Being Reconciled to God and to One Another

Matt. 23:16-21   The altar is greater than the gift

Matt. 5: 21-24   First be reconciled to your brother, and then offer your gift upon the altar

The calendar tells us that it is a new year,  a year which reminds us and the world that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh into the world which He made.  We can look back and consider how our God has watched over us and has kept us.  We can look ahead and know that our salvation and redemption are nearer this year than they were this past year.

The Lord is building up His church and showing Himself faithful, training us to trust Him fully to bring us through to glory at His coming.

God has shown us His way to be at peace with Him and with one another.  He had (has) a controversy with Israel and with mankind.  Our sins separated us from the LORD our God. What was God to do since it became clear that we were not going to do anything sufficient to get right with Him?   The reality is that we blame God for our problems and those in the world at large.  God’s altar is the place of sacrifice.  In Lev. 17:11 the LORD says that the life of the flesh is in the blood, and that He has given it to us upon the altar to make atonement for our souls.  The heart of God our Father came to us in the person of His Son Yeshua, who sacrificed Himself on the cross to make atonement, to make reconciliation, for those who have sinned against Him.  Yeshua satisfied God’s righteousness and justice so that the LORD can show grace and mercy and compassion to whomsoever He will.  He has reconciled Himself to man.  We have been given the ministry of reconciliation in that we are to be peace-makers, telling and showing others how they can be reconciled to God:  through repentance and faith in Him through Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin.  This is the love of God and the new commandment to love one another as Jesus has loved us:  if we know that someone has reason to have something against us, we are to humble ourselves and grant forgiveness based on the righteousness of  God.  Then we can come to the Lord’s table and supper; then we can offer our gifts and prayers and praise to God.  For we have acknowledged that the cross – the altar – of God is greater than any thing which we can offer.  It is the faith we have in, and the thankfulness for,  the sacrifice of God’s Son that sanctifies us and our gifts, both before God and before our brothers and sisters.

When Jesus came into the world, His whole life was consecrated to God His Father and to His Kingdom.  He knew that the spirit in the world was opposed to God.  He came to give honor and glory to His Father, whom He knew to be good.  Jesus brought light to expose the darkness in men’s souls, even in those who claimed to know and to serve the LORD.  Before the Holy One of Israel, many of the religious leaders were exposed as hypocrites, not really sincere in caring about God’s interests, but more concerned for their own honor and privileges.  Jesus did not sing their songs or dance to their tunes.

(Mt. 11: 16-19; Is. 22:12-13)    The Son of God listened to God’s voice and responded in a manner which showed that He loved His Father more than He wanted to prove that He was a man like others of His day.  He seeks the lost sheep of the House of Israel, those who want to be found and go back home.

There is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance (Ecc. 3:4).  What “time” is it this year?  Certainly the Lord will give us much to know and enjoy the liberty that we have in Messiah.  Yet the Holy Spirit in us groans and mourns over the sin still acting within us, and the spirit in the world which still is separated from and in opposition to the LORD and to His Anointed One – to the sovereignty  of God and the truth that Jesus is LORD.  The people of this age are getting ready for a big party and celebration for the new millenium.  They have forgotten God, and, sadly, so have many who are called by His name.  It is written that the joy of the Lord is our strength; if our joy is truly in Jesus, the Holy Spirit will enable us to respond in a worthy way to show that we love our heavenly Father, that we are His children and servants.

Even so, the Lord Jesus says to His disciples that when we see these things beginning to happen, that we are to rejoice, for our redemption is near.  As God intervenes in the affairs of man – whether in grace or in judgement – the holy Father in Heaven so loves the world that the reconciliation which Jesus accomplished still abides:  the blood of the Lamb still speaks salvation and  peace to those who will repent from their unbelief and evil and, instead, believe the love of the truth:  God has forgiven sinners and Jesus rose from the dead to justify all who believe that with thanks.

This year the Lord wants to bring forth more fruit from us His  people.  He wants to give us His song to sing.  Jesus has given us His peace.  Let us desire to be at peace with one another for His sake.  He will make us glad in Him.

The Gospel, The New Covenant, and The Messianic Faith Are Neither Jewish Nor Greek – 19 Dec 1998

Jude 3 – contend earnestly for the faith which was once-for-all delivered to the saints
[Lk 22:19-20]; 1Cor 11:23-26 – remember Yeshua and His death until He comes again

The heart and foundation of the gospel and of the New Testament and of our faith as Christians is Yeshua the Messiah and Him crucified, risen from the dead, ascended to glory, and coming again.  Our sins are forgiven through faith in the once-for-all sacrificial and atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.  We have fellowship (communion) with God our Father and with His Son, and with one another through the Holy Spirit indwelling all who are born again by the Word and the Spirit of God.

Does this sound like the religious teaching of Judaism?  Does it sound like the wisdom of the world’s great thinkers and philosophers?  NO!  For the cross is an offence to the one born with natural honor and privilege before God, such as to the Jews being the chosen  people, and  a  rock of stumbling to our fleshly pride and ambitions.   For the wise of this world, the cross – the means of a sure and shameful death for the transgressor – is foolishness, simplistic.  Yet for the one who believes, whether Jew or Gentile, the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God is the power of God unto salvation!

The gospel breaks down the wall of hostility between God and mankind, and also between Jews and gentiles, men and women, free and slave – in such a new way that it was a mystery known only to God until He revealed it in His own time to the Apostle Paul, in particular, who then made it known to the gentiles (nations), to kings, and to the children of Israel.

From the beginning in the Garden of Eden, the LORD God promised a Deliverer – a Savior – from the devil and evil to humankind through the Seed of the woman.  We learn in Romans how this deliverance extends to the whole creation.  To Abram the gospel was preached in that God told him that through him all the families of the earth shall be blessed.  It is faith such as Abraham showed which characterizes the faith of the true Messianic:  he believed the LORD; he believed what God said; he believed and trusted in the LORD that God Almighty could and would fulfill His promises, even if He had to raise the dead to do it!  The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob is the living God of the living, the God whose power raises the dead to life eternal!  The Creator of the heavens and the earth is the one God of both the Jews and the Gentiles!

Is this what Judaism or any other of the world’s religions teaches?  Yet it is this good news and covenant of grace through repentance and faith in God which Yeshua came to bring and to fulfill.  He came to fulfill all that is written in the Law and the Prophets; He came to fulfill the word of God His Father – not the words or interpretations of anyone else.  The Jews and the nation of Israel as a whole rejected Him; so have too the gentile nations and peoples once the gospel is brought to them.  For the gospel allows no flesh to glory in itself or to approach God and live:  we must all – both  Jews and  gentiles from whatever nation or culture – be born again.  When we are baptized, we acknowledge not only Jesus’ death for us and His resurrection, but also our own death in His death, and our own resurrection in His, that we may no longer live unto ourselves but rather unto God in holiness and righteousness.  Therefore, there is continuity with our past life as unbelievers in that the Law and the prophecies are still being worked out fully; yet there is discontinuity in that we are alive in the reality of resurrection life, eternal life by the indwelling Holy Spirit –no longer under law but under grace.  The Holy Spirit will fulfill in us the righteousness of the Law, which we establish by faith.

The gospel and new covenant are so contrary and transcendent  to the natural man’s religion and intellect.  Let’s consider just a few points regarding Israel, since God gave Israel as an example for the Church and to the world:

  1. The religious and political leaders (in whom the people were represented) claimed that Yeshua consistently  broke the Sabbath regulations, even as He was manifesting the grace and mercies and compassion of God the Father towards others .  (Mt 12:2,10; Mk 3:2; Lk 23:14; John 7:23; Is. 58)
  2. They claimed that He was demon-possessed and cast out demons by the power of Satan, even as He was bringing the reality of the Kingdom of God into their midst.  (Mt 12:24; John 7:20; 10:19-20)
  3. They called Jesus a blasphemer because He claimed to be  God’s Son, or that God was His Father, thus making  Himself equal with God;  they accused Him of blasphemy because He, as a man, forgave sins.  (Mk 2:7; John 5:28; 10:31-39;  cp. 1 Chron. 22:9-10)
  4. The meek shall inherit the earth, rather than the rich and mighty who trust in their wealth and power and wisdom.  (Mt 5:5; 19:23-26; Jer 9:23)
  5. Many of the disciples themselves stopped following (walking with) Jesus when He spoke about eating His flesh and drinking His blood – a thought contrary to Israel’s law received from God.  (John 6:66; Lev. 17:11-12; Gen. 9:4; Acts 15:18-20)
  6. The apostles themselves were scattered when the Shepherd was crucified.  (Mt 26:31; Zech 13:7)
  7. Before knowing the Lord, did we see any beauty in Him that we desired Him?  Did we not, each in our own way perhaps, despise and reject Him?  Did we not consent to His death, assuming that there must have been some justification for it because of some sin of His own rather than for ours?  Paul, as Saul, was a blasphemer and a persecutor of Yeshua (who was already exalted back in Heaven) through the believers, the Body of Messiah, while being himself a zealous and God-fearing  Israeli!  (Is 53; 1Tim 1:13; Gal 1:13; Acts 9:4-5)
  8. A new commandment has been given God’s elect:  to love on the level of God’s love to us as shown and demonstrated through Jesus.  (Mt 5:43-48; John 15:12)

Brothers and sisters, the Christian testimony of Jesus being the Messiah and the Son of God the Father is confessed by both Jews and Gentiles who have believed and obeyed this revelation.  The gospel crosses every nation, culture, and language; the gospel brings Heaven’s rule and authority into the midst of the rule of the prince of this world’s power.  Jesus came to bring a sword into the world and to give His peace to the believer.  The church of the first-born includes all from Adam and Eve onward who have put their faith for salvation in the Creator God Almighty, who later revealed Himself as YEHOVAH, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, and still later as the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The equality of Jews and Gentiles before God under the New Covenant in Christ is still difficult for both to accept and be reconciled to.  The Jews wanted to stone Yeshua and, later, Paul  when they spoke of their mission including gentiles.  For about 15 years after the death and resurrection of the Lord and after Pentecost (Shavuot), the early church was Jewish in character.  The Jews thought that all gentile believers had to become Jewish.  The Holy Spirit and the council at Jerusalem declared otherwise in the wisdom of God.  Later in Church history the opposite occurred:  the non-Jewish believers thought that all Jewish believers had to become gentile, fitting the cultural norm wherever they were living.

The truth is that in Messiah God has made of the two one new man – one loaf representing Christ’s one body in unity.  Today there is still a spiritual battle being fought to bring the Body of Christ to full maturity of the faith of the Son of God – comprised of both Jews and Gentile believers, but not being either quite Jewish or ethnic in character.  Our unity in Messiah and our love for one another is our testimony in and to the world that we are disciples of the Lord Jesus and that God sent Him and loves us as our Father, even as He loved Jesus.

The gospel is God’s good news – offering peace on earth, goodwill towards mankind.  Give thanks and  praise His Name!

TIMELINE: Conception and Birth of John the Baptiser and Jesus the Messiah

Conception and Birth of John the Baptiser and Jesus the Messiah     Rev. Nov 6, 2013; Jan 7, 2014; Nov 2014; Nov 2015, Aug 29, 2017, Nov 16, 2017

John the Baptiser (Immerser):  Type of the Christian/Messianic [Believer]
–Forerunner of the Lord Messiah for the first advent
–the believing Christian and the two witnesses preparing and heralding the way for the second coming
–prophet in spirit and power of Elijah

–Not the Light, but bearing witness to the Light:  people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light

–Proclaiming Yeshua as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world
–Filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb
–No one born of woman greater than John, yet anyone born into the Kingdom of Heaven greater than John
–Gabriel’s angelic announcement to Zechariah, John’s father, on the Memorial of the Blowing of Trumpets (1st day of 7th lunar month of redemption, and a New Moon) — trumpeting the herald!
— with conception following, possibly during the Days of Awe leading up to the Day of Atonements.

–Priestly family
–Zechariah’s name means “YAH’s remembrance”
–Elisheva (Elizabeth), John’s mother, means “God of oath”
–Yochanan (John) means “YEHOVAH is gracious”

–The set (appointed) time of the Memorial of Blowing of Trumpets (now referred to as the Jewish civil New Year) is a day to remind God of His covenant and of His promises and oaths; to be reminded ourselves of the same and to repent of our waywardness, turning back to the Lord and to His Word; to proclaim the way of salvation and to exhort one another to humble ourselves and to exalt the gracious Creator and Redeemer, our Father in Heaven and Lord Jesus Christ
–a herald of God’s faithfulness and holiness
–precedes the Day of Atonements, on which Israel’s iniquity, sins, and transgressions were atoned for and cast away:  Yeshua/Jesus, the perfect sinless Lamb, becoming like unto us goats (sinful flesh) and becoming sin for us

–John’s birth at Shavuot (Feast of Weeks; wheat harvest)
–in the 3rd redemptive month, and the time of the giving of God’s law on stone tablets and of the Holy Spirit putting God’s law in our minds and hearts [of flesh]
–The Law and the Prophets were until John, but now the Kingdom of God is preached.
–I must decrease; He (Yeshua) must increase.
–typifying the birth of the Church, the Body of Christ, which bears witness to Messiah Jesus being our Passover Lamb, our Savior and Lord
–the born-again Christian filled with the Spirit of God from new birth
–prophetic ministry:  repentance unto the LORD God our Father and faith in the LORD Jesus Christ
–priestly ministry :  grace and mercy and compassion according to God’s Name
–kingly ministry:  self-control; authority in Yeshua’s name; royal priesthood in Messiah
–six months before the birth of Yeshua, meaning Savior:  “He will save His people from their sins”

–Yeshua/Jesus born during 9th Hebrew month
–A Great Miracle Happened Here!  A  mighty act of God to celebrate!
–the evening of the 24th / the morning of the 25th of the 9th month is the beginning of the 8 days of Hanukah, commemorating the rededication of the Temple altar–the acceptable approach to  God:  Jesus restores the eternal way and is greater than Temple, and He overturns Gentile kingdoms (Hag 2:18-23)
–His circumcision would have been on the last day of the Feast of Dedication (the 3rd day of the 10th month); [The 24th/25th of the 9th Hebrew lunar month in some years coincides with the 24th/25th of the 12th solar month, December, with the last and eighth day of Hanukah then coinciding with Dec 31/Jan 1, the new solar year.  The Jewish lunar calendar is adjusted for synchronization with the solar:  the sun—the greater light–rules.]
–winter, typically dark and cold; (Could not the God of nature not have caused, if needed  a pleasant, early winter night to go out to?!)  Jesus came into the darkness to defeat the powers of darkness, beginning the repossession of the Earth  and of all the nations back to Himself from Satan and those other divine beings who oppose the sovereignty of  YHVH!
–the Light (Festival of Lights) shines into darkness, and the darkness does not comprehend it
–from the beginning of winter the daylight begins to increase, “pushing back the darkness”

Yeshua was possibly conceived at the beginning of the Hebrew calendar year (1st of Aviv/Nisan, a New Moon in April), and born near the end of the  Western calendar year (12th month of December).  The first day of the Hebrew calendar is 14 days after Purim, and 14 days prior to the Passover.   Conception by the Holy Spirit as God acts on behalf of His covenant people Israel, in Spring, when kings go out to war.  He was conceived during the turn of the first season of the ‘Christian’ year, Winter/Spring, and was born at the turn of the last season, Fall/Winter.  Between these two events, book-marked by Purim and Hanukkah – two Jewish holidays established by the people celebrating God’s faithful covenantal interventions and mighty acts on their behalf – is the redemptive calendar established by YHVH to Israel from Passover through the Day of Atonements up till the Feast of Booths, and celebrated by the Church at the Lord’s Supper:  remembering His death until He comes.  This timeline shows a harmony between the Jewish and Western Christian calendars, between the lunar-solar and the solar calendars which bear witness to HIStory.

Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah/Christ:  Fulfilling the Word of God and His Set Times (either providentially, or as revealed)

Purim (not an expressly revealed set time, but providentially set by God and acknowledged by His people)
–the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the virgin Mary that she would have a son named Yeshua
–celebrated on the 14th day of the 12th and last Hebrew month (Adar; corresponding to March), thus during a full moon
–“help for deliverance from another place”
–spiritual enmity and warfare:  Seed of the woman vs. the seed of the serpent

Hanukkah (but greater) (not an expressly revealed holiday, but providentially set by God and acknowledged by His people), to restore true worship from the paganism that had come in
–In the Second Book of Maccabees (written approximately 80 BC) we are told that “on the very same date on which the Temple was profaned by foreigners, there occurred the purification of the Temple – on the 25th day of the ninth month (that is, Kislev, which generally corresponds to the month of December, the 9th month of Israel’s year’s start usually in April). Joyfully they held an eight-day celebration after the pattern of Tabernacles … remembering how a short time before, they spent the Festival of Tabernacles like beasts… Therefore, holding wreathed wands and branches bearing ripe fruit, and palm fronds, they offered songs of praise to Him Who had victoriously brought about the purification of His Place. By vote of the commonwealth they decreed a rule for the entire nation of the Jews to observe these days annually” (2 Maccabees 10:5-8 Apocrypha))

The same writer states at the opening of 2 Maccabees, “And now we ask you to celebrate the Days of Tabernacles in the Month of Kislev” (2 Maccabees 1:9).

For those believers who say that Yeshua was born during the Feast of Tabernacles, because He “tabernacled” among us, once again we see how God has gone before us:  “There is no wisdom, or understanding, or counsel against YHVH!” (Pr 21:30)

–see Haggai 2, with its several references to the 24th day of the 9th month, Chislev  (Hag 2:10,15,18-22; Lk 2:10-11; 1:46-55 )
The Lord also speaks through Haggai about what He will do from this day and forward:
He will lay the foundation of the temple:  Yeshua is the true Temple (His person and body); He is the Cornerstone, the Stone that the builders rejected. (Hag 2:18; Ps 118:22-23; Eph 2:20-22; Is 28:16; Mt 16:18; 21:42-44; Lk 20:17-18; 1Pt 2:4-8; 1Cor 3:11)
He will blessGlad tidings of great joythis day in the city of David is born Messiah the Lord!  Glory to God in the Highest!  Peace on Earth and good will towards all mankind!; This is the acceptable year of YHVH; Today, is the day of salvation.
He will shake Heaven and Earth:  the heavenly host of angels praise God at the Earth-shaking news that the God of gods, the Lord of lords, the King of kings was entering the world in such a manner to take it back for Himself, overturning the kingdoms of this  world, and the works of the devil! (Gen 3:15; Is 9:6-7; Mt 2:2; Lk 1:30-33,52; 2:9-14; Mic 5:2; Jn 8 – 10; Dan 2:36-45; 7:14; Acts 17:6-7; Rev 12:1-5; Heb 12:25-27 second coming)  It is also noteworthy that the 24th of Chislev was the Jewish date on Dec 8-9, 1917, when the Moslem Turks surrendered Jerusalem to the British forces under the leadership of Gen. Edmund Allenby during WW1, just over a month from the public proclamation on Nov 2 of the Balfour Declaration, and of the ANZAC victory in the Beer Sheva Charge on Oct 31.  These events certainly indicated in these last days that the God of Israel was very much involved in the affairs of men in the fulfilling of His covenant promises regarding the restoration of His chosen people back to the land of covenant promise, putting the Gentile kingdoms of this world on notice that their times were being numbered!
Zerubbabel would be His signet ring:  Zerubbabel appears in both lists of Yeshua’s genealogy (Mt 1; Lk 3), descended from David.

   —Birth and Circumcision on the first and the eighth day of Hanukkah
–10 lunar months / 9 solar months after Purim
–on Friday afternoon:  the second and last Adam, leading into the Sabbath eve, as the first and last day/night of the Feast
         –SabbathGod’s rest and refreshment found in His Son.
— The Shabbat/Sabbath is the 7th day of the week, bringing to completion, fulfillment of the ‘old’, that God can bring in the new.
–in winter; at a time not expected; 24th/25th of ninth Israeli month (Chislev; corresponding to December), coinciding [at times] with 24th/25th of December
–-A [truly] Great Miracle Happened Here!; The Heavens declare the glory of God, and nature speaks!:  a warmer than usual early winter night (?)
–Israel was commanded to celebrate in holidays YHVH their God and His mighty acts for their life and redemption. (Dt 16:1-17)
–Believers in Israel free-willingly celebrated and rejoiced from generation to generation His greatness and mighty acts and works. (Ps 145:4-13; 150:2)
–Surely the Body of Messiah would have even more reason to free-willingly offer to our great God and Savior family and corporate celebrations of His coming to personally bring redemption and salvation by the greatest mighty act in human history (not to diminish the crucifixion and the resurrection)! (Phlp 4:8)
–the Light of, and in, the world; the true Deliverer and Savior; the God of gods was reclaiming all that was rightfully His!

Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and the 40th day of counting the sheaves
   —Death, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension
nature speaks:  a colder than usual spring night of betrayal and the powers of darkness (Jn 18:18)

–from the 14th day of the 1st of the months (Aviv/Nisan; corresponding to April) to Israel through to near the end of the 2nd lunar month of redemption; begins at a Full Moon

–Passover <Exodus <Coming up from crossing of Red Sea:  Thursday<Friday <Day after the Sabbath–the first day of the new week

–Jubilee:  restored liberty and inheritance:  joy in YHVH

Shavuot/ Pentecost

–in the 3rd Hebrew lunar month of redemption (Sivan; corresponding to June) (on the 50th day of counting the sheaves from the day after the first real Sabbath during the Passover week, counting seven full Sabbaths from that day of Firstfruits/Resurrection; thus always set to occur on the 1st day of the week) Lev 23:15-17

God the Father’s promise of the Holy Spirit

–John the Baptiser born:  filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb

INGATHERING:  The Good Shepherd regathering the lost sheep of the House of Israel and of the other nations
Memorial of Blowing of Trumpets
    –the set time on the 1st day of the 7th lunar month (Etanim/Tishrei; corresponding to October) of redemption; a New Moon
–John’s conception:  herald of Messiah; God is gracious to remember His covenant promises and oaths to Abraham and to David
–John’s “Elijah ministry” preparing for and preceding the Messiah’s revelation to Israel
–“Repent!  Prepare ye the way of YHVH.”:  prophetic righteousness for the remission of sins
           –“Behold!  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”:  priestly grace
–the first resurrection at the last trumpet, following great tribulation but before God’s wrath poured out

Day of Atonements
    –set for the 10th day of the 7th Hebrew month
propitiary sin offering by (of) Jesus as a Man and High Priest unto the LORD God His Father
–scapegoat offering of Jesus bearing away upon Himself the reproach of our guilt and shame (Lev 16)
    —Jubilee:  [new] year of release proclaimed by Yeshua and secured through His redemptive death and resurrection
–The Day of YHVH
–Jubilee trumpet blown (possibly the ‘last trumpet’)

Feast of Booths (Tabernacles)
–the seventh Feast of the LORD, celebrated from the 15th – 22nd days of the 7th month of redemption
YHVH God with His people — Immanuel — on the basis of the finished work of atonement; Jesus establishing His Kingdom on the Earth after His return in great power and great glory; the Sabbath rest for the people of God
–the fruit harvest
–Jesus’ baptism (at about 30 years of age):  the fullness of God’s satisfaction  in Man, as the dove rested on His Son
–water pouring ceremony at Pool of Siloam
–transfiguration:  glorification — the fullness of God’s presence in Man
–God the Father’s testimony of His Son, through and in Whom are His people:  “This is My Son in Whom I am well pleased (have found delight)”:  Immanuel
–each child of God, and the Body of Christ corporately, is the Temple of God in the Spirit, God’s dwelling place
–Yeshua led into the wilderness by the Spirit in order to be tempted and proved:  40 days in the wilderness/desert correspond to Israel’s  40 years in the wilderness after the redemption and deliverance from Egypt at Passover, which is commemorated during Succot (Feast of Booths):  we remember His death until He comes.  Yeshua succeeds where Adam and Israel failed!  Praise to our only wise God and Savior!

I did a quick count-down and count-up and came to this: Jesus died in 30 AD (which is 40 years before the Temple’s destruction; see corroborating evidence from a hostile third party, the Talmud, an unsympathetic source: http://www.windowview.org/hmny/pgs/talmuds.30ce.html). It is widely accepted that Messiah/Christ was 33 1/2 yrs old at His death. Having begun His 3 1/2 yr public ministry when He was about 30 years old, then He was born on the 24th of Chislev, 5 BC, by my reckoning, being necessary that He was born before King Herod died, whose death is historically recorded as being in 4 BC.  The magi from the East could have seen His star up to a couple of years before they actually arrived in Bethlehem, Israel.

The Time of the Lord Yeshua’s Second Coming

(Updated Aug 7, 2014)

Just as the birth, death, and resurrection of the promised and prophesied Messiah and Savior occurred at the appointed time and in the fullness of time, so, too, will be His return as Lord of every man. (Gal 4:4; Eph 1:9-10)

On the human side, we are plainly told by the Lord Jesus that we can not know precisely when the time will be. (Acts 1:7; Mt 24:36; Mk 13:32)

On God’s part, there is a time which He has set, and which no one or any thing can alter or prevent.  He is YHVH, the Lord God of history, and of its times and seasons. (Mk 13:32; Rev 9:15)  

At the same time, the Lord Himself does give us, as does the Holy Spirit through the apostles, signs of the end, or signs of the time which will prepare those who are His to be watching, working, praying:  birth pangs (labor pains) indicate nearness, and are more frequent and more intense and increasingly difficult to bear:  Mt 24; Mk 13; Lk 21; 1Thes 2; 1Thes 5:4-5  A growing expectation of Christ/Messiah to come will see the appearance of many false messiahs and prophets, just as at His first coming. (Mt 24:21-18)
That day should not overtake believers as a thief in the night, for we are sons of light and of the day.

The Lord Yeshua also used parables towards preparing us, and the Holy Spirit gives life to His words, especially in their season:  the fig tree blossoming (Mt 24:32; Mk 13:28; Lk 21:29)
He also states the necessary response of His people, which will correspond with His own sovereign grace which brings forth such a response:
–Israel:  Mt 23:39  Blessed is He who comes in the Name of Yehovah!  Blessed is Jesus/Yeshua!
–Church:  Rev 22:20  Come, Lord Jesus!

His timing includes the salvation from among all peoples and nations:
Rom 11:25-26  all Israel to be saved when the fullness of Gentiles are brought in to the Messianic olive tree

The question is always asked, “Why isn’t there peace if the Messiah has already come?”  The Tenach (Old Testament) is clear that there would not be peace at/during this time:  Ps 2:2,9; 110:1; Dan 9:26   In the New Testament, Yeshua confirms the Word of God about this present lack of peace:  Mt 10:34

The prophet Daniel writes of 70 weeks (7’s) which YHVH has determined for Israel in order to bring to fulfillment His purposes, which are clearly stated. (9:24-27)  We have already considered in our previous study (http://streamsinthenegev.com/school-of-fish/eclectic-course-menu/time-of-messiah-yeshuas-first-coming/) 7 plus 62 of these “weeks” of years = 483 years, which brought us to Yeshua’s crucifixion (His “cutting off”) after the 62 weeks (not 69 uninterrupted weeks!).  When is the 70th week, and is this gap between the 69th week and the 70th biblically prophetic?  Think of examples of sports clocks, penalty box, work week:  real time vs playing or working time.  “Time-out” is the present situation for Israel.
Lev 23:9-24   The indeterminate specific starting date (not the day) between Passover/Unleavened Bread and the beginning for counting the sheaves; the prescribed days and weeks from First-Fruits (resurrection life/day after the Sabbath) up to Shavuot/Pentecost in the third month, and, consequently, the indeterminate yet seasonal length of time till the first day of the seventh month.  Provision also made for the poor and stranger to benefit from the harvest (i.e., spiritually poor Israelis and also Gentiles in the prophetic application).
Lk 21:24   Jerusalem to be trampled underfoot by Gentiles until the time of Gentiles fulfilled
Eph 1:9-10   mystery of fullness of dispensation of times
Rom 2:4; 2Pt 3:9   goodness and long-suffering of God lead to repentance unto life; that is, the time is not ‘fixed’ from a merely human standpoint:  in setting the appointed time, God has built in an indeterminate flexibility, so that for us, the Lord’s return may seem either too soon, or else later than we want!

The 70th “week of Daniel” apparently begins with the confirming of a specific covenant by the antichrist with the nation of Israel.  During this week of 7 years – midway, 3 1/2 yrs, 1260 days, ‘time, times, and a half’ (Dan 9:27; 7:25; 12:1,7; Rev 12:6,14) – the covenant is broken by the antichrist, and the abomination which brings desolation takes place.
Dan 9:27, 11:31; 12:1,11-12   –70
th
week and the abomination in the middle of it; great tribulation
Mt 24:15-16,21-22,29-31   Jesus, the Son of Man, coming on clouds of Heaven with power and great glory; after great tribulation

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly!’  Amen.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all.” (Rev 22:20-21

Time of Messiah Yeshua’s First Coming

(Updated Aug 7, 2014)

The New Testament writers understood the Scriptures through their faith in the glorified and exalted Yeshua – who died and rose again and ascended into Heaven to the right hand of the Father – by the Holy Spirit who was their – and is our – Teacher.

Our reliance is on the record of the Bible.  Other books and teachings are useful and helpful to the extent that they enlighten God’s Word to us and direct us to see for ourselves the sufficiency of the Biblical record.

It is vital to apprehend the truth that all of the prophecies regarding the coming Messiah converged upon and in the person of Yeshua of Nazareth at that time in human history when He came into the world, and during the course of His life, ministry, death and resurrection.  NO OTHER PERSON (OR ANY OTHER THING OR ENTITY) MEETS, NOR CAN MEET, ALL OF THE PROPHETIC QUALIFICATIONS PERTAINING TO THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD, THE KING OF ISRAEL AND OF THE JEWS!  YEHOVAH God is the Lord of history:  He determines and sets the appointed times and seasons for the carrying out of His sovereign will.

Gal 4:4   In the fullness of time God sent His Son.  (The precise dates of His birth, death, and coming again are not completely clear, partly because of calendar discrepancies.)
Lk 12:54-56   Jesus called the people hypocrites for their ability to discern the signs for the weather, but not the signs of the time.
Lk 19:44; Dan 9:24-27   Jesus wept over Jerusalem for its impending destruction because she did not know the time of her visitation.
Acts 2:36   The apostle Peter preached that the whole House of Israel should know that God has made Yeshua/Jesus, whom we crucified, both Lord and Messiah.

EXPECTANCY around the time of His birth
Mt 2:1-8  Wise men from the East; chief priests and scribes of the Jews; Herod the king:  all were aware that the Messiah was due

Lk 2:25   Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel through the birth of Yeshua and the salvation of the Lord.
Lk 2:36   Anna was looking, along with others, for the redemption in Jerusalem.
Acts 5:34-42   references to false messiahs/christs during that period
Lk 1 – 2   the angel Gabriel’s announcements to Elizabeth and Zechariah, to Mary and Joseph; and the angel of the Lord telling the shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem
Lk 1:26 – 2:40 (Is 7:14; 9:6)   A young virgin did give birth – a sign to the House of David – and was spoken against (both Mary and Jesus), and was called by divine names.

EXPECTANCY during Yeshua’s ministry
Lk 3:15; Jn 1:19-27   The question arose as to whether John was the Messiah, and, if not, then why was he baptizing?
Jn 1:35-51   Andrew and Nathanel, when chosen by Jesus to be His disciples, recognized in Him the One of whom Moses and the Prophets wrote – the Son of God and King of Israel.
Jn 4:25   The Samaritan woman knew that Messiah should come.
Lk 7:19-22 (Is 35:5-6; 61:1)   John the Baptiser wanted to make sure if Yeshua really was the Messiah as he had been given to think, or was there someone else?  Jesus answered the inquiry by demonstrating the power of His anointing to do the signs and miracles and works of YHVH’s Anointed One.
Lk 22:67; Jn 10:22-24   The elders and the chief priests and the scribes asked Jesus to tell them if, in fact, He was the Messiah. 

EXPECTANCY surrounding His death
Lk 23:34-43   mocking, but also saving faith

PROPHESIED BY GOD to entire human race through both Jewish and Gentile voices, and also by angelic voices:  Moses, Balaam, Jacob (Israel), Daniel, magi
Gen 1:1-5; Jn 8:22   The Light of the world is Christ:  pre-existing, not created
Gen 1:14-18; Jn 9:45   The sun was made and appeared on the 4
th day of creation; Jesus the Son (Sun of Righteousness) came into the world in 4th
1000-year day.
Mt 2:1-11   The star of the child born to be King of the Jews was observed and recognized
Gen 49:8-12   the sceptre and law-giver with Judah until Shiloh comes
Num 24:15-19   Star out of Jacob; out of Jacob one shall have dominion
Dan 9:24-27   The  death of Messiah was to be before the destruction of the second Temple, which occurred in 70AD
–70 7’s:  days (Sabbaths); weeks (7 days each); years (Sabbatic and Jubilee)  [NoteGen 29:27-30 Jacob served Laban a “week” = 7 years]
–*7 + 62 weeks = 69 weeks = 483 years “counted” from the time of “the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” until His being “cut off”/death

     *Different assumptions of chronology and dating cause discrepancies in determining the dates.  It is clear from Scripture that the first of the seven weeks began with the decree of Cyrus, King of Persia, followed by a break of about 13 years before the decree was re-affirmed by Darius, and building of the Temple re-started, and of the city. (see Is 44:28 and Hag 1; 2:18; Ezra 6:1-4; Neh 2:1-8)  With the break in the building project, the actual time from the initial decree by Cyrus would be closer to 500 years.

2Chr 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; 4:12; Hag 1:4   Cyrus gave the decree, which He claimed was from YHVH.  He proclaimed a Jubilee, and the end of the first of the 7 “weeks”/49 years marked the beginning of the next Jubilee.   

Is 44:28; 45:1-13   Prophecies about Cyrus, the LORD’s anointed, before he was born!  Cyrus would make the decree for the building of Jerusalem and for laying the foundation of the Temple, and proclaim liberty for the captivity of Israel.    

Ezra 6:1-14; Neh 2:1-8; Haggai   a halt in the work, but Cyrus’ decree was confirmed by Artaxerxes
–The first 7 sevens, or 49 years, coincides with Nehemiah’s work to restore Jerusalem and the Temple service.  There was a notable spiritual revival, which saw the cleansing of the Temple and the restoration of the Temple order and service. (Neh 7:1; 12:44; 13:9)  After a ‘time-out’ of about 13 years, the ‘clock’ begins again for 62 more weeks.  So the time of Yeshua’s final week and ‘cutting off’ (death) is after the 62 weeks, and not 69 uninterrupted weeks!

–7 x 7 = 49 years

    7 x 62 = 434 years (400 yrs before birth of Jesus + His death in His 34th year of human life)
7 x 69 = 483 years + ~13 years of interrupted building of the Temple

–The 70th “week of Daniel” is sometime after the death of Messiah, and also after the destruction of the second Temple and also of Jerusalem, and is ‘clocked’ from the confirming of a covenant by the antichrist with Israel back in the Land in the last days at the time of the end.

SABBATH: THE 7TH DAY AND THE 1ST DAY OF THE WEEK – 25 Aug 1995

(Friday evening dinner teaching to Lutheran, Pentecostal, and Free Church Christians in Kangasala, Finland)

Revised 5 Mar 2017

Gen 1:1    In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.
       1:31  And God saw every thing that He had made, and , behold, it was very good.  And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Gen 2:1-3; Heb 4:10  Thus the Heavens and the Earth were finished, and all the hosts of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He ceased ( שבת) on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.  And God blessed the seventh day sanctified it because that in it He had ceased from all His work which God created and made.

Ex 20:9-11; 23;12  Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work.  But the seventh day is the Sabbath of YHVH your God. . . . For in six days YHVH made Heaven and Earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and He rested (ינח) on the seventh day; wherefore YHVH blessed the Sabbath and sanctified it.
                We remember the Creator for His creation, and His rest.

Ex 31:12-17; Ezek 20:12,20  The Sabbath is a sign between YHVH and Israel to know that it is YHVH who sanctifies us; He ceased (שבת) and was refreshed (ינפש ) after His six days of creation.

Lev 23:1-3   And YHVH spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them concerning the appointed times of YHVH, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My appointed times (seasons; feasts). . . . The seventh day is the Sabbath of rest (cessation שבת )

       23:39   [Feast of Booths]. . . on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and the eighth day shall be a Sabbath.
God begins and ends with rest (שבת ).

Dt 5:12-15   . . . and remember that thou was a slave in the land of Egypt, and that YHVH your God brought thee out from there by a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm; wherefore YHVH thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.
             We remember the Redeemer and Deliverer for our redemption, and our rest.

Is 58:13-14   the Sabbath to called a delight (עונג)

Heb 3:7 – 4:11  There remains therefore a rest (cessation) to the people of God:  the gospel message of rest to those who believe (Heb 4:2), as we cease from our own works as God did from His.

Mk 2:27-28   The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Shabbat; therefore, the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath also.

Jn 4:34; 5:17-18; 9:4   Yeshua/Jesus answered them, My Father works till now, and I work.  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He had not only broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
God’s present on-going work is that of redemption and salvation.

Good works of grace (lovingkindness) and truth are lawful on/for/during the Sabbath, Shavuot (Weeks; Pentecostal present dispensation), Jubilee (the present acceptable year of YHVH which Yeshua the Messiah proclaimed, the Millennial Kingdom to come:

Mt 12:7,10,12   to show mercy; healing; to do well (good)
Mk 3:4   to do good; to save life
Lk 13:16   to circumcise
Jn 6:29; 7:23   to circumcise; the work of God is to believe on Jesus Christ, whom God sent  

Yeshua, the Son of God and the Son of Man, fulfills the Sabbath:  in Him God finds rest and refreshment, and in Christ believers enter into God’s rest and liberty. (Is 11:1-2; Mt 3:16-17; Jn 1:31-34; Is 28:11-12; Mt 11:27-30; Is 66:1-2; Act 7:49)  The Lord Yeshua was in the grave and Sheol (Hades) on the seventh day Sabbath between His crucifixion and His resurrection on the day after the Sabbath (the first day of the new week; the “eighth” day):  death to the self-life as representing Man and Mankind (“putting off the old man”); alive unto God through faith (“putting on the new man”). (Col 3:9-10; Rom 6; 1Cor 15:45)

This is the life and the way of the cross for the disciple of Jesus.  We are to bear our own burden of responsibility, and help others carry their over-burden, so fulfilling the Law of Messiah.  The Sabbath looks on to the Millennial Kingdom – the 7th 1000-year day with YHVH – when all shall know Him, from the least to the greatest, and when the Kingdom of God/Heaven rules over all the Earth – and throughout the Universe – never to be yielded up again forever! (Jer 31:33-34; Ps 8; 92)

Yet, the Shabbat itself requires consummation or fulfillment (filling full), an answer to sin and death, burial and hopelessness in man’s own experience and expectation apart from truly knowing and believing in the one true living God.  Praise God for the day YHVH has made:  the day Yeshua rose from among the dead on the day after Shabbat; the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the first-fruits of believers; the first day of a new creation in the power of the God of resurrection; the day when God spoke, and there was Light and Life – even life after death! (Gen 1:3; 2Cor 4:6)

God is creating a new eternal day of the New Heavens and New Earth, where there is no darkness, no sin or suffering or curse or death; where, and when, all things are made new, and that which is perfect is come; the hope and promise of the new and better covenant in and by and through Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father!

When we are born-again we become children of the resurrection and children of light.  The Sabbath reminds us that God created the Heavens and the Earth in six days, and rested on the seventh.  As we remember that, on the first day He formed the light to push back the darkness that He created.  He did not need to create light, for God is light!  Yeshua is the uncreated Light, and we are brought into God’s light.  The first day of the week (the “one of the week” in Hebrew and in Greek) is also holy!  Praise the Lord!

The Sabbath of the 7th day has abiding value through to the end of history and time. (Ezek 43:26-27)  The 8th day (the day after the 7th; the 8th year following the Sabbatical; the Jubilee after 7×7 years) is founded upon the fulfillment of the previous seven, and looks on prophetically for the believer to eternity, when time is no more, and God is all and in all. (1Cor 15:19-28; Rev 21 – 22) 

In the New Testament we read that the believers met on the first day of the week. (Acts 20:7; 1Cor 16:1-2)  This is in fulfillment of the Word of YHVH through Moses to Israel. (Lev 23:11,15-16,36)  The Apostles to the Circumcision — Peter, John, and James — make no specific reference to the Sabbath Day.  Yeshua, in His letters to the churches through John in the Revelation, makes no reference to the Shabbat.  Let each of us be convinced in his own mind, and be servants for the gospel’s sake.  The Sabbath remains for now YHVH’s sign of the covenant with Israel; believers in Israel normally worship together on the Shabbat, since it naturally fits into the Israeli Jewish culture within which — and among whom — we live.  Yet the Shabbat cannot nullify the significance of the day after, nor can the first day of the week nullify the still on-going significance of the seventh-day Sabbath.  We are God’s witnesses to both! 

Hold fast to our inheritance and testimony, even while thanking and praising and worshipping our great God and Savior for the liberty He presently allows for in His wisdom when believers can assemble and worship together.  May the Holy Spirit enable us to worship God our Father, and the Lamb who sits upon the Throne, in Spirit and Truth.  Amen.

The Scapegoat – Day of Atonements

Lev. 16:5-10, 15-22; Is 53:10– living scapegoat bearing all the iniquities, transgressions, sins of Israel; Israel being atoned for on the basis of the accepted blood sacrifice of the first goat to the LORD; two goats. . .one sin offering:  atonement (reconciliation) and the effectual removal of guilt and uncleanness

To consider and to study from the Word of God about the Day of Atonements in general, and its sin offering and whole burnt offering in particular, is to enter into the Holy of Holies, into the eternal counsels of the Eternal God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Places are open now to anyone who is born again from above by the Holy Spirit through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His atoning death for salvation.

Simply stated, the King of Glory – the Son of God – humbled Himself by clothing (identifying) Himself in the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom. 8:3) as the Son of Man, and offered (sacrificed) Himself in purity and without blemish unto God as a sin and guilt offering, shedding His own blood, to the glory of God the Father, and taking upon Himself all of our iniquities, transgressions, and sins in order to be the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe, that we might live before the Holy God – indeed that God may live with and in us – in His love and righteousness.

I want to bring before you the “Goat” which stands live before the LORD – the second goat “to Azazel in the wilderness”: the Scapegoat. What does the expression “to Azazel” mean to any of you in your own languages? [damn!; hell; go to hell!; go to the devil!] The term connotes accusation, blame, punishment, banishment, hatred – always toward innocent victims and that they should be sent away to someone or someplace. (It is not a fit expression, given its thought, from the mouth of a Christian since God has no desire that any human being should go to hell, but rather, on the basis of the atonement, that all should be saved. That so many will choose to condemn themselves is beyond our own comprehension.)

Who was (were) the first scapegoat(s) in the world?  Gen. 3:11-12 – the LORD YHVH (and Eve)
–Who did the LORD hold principally responsible for bringing sin into the world?  Gen. 3:14, 17 – the
serpent [deceiver; Satan], and Adam
–Were Adam and Eve responsible and accountable for their own sin and disobedience?  Gen. 3:16-17 —  Yes
–How did Adam first realize his own sin?  Gen. 3:8-10 – guilty conscience: he heard God’s voice, was afraid, hid himself

Has not God provided a scapegoat for Israel and for the world during all these thousands of years?
Everyone from Adam and Eve until now has sought – or is still seeking – someone else to blame for his troubles in order to ease the burden of his own guilty conscience from the effects of his own sin or unbelief.
–The Israelis blamed Moses both in Egypt and in the wilderness (Ex. 5:21; 16:6-8).
–Wicked King Ahab accused God’s servant, the prophet Elijah, as the one that troubles Israel (1 Kings 18:17-18).
–The High Priest Caiphas with the rulers and elders of the people of Israel blamed Yeshua the Nazarene for their problems both within the nation and from without (John 11:47-53).
–It is well documented in history that many nations have made Israel and Jews the scapegoat for many (if not all) of their and world’s problems.
–Christians faithful to the blood of Messiah and to the Word of God have been – and will continue to be – scapegoats for Jews and for the Gentiles, and even within the Church of God (Matt. 5:10-12; 2 Tim. 3:12).
–The devil accuses the brethren day and night, accusing us of all manner of things; and we are guilty of many!  But there is no condemnation for those in Christ, because Jesus died for us, and rose again!!

This should not be surprising to us as we realize that the true Scapegoat is the Chief Representative of both Israel and of the Church – the King of the Jews and the Head of the Body of Christ – the Lord Jesus Himself! And He is also the representative of all human beings, for He is the Son of Man.  Noah, when he prophesied concerning his sons, blessed the LORD, God of Shem – not Shem personally (Gen. 9:26). Yeshua, when He encouraged and comforted His disciples before His crucifixion and resurrection, told them that the world would hate them because it hated Him first; and for this reason: that He chose us out from the world and so we are no longer of the world (John 15:18-19). Thus anti-Semitism and anti-Christian persecution are both first and foremost spiritual in their nature and directed against YHVH and His Anointed One – whether Jesus Himself or His people who are called by His Name (Num. 6:27; 1 Pet. 4:14,16).

We see in the passage from Lev. 16 that two goats were taken from the children of Israel for one sin offering (v. 5). The first goat was for YHVH. He (It) made atonement for the sin of Israel regarding all things pertaining to God’s Throne and His dwelling place amidst the people, and the altar of reconciliation. No hands were laid on it; no blood was sprinkled on the people. Jesus Christ died unto the LORD, to glorify God His Father, to take away the sin of the world. On the basis of this atonement, the good news of the glory of Messiah (2 Cor. 4:4), God the Father is able to have mercy to whom He will be merciful, to have compassion upon whom He will be compassionate, to save whosoever will believe in the Name of His Son Yeshua (Jesus).

Upon the second goat, the one that stood live before the LORD after the first goat’s sacrifice and atonement, the High Priest laid his hands and confessed upon it all the iniquities of Israel, all their transgressions in all their sins. Truly the Day of Atonements. (Yom HaKippurim; Lev 23:27-28; Dan 9:24; Jer 31:31-34; Zech 12:10-14; Rom 11:26-27)

This second goat – the scapegoat – was sent to a land not inhabited (Is. 53:8; Mt. 4:1; 27:45-46; 1 Pet. 3:18-21) –not to the land of the living to shame us – bearing all the sins of the people – removing them with the guilt of them away from the camp for one year until the next Day of Atonements. Both goats together, God is satisfied with respect to His righteousness and justice, and also to His lovingkindness and mercy.

The scapegoat, in remaining alive as a sin-bearer, was a reminder to Israel for her sins, and a witness to Azazel, who accuses the brethren night and day, that God has been reconciled, that He has forgiven the sins of His people. For the believer in the finished work on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ; in an accomplished atonement for iniquity, transgression, and sins; and in the full price paid with His own life and blood that God demanded to pardon and to cleanse both things of earth and of heaven – there is now no condemnation when we identify, or are identified through faith, with the outcast scapegoat and value the benefits of His sacrifice for atonement. (Heb 13:12-13)  Satan’s power and claims upon us are broken. We have peace and fellowship with God the Father and with His Son and with one another in a spirit of meekness.

To the unbeliever – especially within the household of faith – the scapegoat is but a continual reminder of his own guiltiness and uncleanness before the LORD and before the children of God. According to tradition, Israel at some time in her history began to take up the scapegoat laden with her (Israel’s) own sins to the top of a cliff, and pushed it off from there to its death below – to Azazel, in their way of thinking (Lev. 17:7-9).  Instead of being thankful and sympathetic for the innocent scapegoat who was made sin, they wanted to get rid of it, not realizing what they were actually doing, thinking that in this way the goat could not come back into the camp with their sins!  This is unbelief in the grace of God provided by the substitutionary sacrifice.

But God provided for the otherwise innocent goat to remain alive as a testimony to Satan that God atoned for and forgave His people – and in fact the world – and as a witness to Israel (and to us) of this central truth regarding the reconciliation: that man can not rid himself of sin or of a guilty conscience by leaning on our own understanding to carry out the wisdom of God. And as Israel, through unbelief in the commandment of God, wanted to kill the scapegoat then – and so dishonor and disobey the Lord – so now Israel and many within the Church and in the world strive to blot out the memory of their own guilty consciences, due to their iniquity and sins before a holy and righteous God, by blotting out the Name of Jesus – not recognizing that He whom they have pierced is their Savior. They hate Him without cause (Ps. 69:4). The reproaches against God the Father have fallen upon Jesus the Son (Ps. 69:9). Because the Scapegoat lives we live, and remember from whence we came! What God intends for good, both Satan and men call evil (1 Pet. 4:14,16). Let us not join them!

It is the blood of Yeshua the Messiah, the once and final sacrifice for sin, which cleanses from a guilty conscience, both for now and for eternity. He is our Great High Priest who lives to intercede for us (Heb. 7:25; see Hebrew of Is. 53:6) as we abide in faith in His death and resurrection for our forgiveness and justification. He is still our sin bearer and guilt lifter. God has, through the Lord Jesus, reconciled Himself to sinful men and has given us His Spirit. For us who have received the reconciliation (the peace), we have a ministry to preach to men to reconcile themselves to God.

The High Priest is still in the sanctuary in the presence of God making atonement with His blood as far as Israel and world are concerned (Lev. 16:17). But when they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced (Zech. 12:10); when they make Jesus their guilt offering (Is. 53:10), then truly will Israel afflict her soul and enter into God’s rest. The whole creation will enjoy the Sabbath rest of God! (Lev. 16:31). And to whomever does not abide in the longsuffering of God’s goodness, there simply is no more sacrifice for sin.

YHVH God Himself accepts full responsibility for making possible sin and evil in His universe. For this, He gave His life and blood on the altar – the cross – for atonement and redemption and salvation. Fear God, for it is He who forgives sins (Ps. 130:4; 25:11-14; Mt. 10:28). God the Son became the Son of Man that we might become sons of God. If anyone here is looking for a scapegoat – or needs one – know that God the Father in His love for you has given His Son Jesus, who willingly in His love for His Father and for us bears the shame and reproaches that rightfully belong to us. We, too, are to identify with Yeshua outside the camp, bearing His reproach, as people blame Him and us for their own troubles.

Perhaps there are some here tonight who are struggling in your personal relationship with God and in knowing His peace and love of a Father for you. Believe what He says regarding the completeness and perfection of Jesus’ death and resurrection both for the Church, for Israel, and for you. The just shall live by faith! Perhaps others here take for granted your relationship with God because you take for granted that Jesus died and that God forgives you. But in your heart you have no conviction of the sin in you. Except the knowledge that Jesus suffered God’s judgment as your substitute brings you back to the cross where the King of Glory not only died for you but also because of you and your iniquity, transgressions, and sins, then you are in danger of standing before Him with the many who will say to Him, “Lord, Lord. . .”, but He will answer, “I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of iniquity.”

Let each person examine and judge himself and so eat of the bread and drink from the cup in remembrance of the Lord Jesus. Let us be ever mindful and thankful to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. To God be the glory and to the Lamb who sits upon the throne! Amen.

Lev. 16; Ps. 69; Is. 53
Acts 2:22-39; Heb. 9 – 10; 13:13
John 10:17-18 (sacrifice); 11:49-50 (scapegoat)
Figuratively: Mt. 3:13-17 (unto YHVH); 4:1-11 (unto Azazel)

FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD/LORD’S SUPPER – 18 Apr 1992

Scripture Reading:  Ex. 12:14-20; 1Cor 5:6-8 [Lev. 18:3-4]   Purge out the old leaven!

In the Bible there is a vital connection between the past and the present as a preparer for the future.  The Word of God is prophetic.  The sacrifice of the Passover lamb was God’s provision for the redemption of His people Israel, who were slaves in Egypt and to the ways of the Egyptians; immediately, this redeemed people are told to have no leaven in their houses – put out the old; allow in no new.  Then following comes the offering of first-fruits in the promised land leading to Shavuot (Feast of Weeks), with its new meal offering containing leaven, a great difference from what had gone on before (similar to the New Covenant, which is not like the Old Covenant).

Emerging from this, yet transcending it – for God has shown us a more excellent way! – is the Passover sacrifice of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, with His blood shed for redemption of all who believe that have been in bondage to the world and the sin of it; His burial removing the believer’s sins (leaven), and therefore the condemnation, and on account of this good news we confess and identify in baptism as having died to sin.  The thoughts and the lives of the redeemed disciples of the Messiah were forever changed after the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus whom they loved because He loved them, even unto the death of the cross, but it was only knowing and believing that He rose from the dead that dispelled their fears and despair and doubts.  Their faith in the certainty of His being alive and firstfruits unto God led them on in joyful obedience and expectation to the fulfilling of the promise from God the Father through Yeshua the Son when the Holy Spirit filled the first 120 believers on Shavuot (Pentecost) as a new meal offering to God, made acceptable by faith in the blood of Jesus for redemption and salvation – both now and forever!

We live today in the light of God’s revelation when the end of the age is upon us and the coming of the Lord Jesus draws near.  The Lord’s Supper of which we partake reminds us to remember His death until He comes at the last trump!  Christ risen from the dead is our life, our righteousness, our hope.

What do the verses we have read regarding the leaven and the unleavened bread have to teach us in the context of the New Testament regarding our lives as redeemed people? Jews and Israel do it symbolically once a year for seven days throughout all generations; Christians  and the Church are to live in the reality and substance of it day-to-day throughout all our days and years:  purge out the leaven (the sin) from each our own hearts and life and from the congregation.  Get out of the world quickly – bring no leaven with you, the thoughts and ways from which you were delivered; find out the Lord’s will for your new life – do not just do what others have done (Lev. 18:3-4); do not put in new leaven of malice and wickedness, or of [religious] hypocrisy, [scientific] rationalism, or [political] worldliness, which all defile the person.  But rather, reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive unto God and righteousness; put off the old man and put on the new man in Christ Jesus throughout our lives!  Whoever is born of God does not nor cannot sin as a characteristic or fruit of his life. (1John 3:9; 5:18)

 The Lord redeemed us and brought us out of darkness and bondage in order that we should be holy, for He is holy, and that we should be His people and He would be our God – in fact more than this:  that we as the Body and Bride of Christ would be a people through whom God can manifest His glory in Heaven here on Earth.  We have a heavenly place and testimony to maintain, and to guard against Satan’s warfare against that truth and grace.

Why should we concern ourselves with what the only wise God and Savior obviously takes quite seriously?  Because we show that we love Him when we obey Him, and also because through faith in the blood of Jesus, God has made us both holy and righteous (unleavened) in His sight, and we honor the Lord and His cross by living a life of faith which testifies to what God has done for us and to what He has called us to be. 

 How do we show that we are purging out the old leaven?  How do we show that we are thankful for this great salvation and for YHVH who has done it?!  How do we show that we have the righteousness which is by faith, and that our faith in Jesus Christ and His blood keeps us in this righteousness of God?  What is the lesson of unleavened bread for us as Christians?

 The answer is that which governed Yeshua Himself when He walked through the Land to glorify His Father in Heaven:  to love and to do righteousness, and to hate and to stop sinning.  (Ps. 45:7; Lk 1:73-75; Heb. 1:8-9)
         –We are to be meek and lowly in heart.
         –We are to love the brethren, even love our enemies.
         –We are to overcome evil with good.
         –We are to be honest in word and deed.
         –We are to be compassionate towards the poor and needy amongst us.
         –We ought to walk in a manner worthy of our redemption, of being called children of the God of            glory, worthy of the sure hope we have as a promise from God. (Lev. 11:45; 19:35; 22:35-38; 26:13; Deut. 16:3; Lk 6:27-49)

This we can do only in the power of the Holy Spirit by forgetting ourselves and looking and thinking upon Him, who was crucified and is now risen in exaltation; by counting all things loss, not simply because of our deliverance, but because of the excellency of Him whom the Father has sent and received again, the Lord Jesus Christ!

He who knew no sin (unleavened bread) was made sin (leavened bread) for us that we should become the righteousness (unleavened bread) of God in Him!

Scripture Reading:  Rom. 12:1-2 [Mk. 9:49-50]  “Present ourselves as living sacrifices (whole burnt with new meal) to God. . . and be transformed by the renewing of our minds. . . .”

The appointed times of YHVH are fulfilled in Messiah, to be observed in reality throughout all generations.  Amen.

Feed on Messiah, the Lamb of God, slain for our redemption and for the glory of God!