follow the precepts that Paul and the apostles passed onto us in Acts and the Letters, which ultimately are based on the Law, and which also reflect the heart of the Lord……also imho!

          Thanks Howard…..you are a very good writer, and have much to bring to the believing and unbelieving public!

        2. Yes Howard, I agree with you…..we are not under the Law of Commandments, yet we follow the precepts that Paul and the apostles passed onto us in Acts and the Letters, which ultimately are based on the Law, and which also reflect the heart of the Lord……also imho!

          Thanks Howard…..you are a very good writer, and have much to bring to the believing and unbelieving public!

        3. Yes Howard, I agree with you…..we are not under the Law of Commandments, yet we follow the precepts that Paul and the apostles passed onto us in Acts and the Letters, which ultimately are based on the Law, and which also reflect the heart of the Lord……also imho!

          Thanks Howard…..you are a very good writer, and have much to bring to the believing and unbelieving public!

  2. CELEBRATING HOLIDAYS IN TRUTH – 4 Dec 2018

    Do you know, by the way, that the ‘miracle’ of the one cruze of oil that lasted for 8 days is just a tradition that was made up? (like some traditions in other Jewish and Christian holidays, that detract from the main thing). The reason for the eight-day celebration was because the Maccabees said that the Jewish people had all missed Succot (Feast of Booths/Tabernacles) that year a couple of months earlier — which is an 8-day celebration — because of the war against the Hellenists and Hellenizers, and the people were in a desperate state at the time. The victory brought joy of re-dedicating (thus, Hanukkah) the altar to the true God, and they made a proclamation that this victory should be celebrated yearly by the people for 8 days. You can read this from the original historical primary source in the Apocrapha in 2Maccabees 10:5-8.

    When I first read it some years ago, I was at first shocked, but then realized that Judaism has its own myths that we have taken at face-value. What we as believers in Yeshua/Jesus need to do is not to “throw the baby out with the bath-water”, but to discard those things which do not honor our God and Savior, and to keep that which is holy in the holidays which either YHVH has specifically given, or those which His people have established to remember His great acts in history on our behalf for His great Name.

  3. AGE-OLD HERESIES STILL WITH US – 9 Nov 2018

    In the church – the Body of Christ/Messiah – the same things that happened within Israel also threaten us: false teachers, false prophets come in to try to deceive us, and even by those who supposedly had been “saved”. The primary heresies, which seem to me that these teach, are:
    –that YHVH is not the one true God;
    –that Jesus/Yeshua is not God who came to us in the flesh, nor is He physically coming again to judge all unrighteousness and to rule and reign;
    –that YHVH God will not fulfill all of His covenantal promises;
    –that Jesus is not the only way to God the Father;
    –teaching immorality regarding sex, and the unrighteous pursuit and use of money;
    –that one has to become “Jewish” and live a Jewish lifestyle in order to be saved or to be righteous (or, the opposite: to ban any Jewish identity and practice);
    –that the Bible is not the authoritative Word of God to all people. (2Pt 2:1; 3:3-7)

  4. ISRAEL CONFLICTED – 11 Aug 2018

    The state of things here for the last years reminds me of the days when Joshua Ben-Nun led the Israelis after 40 years of desert wanderings to conquer the Promised Land of Canaan, which YHVH had/has covenantally promised to give them as an everlasting possession, which still awaits fulfillment when Israel finally repents as a people and nation and calls upon Yeshua to save them. The conquest then took several years, and the Israelis did not finish the job, leaving Canaanites in the land, which God said would become a snare for them thereafter. Personally, humanly speaking, I think that the Israelis simply got tired of so much fighting and killing and being killed or maimed, and just wanted to make do with a status quo that seemingly gave them the advantage. Today, with perpetual threats of warfare throughout her 70 years of nationhood, I think that for many of the Jewish people — not to mention on the part of ordinary people among the Arab population — they are worn out from all the fighting and killing, and, having lost their faith and way in the purpose of the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, want a peace — a worldly peace, mind you — that will hopefully (wishfully thinking) put an end to the everlasting conflict. It is really uncanny how a carnal and spiritual enemy gains the upper hand. Look at how the LGBTQI agenda has flooded society and the political and even religious discourse.

    NO WORLDLY PEACE AGREEMENT CAN ACCOMPLISH WHAT THE ONE TRUE GOD HAS PLANNED AND PURPOSED FOR HIS GLORY AND THE SANCTIFICATION OF HIS HOLY NAME. It might be like a band-aid or an aspirin — which we all appreciate for their temporary relief — but it can not, nor will not, cure the disease or prevent another and worse affliction. When you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the peace that David wrote of by the Spirit of God is the peace that is from God, not from man. The coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ will bring THAT peace, based on GOD’s righteousness. There are covenantal issues involved here, and not merely political, economic, military, social considerations as in other war-torn regions among various people groups. To ignore this, or to reject it, is to miss the whole plot. As those who profess to believe in the God of Heaven and Earth, and also in what He says, we are called and expected to have a prophetic voice in this matter, which is the testimony of Yeshua/Jesus/Yasua, calling all people everywhere to repentance, and proclaiming the gospel of salvation and the Kingdom of God. Otherwise, we simply take on a humanistic approach and join ourselves with others who do not know or love the Lord.

    Even the enactment of a new Nation-State Law, declaring that Israel is the Jewish nation of the Jewish people, is causing an uproar, not only among the non-Jews who are citizens and residents here, but also among Israeli Jews and Jews who live outside. This law is simply reiterating what has been accepted ever since the Balfour Declaration more than 100 years ago acknowledged, and every other legal ruling passed by the “international community”: the Jewish people were allowed to return to their ancestral land and reestablish their nation, while recognizing the civil rights and liberties of other people groups. There is democracy, but the Prime Minister will be a Jew. This is no different than when Israel was a kingdom, and there were other tribes of Israel, as well as other Gentiles living in the land. Yet, the King needed to be from the Tribe of Judah. The U.S. Constitution stipulates that the U.S. President must have been born in the United States. The Bible also distinguishes between those “strangers” living among the Israelis: there were those who wanted to be part of the nation as good citizens and part of helping the nation succeed; and there were those who were simply “foreigners”, who acted as a threat to the welfare of the nation — whether religiously, or politically. The Law gave those who were “friends” greater privileges and rights than to those who isolated themselves and remained a thorn in the side.

    This controversy over Israel’s new law, and seeking to determine her identity, just shows how EVERYTHING here is conflicted. Until the salvation of “all Israel” there will be no resolution to all of the conflicts — both external and internal. I have written before, the more “Jewish” that Israel becomes, the more difficult it will be for those who believe in Jesus/Yeshua. They may even pass laws prohibiting evangelism, or to restrict our right to teach that Yeshua is the only way to be saved. We see this from the very beginning when the rulers of the Jewish people told the Apostles to stop teaching in His name, and that people were afraid to say that they believed in Yeshua for fear of being put out of the synagogue (excommunicated from the Jewish community). There is nothing new under the sun! We pray and need the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to overcome these hindrances, not to necessarily work to get an unbelieving nation to overthrow their own religious sensibilities. More Gentiles are being saved as long as Israel remains an enemy of the gospel. This is the sovereign wisdom of God!

    The God of Israel told the Jewish people that they were to be good citizens in other countries, seeking the peace of wherever He scattered them. This is also what He tells believers in Jesus wherever we live: that we are to pray for those in authority, seeking a quiet and peaceable life, and also the repentance and salvation of those leaders and peoples. The god of Islam, though, for example, has another agenda wherever Muslims are, and he calls upon them to forcefully (whether through terror or through the political process) take over a society and impose Sharia law upon all: the means may change, but the objective remains the same.) It is a spiritual battle between our God, who is good, and against the Devil, who is bad. Simplistic, and simple. People are mostly ignorant of the core issue, because we have been deceived into thinking that maybe it isn’t so cut and dry, or that our God isn’t the only one who has the right to determine and carry out His will. We have been saved by His grace and mercy! And He loves all, and gave His Son to die for all, wanting that they be saved and not condemned eternally.

  5. WHO CAN PROPHESY? – 2 June 2018

    “Surely the Lord YHVH does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants, the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear! The Lord YHVH has spoken! Who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:7-8)

    Yeshua is the Anointed One (Ps 2:2): He is the Prophet, High Priest, and King. We who are born-again by the Holy Spirit are in Messiah, in Christ, in the Anointed One, and have an anointing from the Holy God. (1Jn 2:20-29)

    God reveals what He is doing to His servants, the prophets. Yet, He also says through Amos that He has spoken, and that all can prophesy! In other words, if we believe what God says, and understand it in our times, then we can all be ‘prophetic’, with the anointing that we have each received. The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Yeshua/Jesus. We do not need to be caught unprepared for the things prophesied to come, as Israel was because of not believing what YHVH spoke to them.

    Let us all be on guard against deception by abiding in the truth of what the Lord has said, and that is written for us in the whole of Scripture.

  6. Acts 3:19-21 – WHAT DOES IT MEAN? – 6 May 2018

    19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before whom Heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”

    There are those who believe and teach and live as if the Apostle Peter preached that until we restore all things, the Lord Yeshua will not return; or else, that He will return after He has restored all things. Does anyone know what ALL things refer to, and are you sure you haven’t left out anything?

    Others believe and teach and live as the Apostle Peter preached that when the time comes for the restoration of all things, then Yeshua will return to do that as He establishes God’s Kingdom back to Israel and over all of the nations. Satan is the current prince of this world, and will remain so until Jesus returns to imprison him.

    Last year I was asked to speak at a conference based on v.21. I brought a dissenting view.

    How one understands and interprets these verses, in which Peter meanwhile calls Jewish people and others to repentance in anticipation of Yeshua being sent back, will inform our worldview and the expectations we have leading up to that day.

    What does it mean to you?

  7. ISRAEL CALLED TO BE LIGHT TO THE GENTILES – 29 Apr 2018

    It is often said that Israel is called as a light to the Gentiles (Is 49:6), but that verse is actually referring to the Messiah, given to and through Israel to be God’s anointed and appointed Savior to all people.

    YHVH has called Israel to be a light to the nations for His name as an example of how good it is to have YHVH as her God; and that call remains to be fulfilled by the nation. (Dt 4:5-8) Meantime, that light does shine through Yeshua, and His Apostles who gave us the New Testament Scriptures, and through us today who believe in Him. So please take time to stand in the gap for God’s chosen people and nation that they WILL be saved, according to covenant promise, and that more Israelis will repent and believe the gospel “today”, assisted by seeing the Light in us.

  8. BLOODIED – 29 Apr 2018

    So many of us easily speak of “Jesus died for me”; or, “Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary”. But the powerful truth of the matter is that Jesus was “slaughtered” for us. This is what the Scriptures in their Hebrew and Greek originals say with respect to the sacrificial goat on Yom haKippurim (Day of Atonements), and to the Lamb ‘slain’ (read, slaughtered) before the foundation of the world. (Lev 16:15-16; Rev 13:8)

  9. GOD IS GOOD TO ISRAEL – 22 Apr 2018

    God is faithful; He cannot deny Himself. This gives us great confidence as to the steadfastness of our covenant-keeping God, and His intentions to fulfill all His glorious purposes which He has set for Himself and for those who love Jesus.

    Israel is given as an example to the Church: the God of Israel is the God of the Church. Yeshua, the King of Israel, is Jesus, the Head of the Body of Christ in all things. There is no difference as to who He is; there are distinctions between who Israel and the Church are, even though there is also a connection.

    A holy God and Father teaches us through suffering how to be obedient to Him, and to trust in His goodness through the hardship. This was true for Yeshua, although a Son; it must be true for each of us, too. It is true for Israel, YHVH’s chosen people and nation; it is necessarily true, also, for the Body of Messiah/the Church. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

    Since we have just come through the build-up and final celebrations surrounding the 70th birthday of the State of Israel, many people have written much about it. There is certainly much to write about this incredible country, full of flawed people chosen by God to bring glory to His name. He is working on that 24/7! The Holy Spirit is doing the same thing for us, imperfect living stones being built up together for a holy habitation of God, being perfected by the cleansing power of the blood of Yeshua and the Word of God.

    Israel and the Church are indestructible: God has promised both an eternal remembrance and destiny. All Israel will be saved; the Bride of Christ will live forever. These are “givens”. Please pray for Jews and non-Jews to repent and believe the gospel ‘today’ and be saved from the wrath to come, that they might be saved ‘now’ and know the Father, and Jesus Christ whom He sent.

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