Face of Jesus Uncovered at Shivta?

Archaeologists continue to find startling finds in Israel’s Negev Desert.  The latest is one in which they believe the face of Jesus is depicted.  The Shivta site is in the western Negev, not far from the Egyptian Sinai border.  Shivta is a Byzantine Christian site dating back to the early centuries AD.

What is particularly interesting in this depiction is that Yeshua has short hair and more of a Jewish Middle-Eastern appearance.  The later church renderings depict Him more as less Jewish looking, and more like a Nazarite, with long hair (and no drinking of wine).

https://www.timesofisrael.com/jesus-image-hidden-in-plain-sight-at-negev-church-is-one-of-earliest-in-israel/

Evidence of Jewish people’s history and presence in the land of Israel — and of Christian faith — is everywhere to be found throughout the State!  Come and see.

New Moon of 7th Month: God Remembers His Covenant With Israel

(Collage by Connor Madison)

Ps 19:1  The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.
Num 29:1-6

The New Moon celebrations were given by YHVH to Israel to commemorate, both under the Law of Moses and also in the future Millennial Kingdom (Lev 23:24; Num 10:10; 28:11-15; Ezek 46:1-8).  The New Testament tells those who are now believers in Yeshua/Jesus not to make too much of days, months, seasons, years, festivals, New Moons, Sabbaths – all of these things being shadows of things to come, but the substance is Messiah. (Gal 4:9-11; Col 2:16-17)

The Lord has told us that all of the Scriptures are written about Him, and we know that all of the sacrifices and holidays/appointed times are also fulfilled by Jesus in the entirety of His first coming, and in the anticipation of His coming again to fulfill all that is written in the whole of the Bible, which still waits for the Kingdom of God to come.  God has given His set holy-day times to remember who He Is, what He has done, and what He will do.  Even the Lord’s Supper/Communion serves those purposes. (1 Cor 11:26; Mt 26:26-29) Continue reading “New Moon of 7th Month: God Remembers His Covenant With Israel”

March of the Nations – 15 May 2018

Yesterday Randi and I were treated as special guests at the March of the Nations events in Jerusalem.  This year’s event was the first time that it had been held in Israel, and it was done so in honor of Israel’s 70th year celebrations, and especially in honor of — as are all of the Marches of the Nations around the world each year — Holocaust survivors and their families.  One of the victims spoke about surviving two death marches, but having participated in five Marches of Life.  His life after the horrors of WW2 and the Nazi death camps is a story of death and restoration:  22 members of his family, including two great-grandchildren, live in Israel today. Continue reading “March of the Nations – 15 May 2018”

The State of The State of Israel: The Gospel and The Body of Messiah

(Originally written for Spanish-language Christian newspaper in Guatemala)

What is God doing in Israel? What is the spiritual state of the State of Israel as she celebrates 70 years as a sovereign nation among the nations of the world? Her successes in many fields far surpass the normal expectation of other nations. By the long list of numerous innovations and developments that Israel is known for, God is drawing attention to Himself through His miracle nation! (Is 11:11-12) But how do we assess the whole of Israel by the Word of God? There are many perspectives on Israel and many opinions by believers concerning the current spiritual situation here in the land. One thing is for sure: Israel as a nation is still resistant to the good news of Jesus (Yeshua) being the Messiah. Continue reading “The State of The State of Israel: The Gospel and The Body of Messiah”

Whose Right of Determination? – 17 Apr 2018

Israel remembers tonight all her sons and daughters who have died in the numerous wars and terror attacks since her birth as a nation 70 years ago, according to the Hebrew calendar.  (The Western calendar Independence date is May 14/15.)   Every war and attack against Israel is an existential threat to her existence.  As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Through many tribulations we enter the Kingdom of God!” (Acts 14:22)   There is much suffering, even death, before entering into glory.

YHVH God of Israel called and destined His people to be separate from the Gentile nations, a holy people to Himself, and a priestly nation to the nations.  But in the days of Samuel the prophet, the Children of Israel asked for a king like the Gentiles have, to judge them and lead them in war.  God gave them what they asked for:  He gave them Saul to be their king.  (Shaul in Hebrew, which means, “asked for”.) Continue reading “Whose Right of Determination? – 17 Apr 2018”

Israel’s New Year and Examining Yeshua as Passover Lamb

Israel’s Biblical New Year begins tomorrow, Mar 17, the first of Nisan.

Let’s look here at how Yeshua was fulfilling the Word of God, who gave a pattern for how the Jewish people were to keep the Passover.  In Exodus, YHVH told Israel that their year would begin in the Spring/Aviv, on the first of the lunar month of Aviv/Nisan, marked by the New Moon.  God told Israel that each family was to choose their lamb for the Passover, and it must be without any imperfections.  They were to choose their lamb on the 10th of that first month.  They were to examine it during the next four days, and, assuming that it was without blemish, to sacrifice it to YHVH on the 14th of the month, at the Full Moon. Continue reading “Israel’s New Year and Examining Yeshua as Passover Lamb”

Mitzpe Ramon Like Mars? – 16 Feb 2018

There is an article in the Jewish News Syndicate which says that it is.
https://www.jns.org/israeli-scientists-simulate-mars-environment-at-secret-location-in-israels-negev/

Truly the whole world comes to Israel, and Israel is a microcosm of the world!  YHVH God’s chosen land to become His and His Israeli people’s inheritance — in that Day.  Not the land of Israel only, but the whole Earth and the whole of the Universe will be restored to the Kingdom of God, who created and made them!

In any case, meanwhile, Israel is working with others around the world in preparing for making a move to Mars some day.  Should anyone  wind up going to live on Mars, he will take his sin with him.  Thank God that He has a better idea to make life more habitable for a much longer time — even on this Earth!  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Pride Comes Before A Fall – 19 Jan 2018

Dt 8:11-20

The State of Israel is preparing to celebrate its 70th Independence Day this April 18-19.
http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Culture-Ministry-announces-plans-for-Israels-70th-anniversary-536822

Seventy years of the impossible being made possible. After nearly 1900 years of exile from the land God promised on oath to give to the children of Israel; after prayers and hopes of one day returning to Jerusalem; after centuries of suffering persecutions and unending dislike and mistrust; after forced expulsions from other countries; after trying to show that they are like the Gentiles among whom they live; after failures of other nations to keep promises to assist them in their return to the land; after the Holocaust which sought to destroy their aspirations once-and-for-all; after wars against their surrounding enemies throughout the 70 years of statehood: Israel and the Jewish people here are thriving and prospering beyond all expectations, and blessing the world through its acquired knowledge and innovations born of necessity. Continue reading “Pride Comes Before A Fall – 19 Jan 2018”

Will Israel Ever Accept Messianic Jews?

A couple of days ago the Jerusalem Post carried an interesting article on the plight of Jewish believers in Yeshua/Jesus:
http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Diaspora-Affairs-Will-Israel-ever-accept-Messianic-Jews-518129

This situation is nothing new, as the article makes clear.  Before my wife and I got married (and before we were believers in Jesus) , we went to speak with a progressive rabbi — liberal beyond Reform Judaism (I was raised Conservative).    She (who is not Jewish) asked him who is a Jew.  He said that anyone that wanted to be a Jew could be one.  She said that she didn’t believe that, but that a Jew is one who has the DNA:  someone might convert to the Jewish religion, but that did not make him/her a Jew.  The rabbi said that’s not so:  “anyone could be a Jew that wanted to be, as Ben-Gurion said”!  Then I asked about those Jews who believe in Jesus (such as the organization Jews For Jesus), and say that they are still Jews.  His face changed…..and hardened:  “You can not be a Jew and believe in Jesus Christ!”

I grew up thinking that a Jew who became a believer in Jesus was either not a Jew anymore, or, at the least, was a bad Jew.  My father and mother never reconciled with me still being Jewish after I became a believer.  I say that I was born Jew-ish and was born-again a Jew! 🙂  All this to say, I am not attempting to have Judaism accept me as a Jew.  Whenever any Messianic Jew has gone to the Israeli courts to try to prove that they are still Jews for the purpose of aliyah, they have always lost, and brought more difficulty on the others, making aliyah of Jewish believers more difficult.  But still, the Lord is bringing some over, including some with big names.  Judaism will not accept us; some Jews will.  Just like Islam will never accept Israel; but some Muslims might.
The particular story of this woman is really tragic, and only brings shame to our government and nation.  Our hope is in Yeshua/Jesus, also despised and rejected, and thrown out of the vineyard.  We, too, must go outside the camp where He is and bear His reproach.