Rabbi Ovadia Yosef died at the age of 93, following many months of deteriorating health. He was perhaps the most influential rabbi in this period of the return of the Jewish people back to the promised land. His influence was both religious and political, and affected all of Israeli society, not just the Sephardi Jewish (those who were especially under Islamic influence during the long years of exile) community which he specifically represented. This, in itself, was an enormous achievement: helping restore a measure of equality and dignity within the Jewish people, no matter if Ashkenazi (those Jewish people mostly under Christianity’s influence while in exile), Sephardi, or otherwise. His funeral procession of hundreds of thousands persons, the largest ever, from many sectors of Israeli society is testimony of his significance. Yet by his strong emphasis on his own heritage, politically there was much bias for his own constituency, resulting in some high-profile corruption, and harsh words for civil institutions and those whom he disliked. (God’s intention is to restore complete equality and dignity among and within all the House of Jacob — Ephraim and Judah — making them “one stick” when all Israel is saved by seeing Jesus whom they have pierced.)
Here is one article from the Israeli English press, highlighting the man’s life:
Speaking in terms of Judaism, Rabbi Yosef was a sage, a ‘wise man’, steeped in ‘Torah’, meaning especially the Oral Law which forms the traditional foundation of Talmudic Rabbinic Judaism. At his death, many of his own ardent followers and disciples cried out as if their shining light had gone out, and their father had been taken from them, leaving them as orphans in the dark. There is the sense that there is no one who can replace him. This is true in all cases when certain figures pass from the scene, and a generation is left with ‘lesser lights’.
In Biblical history, we see how YHVH, God of Israel, saw to it that Joshua Ben-Nun would be the heir to Moses, and acted on his behalf that he would be honored just as Moses was. We see this also when Elijah the prophet was taken up, and Elisha was there to be his anointed heir. It was God who indicated that Aaron’s son, Eleazar, would become High Priest following the death of Aaron. Following King David’s death, there was an attempt to usurp the throne which he had promised to Solomon. Whenever there is a void, and a lack of a publicly clear successor, power struggles often ensue, and divisions within the house become more evident. This is so within the Chabad movement which accepts their dead rabbi, Menachem Schneerson, to be the Messiah (which Ovadia Yosef categorically denounced). And this is already a much discussed issue over the passing away of Rabbi Yosef, and its consequences especially within the political party, Shas, which he founded to represent the interests of Sephardi Jews.
When Yeshua was with His apostles and disciples, He was preparing them for the time when He would no longer be with them, and He would not leave them orphans. At His death, even those closest to Him thought that their hopes were dashed, and went back to ‘business as usual’. When they saw Him after His resurrection, He spent 40 days with them to confirm them in the truth of His being alive again, and then told them to wait together in Jerusalem until they received the promise from the Father, the gift of the Holy Spirit to dwell within each one of them. At that appointed Pentecost/Shavuot, while the 120 disciples were gathered together, each and all received this gift, producing a harmony among these disciples as to who was in the lead (Peter), and what business they were about (preaching the gospel of God’s kingdom for salvation).
The 12 chosen apostles of the Messiah were a motley group of unlike people — Gallilean fishermen, a levitical tax collector, a Judean, a nationalist zealot. Yet the way of the Lord was able to bring these unlikely colleagues together, and, more importantly perhaps, keep them together in heart and mind, after His ascension to glory at the right hand of Power. The Holy Spirit held them in love and unity for the sake of the name of the Lord Yeshua, and reminded them of those things which He taught and did: how He loved them, chastening them, too, as a Big Brother, as a Good Friend, and as a Father to his children. The rest is history. Divisions have come within the house, but not because of those whom Jesus appointed to deliver to us the doctrines of the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
It is my prayer that, as the ‘wise’ of this age pass on (and they all know who Jesus is now, whether they are already glad, or already in torment), many of those who feel that there is not much hope in what comes after them, that their faith falsely placed in mere mortal men and their own wisdom would be turned toward the ever-living God of Heaven and Earth, who chose the Children of Israel to be His people and His children, and that He, in His infinite knowledge and wisdom and mercy, would favorably shine His uncreated Light of Messiah, the Son of God, upon them, that they might return home to the Father through calling on the name of Yeshua for salvation. Amen.
Today in the Jerusalem District Court, the three judges in the case of “Jewish terrorist”, Jack Teitel, found him completely responsible for his “cold-blooded” acts of murder and of attempted murder. In the courtroom, when asked by reporters whether he had any regrets for what he had done, he said the he “has no regret nor is he sorry for what he did”, and that he would do it again if he had to. Teitel received two consecutive life sentences for the two murders he committed, plus 30 more years in jail for the other attempts he carried out. In addition, he was ordered to pay a total of 680,000 ILS ($190,000) to the various victims of his crimes.
The judges, in their sentencing, said that despite all the religious claims of the murderer, he had violated the values of the people and nation, and the commandment which states, “You shall not murder”.
The case was particularly of interest to the Messianic/Christian community in Israel, because one of the victims was Ami Ortiz, the teenaged (at that time in March, 2008, during Purim) son of David and Leah. He opened a supposed Purim gift box left at the front door of their apartment, and the bomb blast severely wounded and damaged Ami and the home. Till today, Ami suffers from shrapnel still in his body, loss of hearing, pains, loss of three toes. Yet with all that, thanks to God, he has recovered wonderfully in body and soul.
None of the Ortiz family expresses any hatred toward Teitel, yet were determined to see that justice was done to such a one that has expressed no remorse and showed no mercy.
Israeli law does not recognize Jewish terror against Israelis or other Jews, which means that the Ortiz family has received no compensation from the government as victims of a terrorist act; whereas the Arab Palestinians who were his victims have received compensation. The Ortizes and their lawyers hope that this case will spur the government to modify the law to recognize that even Jewish people can be victims of other Jews simply for ideological reasons.
Here is the translation of an exerpt of the judges’ opening remarks in the courtroom, which form the conclusion of their transcript, before declaring th sentence on Teitel:
“Before the end (when the sentencing will take place) we want to repeat and emphasize: it was proven before us that feelings of hatred and frustration were used by the defendant while committing criminal acts, while sacred values became dust at his feet. We know that life is sacred and to be respected in every way, but we did not find a sign or memory of that knowledge in the possession of the defendant. Our scriptures command us: “Thou shalt not murder”, but the defendant stopped up his ears and eyes, and murdered and attempted to murder in cold blood. Every crime that he committed, was saturated with the contamination of the hatred of his mind and heart….
His actions become more evident and obvious, the murders were committed only because of the Arab origins of his victims, who were unarmed, without any threat of visible weapons or intimidation on their part towards him. The rest of the offenses the defendant committed were ideologically motivated. This is not a one case incident or a mistake, what we have before us is – a phenomenon.
The democratic System of government is honorable and worthy, when it is established on an interaction between the different segments of the nations that dwell in the country, Jews and Arabs as one, and the state institutions, which should be accompanied by a sense of trust and general confidence that prevails for every citizen, regardless of origin, whose actions are not led by arbitrariness of the heart but by appropriate values which we all want to depend on.
The State of Israel is blessed in this regard with governmental institutions that operate according to law, in a legal constitutional environment where sacred values are used as candles for its feet and human dignity and freedom are the leading values. But this matter in question invaded to the depths of our consciousness – and indeed violated one of the basic premises which guides us on a daily basis. The ruling in this case leaves no room for doubt: the murders, the attempted murders and other crimes committed by the defendant were directed at the heart of this country’s values which were stated beforehand, but it should be emphasized – that these malicious intentions cannot be tolerated by a society that fights against those who would try to destroy it.
This is true all year round, but even more so during these days between Memorial Day, Holocaust Memorial Day, and Independence Day.”
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.
Ex 12:1-7 And Yehovah spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be to you the beginning of months/new things. It shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth of this month they shall take to them each man a lamb for a father’s house, a lamb for a house. And if the household is too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take according to the number of the souls, each one, according to the eating of his mouth, you shall count concerning the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You shall take from the sheep or from the goats. And you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month. And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall slaughter it in the evening. And they shall take some of the blood and strike on the two side posts and upon the upper door post of the houses in which they shall eat it. Continue reading “PRAISE TO HIM WHO SITS UPON THE THRONE, AND TO THE LAMB!”
(Corrected and/or Revised on 10 Sept 2014; 4 Jan 2015; Mar 2015; June 2015; Aug 2015; Mar 2016; 31 Jan 2018)
Tonight (March 11, 2013), there is a New Moon. Do you see it? What is it that you saw?
This New Moon also marks the beginning of the first month in God’s redemptive calendar year given to Israel, leading up to the Passover on the Full Moon in two weeks. (Ex 12:2)
I am not going to give a teaching here on all that is written concerning the New Moon celebrations 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; 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.
My main purpose here is to try to shed some light on a subject which seems to have been darkened by human reasoning, rather than understood by faith in God’s own Word. We believe by faith, not by sight. (2Cor 5:7; Heb 11:2)
In Scripture, we do have references indicating that the sun, the moon, and the stars symbolize the Son, Yeshua; Israel; and, born-again saints, respectively. (Gen 1:14-19; 37:9-11; Mal 4:2Eng; 1Cor 15:40-41; Rev 12:1-2) Yeshua is the glory both of Israel — His people — and of the Church — His Body and Bride. In Him, both find their true identity and fullness. (Is 49:3; Lk 2:32; 1Cor 11:7; Col 2:6-10)
If we accept the truth that all things are created by God through Messiah Yeshua/Jesus Christ (Jn 1:1-3), and all in Christ find their true identity and purpose, then we can better understand that there is no Israel of God apart from Him; there is no true Church apart from Him. Even the sun and moon exist only through His creation, but in the eternal New Heavens and New Earth there will be no need for the temporal sun and moon. Again, these present things are but a shadow of the things to come, whose substance is Christ. The Israel of God (the Millennial Israel, ultimately, I believe) and the Church of God (those in Christ, whether dead or still living) are identified with YHVH God and His Anointed Son – the Holy Spirit indwelling the born-again believers: Messiah in us.
So, is the new moon covered over, that is, darkened?; or, is it a slim crescent, that is, partially revealed or exposed? The Scriptures are not silent about this, since God commanded Israel to celebrate every New Moon, and to blow the trumpets on that occasion! (Num 10:10) If Jesus does fulfill the meaning of the New Moon, and if the moon does symbolize Israel, then the answer to whether the New Moon is covered or partially revealed will be consistent with its symbolism. When the Holy Spirit speaks through Scriptural authority, then it is other voices which need to be silenced, as we “cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah…” (2Cor 10:5)
There are three Bible references to the New Moon that can help us:
1Sam 20:5 “And David said to Jonathan, ‘Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the King to eat. But let me go, that I may hide in the field until the third day at evening.'”
From this verse, we can see that David knew when there would be a New Moon, without there being any official ‘spotters’ to watch for it and inform all the others after they had seen it. David also says that he will be hiding in the field. How hiding? Because there would be no light of the moon to help make him detectable in any night-time movements (he would have been hiding out during the day in any event), as he sought to protect himself from the king who sought his life. (Were the New Moon the first crescent sliver, then each succeeding night the moon would have waxed larger and brighter, making hiding at night more difficult.) How long did he plan to hide out in the field during the New Moon? Until the third evening, which is about the length of time for the dark moon to wax as the moon moves from its final light phase to its next crescent moon.
Amos 8:5 “. . . When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? . . . .”
The heartless people, who were only concerned with their own commercial interests at the expense of the poor and needy, were anxious to know when the beginning-of-the-month New Moon (and also the end-of-the-work-week Sabbath) would be over – and not, “when is it beginning?” — so that they could get back to business and oppress the poor and needy. If the New Moon were a sliver of light (like the Islamic sign by sight!), there would be no need of the question! But if the New Moon is darkened by being directly between the Earth and the Sun, it could take up to three days until the light that was hidden to unaided human sight appeared again. (As an aside, an eclipse of the Sun can occur only at New Moon, while an eclipse of the Moon can occur only at Full Moon: there is perfect symmetry in the moon’s phases. And, exactly one half of the moon is always illuminated by the sun: God always ‘sees’ a Full Moon!) The oppressors wanted to know when they could again be ‘freed’ from the constraints of the Law of God in whatever way it restricted their greedy, self-serving thoughts and plans. The commandment to sound the trumpet was for the New Moon beginning, and not for the New Moon ending. Again, it is a new moon, not a renewed moon: it is there, yet concealed, signifying the beginning of a new month, not a renewed month. (Those who would make the first sliver of a crescent moon the New Moon are then putting the darkened phase at the end of the month rather than at the beginning. This is akin to those who moved Sonday to be the last day of the week rather than the first.)
Ps 81:3-4 (Eng) “Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon; at the covering, on our celebration day. For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob.”
Verse 3 (4 in Hebrew) has been used by many to go through hoops not to accept it for what it plainly and simply says in Hebrew. The two verses are in parallel. Verse 4 (5 in Hebrew) says in parallel the same thing: God gave His instruction to Israel – to Jacob – to celebrate the New Moon. Verse 3 (4 in Hebrew) is describing when to blow the trumpet: at the New Moon, which is described as being covered. (See also Job 26:9, where the Hebrew word is the same; for some reason, all of the translations have either ‘full moon’, or ‘throne’. The Hebrew word for ‘throne’ is spelled differently than for ‘cover’. The parallel part of the verse is not describing the time, nor is the verse speaking of two different moon phases, just as the other verse is not speaking of two different peoples. And, God did not command Israel to blow the trumpets on the Full Moons (which they could, though, when holidays fell on them; e.g., Passover, Feast of Booths, Purim). The Hebrew word is ba–kaseh (בכסה), which simply means ‘at the [whole] covering’. If something is partially covered, it is not ‘covered’: it is partly exposed. We do not speak of ‘covering’ something in some measure of light, but we speak of covering something over. Light reveals; darkness covers. Yeshua spoke of letting our light shine, not being hidden under cover of a basket. (Mt 5:14-16)
Identification with, and being the representative Israel (Is 49:3; Gal 4:4-5; Heb 2:14-18), the Man Yeshua came stripped of His innate glory as the Son of God. But the Sun of Righteousness died, went down in burial (hidden in the secret, dark, lower parts of the Earth), and rose again visibly and triumphantly as the Bright and Morning Star on the third day! As the risen Savior King and Head of the Church, believers ‘see’ Him clothed in divine light and majesty with the glory that was His before He came to His own, and to the world that He made. Israel has no glory of her own: the moon has no light but that of the sun which it reflects. YHVH called Israel to be a light to the nations, but without receiving her Source of Light, she is darkened until. . . – having an inherent hope of a restoration through the covenant promises of God to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to their descendants. Born-again Christians are a light. Yeshua has said: “You are the light of the world. . . . ” Stars are lights of their own, each with its own glory, but none outshining the glory of the Sun. (1Cor 15:41) Israel is still hidden from man’s view, as if away from the light of the Sun/Son, whom the nation still rejects because it prefers the darkness (Gen 3:7-10; Jn 3:19-21) During the New Moon, the illuminated side of the Moon is then pointed away from Earth, but is full in God’s sight, who sees the end from the beginning! (Num 23:18-23) The Church, through her historic replacement theology presuming that God is finished with Israel, also has consequently rejected the truth from God’s side that Israel’s future is assured. (Jer 31:35-37) Israel is beginning to be seen since the re-establishment of the State of Israel, and will be seen in her full [moon] glory when she rises up to remember the former glory that was given her by YHVH, and seeks with all her heart the true Son who has risen! (Hos 6:15; Rom 9:4); finally repenting, and accepting the Sun of Righteousness, Yeshua whom she pierced. (Zech 12:10; Mt 23:39)
The New Moon (which, technically, is only for a brief minute, but can seem to the natural naked eye to be extended over a period of some days) occurs when the visible side is completely covered from the light of the sun (much like a blanket over us to keep out light) by being directly between it and the Earth. It is the phase when the moon is ‘out of sight’, and the night, which the moon rules, is less lit. Yet, the stars are more brilliant and so many more can be seen when there is a New Moon. Spiritually, it is Israel’s phase of “being there”, but out-of-sight, and, for too many people, also out-of-mind. And, meanwhile, the born-again ‘star saints’ are given their opportunity to shine! So God, in His infinite wisdom, gave Israel a statute to remember the New Moon. The whole world — including Gentiles, angelic and demonic spirits, and the Body of Christ — are reminded of God’s New Moon which He gave for a sign and for seasons, and for days and for years: every month (from the word, ‘moon’; in Hebrew חודש/chodesh, new month), begins with the new and unseen moon that is there! It is a globally recurring heavenly sign from the Creator and Redeemer that He has thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give Israel a future and a hope. (Jer 11-14)
The trumpets for the New Moon are for a memorial before YHVH. The Memorial Feast of Blowing of Trumpets (Lev 23:24), which marks the beginning of the seventh month in God’s redemptive calendar to Israel (the Jewish ‘New Year’ today), is basically a uniquely appointed New Moon prophetic wake-up BLAST! to Israel to gather together for preparing to meet her God on the Day of Atonements, either to have her sins forgiven and removed by calling on His Name on that Day (Num 10:9; Joel 2; Acts 4:8-12; Mt 23:37-39), or else to face His wrath like the rest of His enemies. Those who are saved celebrate the Jubilee — truly a new beginning! — and as on all the celebratory days for His people, the trumpet is sounded. (Lev 25:8-10) Israel is the New Moon trumpet of God to the Church and the nations in these last days, to remember that the God of Israel keeps His covenant promises to the seed of Jacob. Israel’s full glory – the Full Moon – will be manifested when the Lord returns to dwell in the midst of His completely restored people at the fulfillment of the Feast of Booths (which always begins at the Full Moon of the 7th month of the redemptive calendar) – the Millennial Kingdom.
Israel is Messiah’s treasure hidden in a field (Mt 13:44), to be uncovered on the third day (Hos 6:2) at the revelation of Jesus Christ (who is Himself now hidden from the world (Jn 16:10)), when the surviving remnant of Jacob shall see Him whom they pierced, repent with great affliction of soul, and all Israel will be saved. (Zech 12:10 – 13:2; Rom 11:25-27)
Yeshua fulfills the New Moon in His death, burial (covering and removing our sins out of sight), and resurrection to life everlasting. Israel fulfills the New Moon, which symbolizes her as a continual reminder of God’s covenantal faithfulness — and of her hope in Him — that there is a day coming when her redemption will shine forth, the glory of the LORD will shine upon her, and all the nations will praise YHVH, God of Israel, and call her blessed when He cleanses her from all her sin against the Lord. (Lev 26:40-45) There is joy when a woman becomes aware that she is pregnant; there is greater joy when she has given birth. (Jn 16:21-22; Lk 15:7,10,32) What began in secret in the inward parts, (even as in the womb at conception. ..Ps 139:11-15), will come to light and be seen by all in its full glory, that which was already conceived by the Holy Spirit for a new birth and the celebration of life (Is 66:5-14)! Blessed is he who believes and has not seen! Even the creation began with darkness, being outside of God, who is Light! The heavens declare the glory of God! (Gen 1:2)
God is redeeming Israel today. He is again returning His attention to Jerusalem. He is calling His people to remember Him and to rejoice in His goodness and long-suffering, which lead to repentance unto salvation. Let all who want God’s purposes to be fulfilled, who desire the peace of Jerusalem, not keep silent, but remind the Lord as workers with Him to make Jerusalem a praise in the Earth, with a highway of holiness and blessing between Egypt and Assyria, running through Israel. YHVH God will remove unrighteousness from Jacob, and all Israel will be saved. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Lev 23:10-12 Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. And he shall wave the sheaf before Yehovah to be received for you. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to Yehovah.
Act 13:32-33 And we proclaim glad tidings to you, the promise made to the fathers, that this God has fulfilled to us their children, raising up Yeshua, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “You are My Son, this day I have begotten You.”
Ps 118:19-24 Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go into them, and I will praise Yehovah. This is the gate of Yehovah into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise You; for You have heard me, and are my salvation. The Stone which the builders refused has become the Head of the corner. This is from Yehovah; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which Yehovah has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Rev 1:9-11 I, John, who also am your brother and companion in the affliction, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the island that is called Patmos, for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. Also, What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches. . . .
The Prime Minister-designate, Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, is facing difficulties forming a new government coalition, partly over the issue of “sharing the burden”. Sharing the burden here primarily refers to more equality in sharing the economic and military burdens of the country. The political agenda of Yair Lapid and Yesh Atid (There is a Future), the party receiving the second largest number of votes in the recent elections last month, included in its platform making military service compulsory for most of the ultra-orthodox religious Jewish men who have been exempted in order to ‘study Torah’ (which is not really the Law of Moses or the Old Testament, but rather the Gemara, or commentaries on the Torah by Jewish sages of earlier centuries). The dilemma is growing as the percent of the ‘haredi‘ population grows, putting a burden not only on the defense of the nation, but also on the cost of paying social welfare subsidies to more and more non-working adult males.
One of the fears of the ultra-orthodox haredi community is the rampant secularism of the military institution, which they fear will negatively impact those young men (and women) with respect to their religious convictions. It is just on this matter that proclaims the weakness of their rabbinic religion and faith. Even us among the Messianic community of believers in Yeshua/Jesus recognize the risks at this juncture in the life of our children who generally do go and serve in one of the branches of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces/Tzahal): the years of military service of 18-21 year-olds is a proving ground and critical turning point in their lives regarding the choices they make for the way in which they will live.
We as believers in Messiah Yeshua are stereotypically accused of belonging to a cult, a deviant religious belief system outside the predominant religious culture, controlling and minutely regulating the lives of the adherents, and threatening to the ‘normative identification’. In Israel’s case, the predominant religion and culture is Judaism, which denies and rejects the truth of Messiah being Jesus. Yet, nearly all who identify themselves as of the Messianic Jewish/Christian faith (excluding Arab Christians) in Israel serve in the IDF, defending the country and its people — including the haredim and the Arabs — as a necessary phase in their lives, not only as citizens, but also in submitting to the civil authority under which we live.
For those who believe in Yeshua, this is part of religious faith, too, in this present evil age, even while we much prefer peace to war, and look with expectation for the Lord’s return to transform this world. The large majority of the believers in Yeshua here of working age also have jobs whose incomes are taxed by Israel. We are not cloistered away, but are sent even as sheep among wolves. (See earlier post on the topic of serving one’s country here: http://streamsinthenegev.com/latest-news/serving-ones-country-4-july-2012/ )
The tension in Israeli society between the secular and the religious is not between the large majority of Israeli Jews and the small minority of believers in Yeshua, but between the vast majority of seculars who believe that they are just as Jewish as the growing minority of the ultra-religious who claim to be the guardians of Jewish identity. Which is more the ‘cult’? According the the Law of Moses, all have a role to play as one people and family to share the burden of hearing YHVH’s voice and doing His will. Then, there will be an end to civil strife, military conflict, economic struggle . . . and the one true God will be glorified: Israel will be His people, and He will be their God; and all the nations of the Earth will praise and glorify the God of Israel for what He has done!
I just did a quick count-down and count-up and came to this conclusion on this fourth day of Hanukkah: if Jesus died in 30 AD (which is 40 years before the Temple’s destruction; mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 39b, and also referred to in the Jerusalem Talmud; see http://www3.telus.net/public/kstam/en/temple/details/evidence.htm ), and was 33 1/2 yrs old (having begun His 3 1/2 yr public ministry when He was about 30 years old, then He was born in Dec., 5 B.C., by my reckoning. http://streamsinthenegev.com/school-of-fish/conception-and-birth-of-john-the-baptiser-and-jesus-the-messiah/ (If He were born in 2 B.C., because of Herod dying in 1 BC instead of in 4 BC before Passover, then His death would have been in 33 AD, which reduces the forty years from the rent veil till the Temple’s destruction). The magi from the East could have seen His star up to a couple of years before they actually arrived in Bethlehem, Israel.
Yeshua, as the Passover Lamb, began His last week (Passion Week) in Jerusalem on Sunday, the first day of the week (the day after the Sabbath), which would have been the 10th day of the first month (Nisan) leading up to the Passover. He was “examined” until the 14th of the month (Ex 12), and was found without spot or blemish by the people, by the Jewish rulers (they needed false witnesses in order to “make” Him guilty and condemn Him), and by Pilate and Herod. He was crucified and died on the afternoon of the 14th of the month, Thursday. This also fulfills the prophecy connected with Jonah, that Jesus would be in the heart of the Earth for three days and three nights, rising early on the first day of the week as the first-fruits from among the dead, the day after the Sabbath.
“Good Friday” would have been a Sabbath as being the first full day of Passover (Lev 23); and I believe it is called Good Friday because believers — after the fact (and the Holy Spirit from the beginning) — would have come to understand that what took place the day before was actually the greatest victory of all ages and the essence of the Good News and the New Covenant: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, and to bury our sins with Him, fulfilling the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread at the appointed time of the 15th day of the first month! HalleluYah!
The Hebrew/Jewish/Messianic roots of New Testament faith are found in the Word of God given to and through Israel.
–Our life – the life of the Church – is based on the resurrection from the dead of Jesus
–falls on day after the 7th Sabbath following the resurrection of the Lord on the day after the Sabbath during Passover
Miracle(s): what only God can do, sovereignly and providentially
–Holy Spirit indwelling believers; and gift of other tongues given to many
–God accomplishing His purposes despite satanic and demonic opposition and unbelief of people
Is 11:1-5,10 ness(v 10) banner; flag; ensign; miracle SPEAK ABOUT; LIFT UP; WAVE; IDENTITY
—Messiah Yeshua/Jesus is the ness!
—Lk 1:30-31 miraculous conception of Jesus
—Acts 2:22-24 life of Jesus one of miracles, wonders, signs (Mt 11:5)
—Is 53:7 death of Jesus; did not open His mouth, but led as a lamb to slaughter
—Lk 23:39-47 spoke words of blessing on the cross; cried out with a loud voice
—1Cor 15:20-21 resurrection of Jesus
Is 11:11-12 ness(v 12)
—Regathered Israel to Promised Land is the ness!
–We are proof that God exists and that this God is YHVH, God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob!
—Jer 16:14-15 modern day Exodus from all the lands greater and more miraculous than all that took place in Egypt!
—Ezek 36:36 YHVH has spoken and will do it! To sanctify His holy name and His people.
—Rom 13:1-6 Governments ordained by God, and make decisions according to their perceived best interests. God intervenes to further His interests!
Fear God and worship Him only! He has given us two miracles/nessim to lift up, wave, speak about to draw attention and people to Himself: Jesus and restored Israel.
–The Jews irrationally hate Jesus/Yeshua, and want to blot out His name and memory.
–The Gentile nations irrationally hate Israel, and want to blot her name out from being a nation anymore.
–The Father loves both, and resurrects them from the dead, giving life to others! (Rom 11:15)
Yeshua proclaimed that if He be lifted up, He will draw all persons to Himself [and to the Father who sent Him]. (Jn 3:14-15; 12:32-33)
Tonight in Israel marks the beginning of Memorial Day, when the nation remembers those Jewish people who have fallen in battles or in terror attacks, going back to 1860. Back then in the 19th century, Jewish people began to have their hearts and sights on the return to Zion, to the land from which they were exiled as a consequence of the rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah, but which God had also promised a return. A return to the land, yes; but, even more importantly, a return to Himself. Just last week, Israel remembered the Holocaust — those who died; those who survived; and those ‘Righteous Gentiles’ who helped rescue and save some of the least of Jesus’ brethren (although Israel and the Jewish people do not yet acknowledge Him as their Brother).
Israel remembers and celebrates her 63rd Independence Day tomorrow night, immediately on the heels of appreciating those who have died on behalf of their nation and country. The establishment of the State of Israel is not the fulfillment of prophecy, but a present fulfilling of God’s own promise and oath to the fathers of the Children of Israel. It is still a work in progress: not only to bring more Jewish people ‘back home’, but, again, also to bring the Chosen People back to their Father and King. Israel’s true freedom will only be attained when she becomes dependent upon her Savior King.
For most Jewish Israeli people — and for discerning Christians — Israel’s re-establishment back in this land is a cause of celebration of what God is doing, as the day nears for the return of the Lord to restore the Kingdom of the Father back to Israel and to the whole world which He made. It is a great day as we acknowledge the goodness of God to His people. Most Israelis do not honor God for this miracle of not only her survival, but of her thriving in the face of much opposition. Nor do they honor the Son, who said that He did not come to annul any of God’s promises, but to fulfill them.
For most Arabs and Palestinians, however, this same great day for the Jewish people is a day of catastrophe — Nakba — to them. The establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people back in “Palestine” has been a source of great anguish and suffering both physically and emotionally for those who try to make a claim of “historical precedence” of dwelling in this embattled land.
In Gen. 18:17-19, YHVH God tells us that He chose Abraham to know Him, so that he would command his children and those who come after in the Way of YHVH. For those who know Jesus as The Way, we also learn that His Way is the way of the cross — the way of suffering, of shame, of death, of rejection, of obedience to God the Father in order that His will is done, and that His purposes are accomplished. All who believe in the God of Abraham have Abraham as their ’spiritual father’. Are we his children, whose hopes are fulfilled in the resurrection of the dead?
The Passover night in Egypt was a cause of celebration and hope for the Israelis who were protected by the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. It was surely a night of nakba for all those families in Egypt who lost a firstborn son that night, and whose lives were sorely disturbed by the God of the Hebrews. Yet there were those Egyptians who also feared the true God, and placed themselves under His protection with His own people.
Israel’s entry and conquest of the Land of Canaan — the Promised Land — was a great day for those who had come through the tribulations of the wilderness experience. The Canaanites had historical priority. It was surely a nakba to them. Yet Rahab, the harlot, had heard what a great God was YHVH as He brought His people out of Egypt, and led them in victory through the desert and against foes, to bring them into His land which He had chosen to give to them. For choosing the Kingdom of God over her own people’s loss, she gained a name of honor and a shared inheritance with the LORD and His people.
The death of Yeshua, which the rulers and the nation of Israel thought would bring them peace with the worldly rulers, instead turned out to be their nakba, as it brought God’s righteous wrath against His own people, scattering us to the ends of the Earth. This catastrophe for the Jewish people has been a great cause of celebration for many Gentiles, whose salvation has come through their present setting aside. (Rom 11:11-12) Many of these Gentile Christians have taken Israel’s calamity as a ‘proof’ that God has finished with His people and all of His promises to the Father’s regarding them. Praise the Lord that He is not like us: He changes not, therefore Jacob is not consumed!
The Holocaust brought much joy and satisfaction to the enemies of YHVH and of His Christ, thinking that they had finally put an end to the people whom God had abandoned for a time, and so to all the hopes of the fathers in the Word of the Living God. Their celebration over the nakba of European Jewry was the beginning of their undoing. The God of the Living, who revives the near-dead, and resurrects the dead, once again turned His Father’s heart to His lost and rebellious children — and gave them strength beyond their own power to be victorious in war over their return to their own land. What the ‘world’ had offered and then withdrew, the God of Truth brings His Word and promises to pass!
Israel’s sovereign presence in the present State of Israel by the will and power of the one true God is a nakba to all who persist in not seeing His hand in it. Christians, who do not believe that Jesus is the Amen of God to fulfill all that the Father has promised Him for an inheritance, also suffer in their own souls and spirits for siding with the ‘victim’ rather than seeing the Way of YHVH. He is no respector of persons; we are all offended at times by His way. The cross is an offense, yet it is the only way to glory. Jesus is in noboby’s camp, but we are called to outside the camp we have ’sided’ with, and join Him outside, bearing His reproach.
The Day of YHVH (the LORD) will be a great and terrible day: great for those who have been justified by faith and for those upon whom God shows mercy and compassion; a terrible nakba for those who have resisted His grace.
As an unbelieving, God-fearing, and self-righteous Jew, Saul (meaning ‘asked for’) blamed and persecuted his fellow Jews who had repented and believed in Jesus, the Man who had brought trouble to their leaders and for the Romans. After believing and obeying the revelation of the truth of who Yeshua really is, Paul (meaning ‘little’) was anguished in his soul over the punishment of his people and nation by the hand of God. As much as he knew and identified with the ‘narrative’ of his people, he never withheld from them the righteousness of the Way of the LORD connected with their catastrophe, suffering, and perplexity. The ways and thoughts of God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ are other than our own, and He has given us His Spirit to help us renew our minds and walk in His way.
The Lord of History is a great and awesome God. Let all who believe in Him humbly bow down and worship Him with much thanksgiving for saving us by the great and terrible sacrifice of His beloved Son, Messiah Yeshua the Nazarene — King of Israel; King of the Jews; Savior of the world and all who truly believe.
“…when they had preached the gospel . . .and made many disciples, . . .strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the Kingdom of God’.” (Acts 14:21-22)