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.

Beer Sheva: Gateway to Jerusalem

“Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness, seekers of the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham you father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him.”

‘For the LORD will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her desert like Eden and her wilderness like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the sound of melody.’ (Isaiah 51:1-3)

Beer Sheva has a history of nearly 4000 years: the City of the Patriarchs of the Israeli people; the city named by Abraham, the father to the Jews, to the Christian believers, to the Arabs. Beer Sheva’s future is full of hope because she has deep roots in the past Messianic promises of the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob – the God of Israel. Believers in Jesus from all nations confess their own faith in the God of Israel’s fathers, who all lived in Beer Sheva. Continue reading “Beer Sheva: Gateway to Jerusalem”

Giro D’Italia Race Thru Negev from Beer Sheva to Eilat – 07 May 2018

Yesterday marked an historic sporting event in the Negev:  the prestigious European bicycling race, Giro D’Italia, competed for the first time outside of Europe, being attracted to Jerusalem and to Israel.  This marks another accomplishment for Israel in her 70th year celebrations.  In the third leg of the Israeli location, 176 cyclists took just over 5 hours to race from Beer Sheva to Eilat.  (By comparison, a car ride would take close to 3 hours.)

https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Giros-lessons-553636

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!

Dimona Still in The Bible – 16 Jan 2018

Dimona is a Negev city southeast of Beer Sheva, lying right between Abraham’s city and the Dead Sea. It is mentioned in the Bible as belonging to the Tribe of Judah, near the edge of the territory. (Josh 15:21-22) It is a small city, and is also home to the Black Hebrews. It is probably most famous for the Israeli Negev Nuclear Research Center beyond the limits of the city on the SE side. Since the Scriptures are written for us living at the end of the age, and hostility towards Israel’s rebirth as a nation are related, so, too, is the Jewish Israeli people’s opposition to the gospel, since we are “miraculously” succeeding and thriving as a nation “without believing in Jesus”. Continue reading “Dimona Still in The Bible – 16 Jan 2018”

Arad Still A “Canaanite” Stronghold – 18 Sept 2017

The small city of Arad lays between Beer Sheva and the Dead Sea.  It is situated for clean air, beautiful panoramic views of the Judean and Negev deserts, and cold winter winds.  Arad was the first city in Canaan that the Israelis captured as they neared the Promised Land after the Exodus from Egypt.  Yet, because the LORD had sentenced them to 40 years in the wilderness before they would enter the land, they did not continue from the south to capture the land, but wound up going back and around to the eastern side of the Jordan River to eventually capture Jericho and much (but not all) of the rest of the inheritance. (Num 21:1-5)  Tel Arad, going back to at least the kings of Judah, has remains of a temple dedicated to both YHVH and to Asherah, paganizing the Jewish worship.

Today, and for many years, the Messianic believers in Yeshua in Arad have suffered much harassment and hardships from a group of non-Zionist ultra-orthodox Jews, whose intent is to control the city.  That harassment and intent has now extended to the secular residents and citizens of the city as well.  The Canaanite spirit of religious idolatry and antagonism to YHVH’s people and to the faith in Him whose name is great, continues to this day.

Here is an interview with a couple of the Messianic leaders in Arad, conducted by Kehila News:  http://kehilanews.com/2017/09/17/unholy-war-in-arad-violent-protests-in-israels-southern-city/

CONVERSION FOR ALL IN MESSIAH

Passover reminds us who are children of Israel that YHVH God – the Creator of the Universe and the Redeemer of His creation – brought us out of bondage in Egypt into freedom to serve and worship Him, the one true God.  This historic event, which resonates down through the generations until today and on into the future (Ezek 45: 21-24), stamped upon the Jewish people the reality of being the Chosen People, and Egypt and all the nations knew, by means of the plagues upon Egypt and the Egyptians and the deliverance of the Israelis from the rule of Pharoah, that YHVH is God, and the God of gods. (Ex 7:5; 9:14, 16, 27; 10:2; 12:12; 14:18, 31; 15:14-18; Josh 2: 8-11)

Conversion is defined by Webster’s On-line Dictionary in these ways which are relevant to this brief study:
1. An event that results in a transformation.
4. A spiritual enlightenment causing a person to lead a new life.
7. Act of exchanging one type of money or security for another.
8. The act of changing from one use or function or purpose to another.

Conversion the turning of a sinner to God (Acts 15:3). In a general sense the heathen are said to be “converted” when they abandon heathenism and embrace the Christian faith; and in a more special sense men are converted when, by the influence of divine grace in their souls, their whole life is changed, old things pass away, and all things become new (Acts 26:18). Thus we speak of the conversion of the Philippian jailer (16:19-34), of Paul (9:1-22), of the Ethiopian treasurer (8:26-40), of Cornelius (10), of Lydia (16:13-15), and others.

 Passover was an event in the life of the Israeli people which resulted in a [potential] transformation:  we were no longer slaves to earthly rulers, but free to serve and worship the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth! 

YHVH is the name of the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.  Jacob, as we all know too well, has a rather mixed reputation.  Although he appreciated the spiritual realities which the God of his fathers promised, yet he sought them in a way not acceptable to God:  Jacob sought them in his own way, and not by faith in the righteousness of God. (Rom 10: 1-4)  Jacob had to come to the end of himself as Jacob through the sovereign wisdom and providences of God’s grace and mercies before he was desperate enough to cling to the Man he wrestled with for His blessing:  you are no longer Jacob, but your name is Israel, a new man with a new and changed perspective on all things (Gen 28: 20-22; 32: 22-30; 35:9-15; 46:1-4; 47:9-10: 49:1, 28-30) 

Jacob was converted from being a God-fearing conniver who was very clever and competent to succeed in the affairs of this world (while at the same time making his name a stink to those too closely affected by him) to becoming a prince with God who recognized his complete dependence upon Him, and by whose grace alone He could obtain the great and precious promises and attain the character suitable for the Holy One of Israel.  By faith, Jacob blessed Pharoah; by faith, Jacob blessed his sons concerning the latter days; by faith, Jacob blessed Joseph’s two sons, and worshipped the God who had made him lame.  Jacob had become spiritually enlightened, which radically changed and affected his “religion”:  an inward transformation of spiritual character and motivations affecting the way he lived based upon what he professed to believe.

All who have been born-again have exchanged their currency of value from their good works, or racial or national heritage, or material or intellectual riches as an indication of blessedness.  In place of any of these, we conduct ourselves throughout the time of our sojourn in fear [of God], knowing that we were not redeemed with corruptible things … from our aimless conduct that we inherited from our fathers, but with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot! (1Pt 1: 17-19; Peter being, of course, the apostle to the Jews)  We no longer need to ‘prove ourselves’ to hope to ‘earn’ our way into the world to come, but we by faith receive the free gift of God’s grace and love through the sacrifice of His Son to give us the inheritance of being called the children of God.  God is become our Father, and it is His approval that we desire. (Rom 2:17-29; 4: 13-25; Mt 19: 16-30)

Both Jews and Gentiles have followed idols and become idolaters, which is false religion in whatever guise. (James 2:18-20; Jer 2:4-9; 16: 17-20; Is 41: 21-24; 1Thes 1: 6-10)  Being born-again from above by the Holy Spirit, we no longer serve our many idols which we have made for ourselves – including our own stubbornness and covetousness – and which both the prophets and the apostles railed against.  Now we serve the living and true God to glorify Him and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  We subject the members of our body, and, with the help and power of the indwelling Spirit of Messiah, we now serve righteousness rather than sin; we sanctify ourselves rather than adding more guilt and shame upon ourselves as we once did in our sinful lives apart from repentance and faith in God’s good news to forgive us our sins and to take away all our ungodly conduct of living. (Is 1:9-17)  As He has done for us as individuals in Messiah, so, too, will God do for His full remnant nation of Israel when Yeshua returns to save His people. (Rom 11: 25-27

“Thus says YHVH:  ‘Let not the wise glory in his/her wisdom; let not the mighty glory in his/her might; nor let the rich glory in his/her riches.  But let the person who glories glory in this:  that he/she understands and knows Me, that I am YHVH, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the Earth; for in these I delight’, says YHVH.”     “Behold, the days are coming,” says YHVH, “that I will punish all the circumcised with the uncircumcised . . . .for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the House of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.” (Jer 9: 23-26 Eng; 1Cor 1:18-31)

Our whole purpose in life has been transformed to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, rather than our own selfish personal and/or national interests based upon our own understanding.  Rather than trusting in our ‘relative’ goodness or good intentions or even chosenness – whether as Jews or as believers in Yeshua — we trust the finished work of the Lord Jesus on the cross in His death for our sins and sinfulness, and in Him who raises the dead to life to fulfill all His eternal counsels!  Praise the LORD!  God has become our Father through our believing in and loving His beloved Son.  Is this not a major overhaul!?  A genuine conversion of heart and soul and mind and thoughts and intentions has taken place and is continuing on to fullness which has brought us to love Jesus Christ/Yeshua Messiah, rather than despise and reject Him!  Not only that, we groan within ourselves to be manifested in His likeness, and for the resurrection which will eventually accomplish it!  We must all be changed – converted – whether Jew or Gentile.  It is not an issue of the flesh – of what nation or race I belong to; of course that has not changed nor does it in this world.  But yet, the world is crucified to me and I am crucified to the world!  Our boast is to be in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Gal 6: 14; Paul, of course, was as Jewish as any of us could possibly think to be, and he was the apostle to the Gentiles, who also speaks to the Jewish children of Israel:  Acts 9:15)  We no longer need fight for survival, but can rest in the peace and approval of God which He has given to us instead, and which He alone can bring to the world at large, when the King of kings and Lord of lords shall come out of Zion to Zion to establish righteousness and peace and joy of the Holy Spirit, as God’s kingdom is restored over His people and all of the world which He created and made for His glory and pleasure.

Truly believing in the name of Yeshua/Jesus for all that He Is requires a conversion for all, to the Jew first and also for the Greeks.  We are a new creation in Messiah; we have eternal life through Him who conquered death and the wages of sin on our behalf; we have passed from death to life:  truly the ultimate Passover and exodus!  Our whole manner of life is transformed:  it is not the old religion, but a new and living Way into the very Presence of God.

Every one who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.