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/December, 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.

YESHUA THE ANOINTED PROPHET, PRIEST, AND KING – July 1996

Dt 17:8 – 18:22   the role of priests, kings, an prophets in Israel

Prophet
Sam 16:23   anointed that he would be the oracle of God to the people; anointed for ministry to all peoples; evangelistic, calling for repentance from sin and turning to YHVH God; spoke God’s word, God’s truth, attesting to YHVH being the living God and being holy, by the Holy Spirit

Priest
Lev 8:12   anointed that he would be holy unto YHVH; anointed for ministry to God’s people; evangelistic, ministering to and in God’s love; representatives of His grace (lovingkindness) through righteousness by means of the substitutionary sacrifices, and intercession in the name of YHVH; earnest

King
1Sam 16:13   anointed that the Spirit of YHVH might rest on him in power; anointed for ministry over God’s people to other peoples; evangelistic, being himself subject to the law of the nation; his authority for rule is the righteousness of God

Ex 19:6   Israel was called into being and chosen to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation to YHVH.  In other words, all Israel is to earnestly desire God’s presence His service, ministering His love and grace and mercy to one another, and on behalf of others, for the Lord’s sake.  The Levites were separated out from the rest of Israel, yet were representatives of all Israel before God.

Yeshua/Jesus, being a Jew, was (is) entitled to inherit the throne, the kingship, being a descendant of David’s royal line; yet Jesus also shows us His priestly heart and character by offering Himself a sacrifice as Israel’s representative to God, in order to satisfy (be a propitiation) God’s righteousness regarding the sins of the people.

Rev 1:6; 5:10; 1Pt 2:9   Christians (Jews and Gentiles) as the people of God – the Church, the Body of Messiah – become in Christ Jesus what Jesus has accomplished for God the Father for us.

The full anointing of God is in (on) Jesus.  The dove, as picturing the Holy Spirit, rested on Yeshua; Yeshua was conceived by the Holy Spirit and already filled, witnessing to His deity as the Son of God, and in Him the fullness of the Godhead dwells. (Col 2:9-10)  As Son over His own house (Heb 3:1,6), He represents all things to God for man, and to man for God (the Father and His family).  We are complete in Him in His anointing, and so partake of the measure He distributes to each believer as He wills, and corporately, as His body, filling up the full measure of Christ!

1.  Prophet:  Elijah and Elisha 
      A.  Yeshua 
      —Dt 18:15; 34:9-12; Acts 3:19-26  a prophet like Moses, from their midst, from their brethren, speaking the Word of YHVH; signs and wonders; face to face with God 
        —Jn 1:21,25  John the Baptiser was asked if he were the Prophet 
        —Jn 4:19,25-29  the Samaritans acknowledged Jesus as a prophet, the Messiah and Savior of the world       
           —Jn 7:40  many in Israel considered Yeshua to be, perhaps, the Prophet 
      —Is 61:1-3; Mt 11:4-6  character and ministry of the Messiah-Prophet 
      —Amos 3:7-8  YHVH does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets; YHVH has spoken!  Who can not but prophesy?! 
        —Jn 7:46  No man ever spoke as this Man speaks! 
        —Jn 8:25-29; Dt 18:18  Jesus spoke only that which His Father gave Him to speak 
        —Heb 1:1-2; Jn 1:1  God had spoken in diverse ways through the prophets, but now by the Son (the Prophet):  the Word of God made flesh

      B.  The Believer (Christian) 
        —2Pt 1:19  We have the more sure word of prophecy, the prophetic Word (the Bible) 
        —1Cor 12:28; 13:9-10; 14:1; Eph 4:11  gift of prophecy and the appointment of prophets; this gift and office will pass away when that which is perfect comes (the New Heavens and New Earth; there is much already given prophecy yet to be fulfilled between now and the end of the Millennial Kingdom which any believer can speak, for the LORD has spoken)

      C.  Elijah/John the Baptiser 
         —Mal 4:4-6 (Eng); Mt 17:10-13; Rev 11:1-10  herald of 1st and 2nd comings of Messiah Yeshua; also the Church’s ministry to prepare and proclaim the way of YHVH; being reconciled at all social levels, and in relationship to God and man

2.  Priest/High Priest:  Aaron and Melchizedek
     A.  Yeshua and the Priesthood 
         —Heb 7 – 10; Gen 14:18-20; Ps 110:4; Zech 6:12-13; Heb 8:1  Melchizedek royal priesthood; superiority over Aaronic priesthood; everlasting priesthood sealed by an oath; the priest on the throne; King and Priest united in holy righteousness; righteousness and judgment (“the way of YHVH”); fulfilled when Jesus returns, yet even now He is High Priest in Heaven, seated at the right hand of Majesty 
            –Priestly Functions 
             —Dt 33:9-10 (ctr Ezek 22:26)  keeping God’s word and covenant; teaching judgments and law; offering incense (prayers) and intercessory sacrifices 
             —Heb 8:3  offer both gifts and sacrifices (blood sacrifices to promote humility and purity) 
               —Is 53  bore our sicknesses, griefs, transgressions,guilt 
               —Heb 9:28  Jesus offered Himself once for sins for all people 
             —Gen 14:-18-20; Num 6:22-27  to present Messiah (bread and wine) in His death and resurrection, and to bless both God’s servants and also YHVH God Himself 
             —Lev 16; Heb 10:19-22  Aaron’s High Priesthood allowed for entry into God’s presence (in the Holy of Holies), and other Levites were subject to his office and ministry: to serve (help) him and the divine service, and the people’s needs (SERVANT) 
             —Num 16:46-48; Heb 7:25; 8:9; 9:24; Jn 17; Ex 28:30; Dt 17:8  intercession:  merciful prayers to God to withhold judgment; judgment with heart ministry of God’s light and perfection; judgment of hard cases 
             —Lev 10:10; Mt 5 – 7  teaching YHVH God’s Law; Sermon on the Mount 
             —Lev 10:19; 16:6  sympathy with, and compassion for, the people, being himself a sinner 
               —Heb 4:14-16  Yeshua tempted as we are, but without sin, is our sympathetic High Priest 
             —Lev 16  to purify the people for God to dwell in the midst of them 
               —Heb 9:14; Rev 7:13-15; Eph 5:25-27  purifying the Bride in the blood of the Lamb; to be presented spotless 
             —Mal 2:7  covenant keepers; messengers of YHVH of Hosts 
           —Lev 13; Mk 2:10-14  healing, especially for leprosy; the priest was God’s vessel to pronounce the Lord’s mercy and honor in healing the diseased 
             —Lev 24:5-9   to prepare and to eat the shewbread

      B.  Believers and Priesthood 
        —1Pt 2:9; Rev 1:6; 5:10  a nation and kingdom of priests
        —1Pt 2:5  a spiritual house; a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ 
          —Ps 51:19 (Heb); Mt 11:29  broken and contrite heart and spirit 
          —1Tim 2:1-4  all manner of prayers to be offered on behalf of all persons 
          —1Cor 11:23-32; Gen 14:18-20  present Christ in His death and resurrection 
          —1Cor 5:12 – 6:5  judgments within the congregation 
            —Dt 17:8-13; 21:5  to minister (serve), to pronounce blessings, and to decide (judge) in matters of dispute 
            —1Cor 1:1-3  Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 
          —Rom 12:1  offer our bodies a living sacrifice 
          —Heb 13:15-16  sacrifices of praise, giving thanks in His name; doing good and sharing 
          —Col 3:17  Whatever we do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. 
          —Jn 15:13  lay down our lives for our friends:  no greater love than this 
          —Dt 18:5-7; Ps 69:9; Jn 2:17  to stand and minister in the name of the Lord; earnestness is a character trait 
          –Follow Yeshua’s example to help others in their infirmities, and to intercede on their behalf for mercy with respect to sins.  Most gifts of the Holy Spirit equip us for priestly service in building up the House of God. 
          —Lev 24:5-9; Mt 12:4-5; 1Cor 10 – 11  priestly privilege and ‘duty’ to eat the shewbread

The priestly character and portion (YHVH Himself!) of the Israel of God and the Church of God will abide forever (kingdom of priests):  a theocracy with God as King as envisaged even under the Torah, and the people a nation of redeemed humanity loving God and one another, giving glory to God, praising and worshipping Him eternally! (cp Ezek 44:10-31)

3.  King:  David and Solomon 
     A.  Yeshua 
        —Gen 1:28  Adam and Eve together given rulership over God’s creation under God’s sovereignty 
        —Gen 17:15-16  YHVH promised that kings of peoples would come from the seed of Abraham and Sarah 
        —Gen 49:8-10  the sceptre to be with Judah’s descendants 
        —2Sam 7:12-16  everlasting throne promised to son of David (the Davidic Covenant) 
          —2Sam 5:1-5  David as King brings about unity of all Israel 
            —Ezek 37:21-22  one King over a united nation 
        —Dt 17:18-20  the king subject to the Law 
        —Ps 2; 24; 45  the King and Son of God; the King of Glory; the Messiah King and Bridegroom 
          —Num 24:17-19  the star out of Jacob shall have dominion 
          —Mt 2:2  Yeshua born to be King of the Jews 
          —Mt 27:11  Yeshua tried and accused as King of the Jews 
          —Mt 27:37  Yeshua crucified as King of the Jews 
          —Jn 1:49  Nathanel acknowledged that the King of Israel is to be the Son of God 
        —Is 11:1-5  character and qualities of the anointed King Messiah 
        —Is 41;2; Rev 1:5; 17:14,18; 19:16  Jesus is, and will return as, King of kings and Lord of lords 
        —Jer 23:5-6  rule in righteousness and justice; YHVH our Righteousness 
        —1Cor 15:24-28  Even Jesus, the Son of God, will yield up all rule to God the Father at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, when death, the last enemy, is destroyed

        B.  Born-Again Believers 
        —1Cor 4:8; Lk 22:29-30  not yet time for believers to rule 
          —Gal 5:23  self-control; we are to exercise self-rule/governance as evidence of Holy Spirit’s lordship in our lives 
            —Pr 16:32  Better is he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. 
        —1Tim3:1-7  ruling one’s own household a qualifier for ruling in God’s house 
        —Jn 17:9,20  intercessory prayer and spheres of influence 
        —Mk 16:17-18  disciples have authority in Jesus’ name over demons, poisons, sickness 
        —Rev 5:10; 20:4  We will rule with Messiah for 1000 years after His return in great power and glory. 
        —Lk 22:24-30  Priest (servant)/King nature and character:  not to exercise lordship over others; and he would be great, let him be as the younger/least; and he who leads, as one who serves and is servant of all.

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 seems clear from Scripture that the first of the seven weeks began with the decree of Cyrus, King of Persia (536BC), followed by a break of about 16 years before the decree was re-affirmed by Darius (520BC), and building of the Temple re-started, and of the city. (see Is 44:28 and Hag 1:1-4; 2:18; Zech 1:1-17; 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 16 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.

OUR GUILT OFFERING

Recently I was walking down the street and singing the chorus to the song, “Peace Like A River” – ‘it is well with my soul’ – and the Lord by His Spirit had me rejoicing in my spirit and giving thanks to God that it is true:  it is well with my soul!  And yet, I considered how annoyed and impatient I can be; how I am not considered by others for good works particularly; how I have to fight so many unclean thoughts.  So what is it then that I can be singing in truth that it is well with my soul?!  It is because Jesus is my guilt (trespass) offering, and I have peace and security in my relationship to God as my Father through Messiah.  And if I know that I have acceptance with my Creator and Redeemer, then I can also relate to my brothers and sisters in the Lord, as well as to people still of this world, on the basis of that reality.  When my heart condemns me – which it does at times for those very things mentioned above – God is greater than my heart.

The sin offering is primarily for what I am:  a sinner by nature, and the Lamb of God has come to take away the sin of the world.  The guilt offering is primarily for what I do:  I sin and trespass; and the Son of God’s name is Yeshua, who will save His people from their sins.

The Son of God has set us free:  free to acknowledge our sins and confess them to God, and at times to one another, because He forgives us – and we are to do likewise to others.  There is therefore no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1,33)  We are free to love others, to do unto them what we would like them to do unto us, even if they do not demonstrate that they love us!  If I know in my own spirit that I desire to love God and to be faithful to the New Covenant in Jesus, then my conscience is clear before both God and man, even though Satan accuses me, my wife and friends misunderstand me, and I myself wonder at the grace of God to die for someone as useless as me! (1Jn 3:18-24) 

Is there guilt then in the believer’s life?  Of course! – whenever we sin knowingly, or whenever the Holy Spirit shows us or reminds us of something we had done unknowingly or unintentionally which was, in fact, a sin – either against our relationship with the Lord directly, or indirectly through another person.  If we do not address the matter and either ask forgiveness, or perhaps grant forgiveness to another, then we honestly do our part to accept our responsibility as those who would be in Christ and walking by the Spirit, and not in the flesh.

Last week Lisa was baptized, which is the answer of a good conscience towards God (1Pet 3:21), in that it testifies to the personal belief that Jesus Christ died, and rose from the dead, and ascended to Heaven, where He is both Lord over all and makes intercession for us as our great High Priest.  When we truly believe this and walk in this truth, we know that God has justified us through faith and by His Spirit.  Guilt and the bondage to fear of judgment are removed, and instead love is perfected. (1Jn 4:17-19)

At the Lord’s Supper we are each to examine and to judge ourselves.  If our participation depended on satisfying the demands of someone else’s conscience, or of keeping the commandments of Jesus as if we ourselves were Jesus, then no one could eat God’s own covenant meal that He has Himself invited us to!  But when our communion is in the holy and righteous and blessed truth that Jesus is Himself my guilt offering – and when I maintain my relationship with God and my brethren on that basis – then I can rejoice in His joy over someone like me, or like you.  Did you know that bread in Hebrew (lechem) has to do with warfare – a conflict and battle for survival, for justification in the eyes of others, for victory over our enemies – real or imagined?  In Greek the word for bread (artos) contains the thought of expiation — to lift off and to remove.  Is not this the truth of the New Testament fulfilling the hope and promise and struggle of the Old Testament?  Jesus has come to give peace  to all who put their trust in Him as having been sent from God the Father.  He removes the heavy load of our guilt before God and before our fellow man.  The victory is His on the cross; it is ours as we, too, deny ourselves each day, take up our cross which He has given to each of us, and follow Him.  Allow Him to righteously take away your guilt, and believe God when He says He has!

In Jesus we are NOT GUILTY, but FREE to live for Him!

Make Jesus your guilt offering (Is 53:10-12), and rejoice in the goodness of the LORD!  Amen.

REPENTANCE LEADS TO CONVERSION: LIFE-CHANGING/CHARACTER-CHANGING

(Eve of formal appointment as Elder)

Does anyone here tonight want to be changed from what you are and the way you now are – even as a believer – because of hearing the Word of God to you?

Is anyone here tonight a changed/different (hopefully better!) person since believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior than what you were before believing the gospel of God?

These two questions – with their positive answers – give a basis for continual hope and growth in the life of any person and Christian – old or young, male or female, wise or simple, Jew or Gentile, . . . .

Ps 19:8 (7 Eng)   The Law of YHVH is perfect, converting/returning/restoring the soul.
Acts 3:19   Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of 
refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
Rev 3:19-22   Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous, therefore, and repent!

God as Creator, Judge, Lawgiver, Savior:  It is the commandment of YHVH God throughout the whole of the Bible that all persons everywhere should repent (turn back) from evil and to do good, to repent and believe the good news of God that His Son Yeshua the Messiah is the Savior from sin and uncleanness and evil.  It is the promise of God that all who do so will be changed and walk in newness of life by the grace and power of God the Holy Spirit.  In the goodness and longsuffering of God towards us, He brings us to act with our own will to return (turn back; repent) to Him (Hos 12:7 [6 Eng]; Mt 3:2-3), and in continuing to walk in His way, He works with us to sanctify us, changing us into the likeness of His Son, who is the exact image of the invisible God.

In other words, true repentance leads to genuine Godliness.  We are converted!  True repentance is directed unto God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:21)  It includes a sorrow and a regret over our own sin first, and, afterwards, over the sins of our family or of our people. (Gen 6:7; 2Cor 7:10)  The Holy Spirit will bring us to see that sin of whatsoever kind is first of all against God Himself (Ps 51:5 [4 Eng]), and that in His love for us He sent Yeshua to die on the cross for our atonement and reconciliation (1Jn 4:9-10)There is brokenness of heart and contrition of spirit; then we are comforted by the Spirit of God. (Zec 12:10)  As we continue in faith that, in Messiah, God completely forgives us and justifies us and accepts into fellowship with Himself, we are free to love Him and to obey Him – even to confess our sins – with all our heart and soul.  We will become different persons(1Sam 10:6)our attitudes towards life and people will change; our motives will switch from self-interest and –honor to God’s interests and honor.

If the heart and the will are sincere, then there will be fruits of repentance (Mt 3:8): –conviction of our own sinfulness, and hence humility before God and man –the fear of YHVH, recognizing that it is God who forgives and who has power and authority to both kill our bodies and to cast our souls into hell (Mt 10:28) –repentance from dead works, i.e., works apart from faith in, and fear of, God (Acts 26:30; Heb 6:1; 1Thes 1:9) –a heart, and passionate love, for Jesus, and for all who do the will of God His Father (SS 1:2-4; Mt 10:37-38; 12:50)

For us living in Israel among Jews and Moslems, it is a reproach to be considered as converting to another religion —  meaning to believe in the Lord Jesus and be baptized in His Name.  They want us to feel guilty or ashamed for changing our faith and religion.  But, brothers and sisters, anyone who has previously not personally believed that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah/Christ and the Son of the Living God the Father has changed his faith and, necessarily, his religion, too – that is, his way and conduct of life now based upon his/her personal faith in Jesus and His finished work on the cross for our redemption and salvation!  We have turned back to the one true God in His way, and not to simply another faith or religion of this world.

It is also true that God loves us and accepts us as we are when we come to Him in faith, and trust in His mercy towards us; yet He continually calls us to repentance and to change our ways of thinking and doing, even when we think our intentions have been good. (Rev 2:3; Is 55:7-9; Mt 7:21)  Ought not each husband and wife, father and mother want to let God, by His word and Spirit, work with us through living faith to make us more like His own pattern to us in these tremendous positions of responsibility and privilege? (1Jn 3:2)  Ought not children want to know God the Father in such a way that they would want to truly and righteously honor their fathers and mothers, and all others in authority over them in the Lord?  Ought not every believer want to become worshippers of God in Spirit and truth, freed from all forms of idolatry and offenses?  Ought not our own congregation – which properly belongs to Yeshua – repent in all areas not in accord with the Spirit and the Word and the blood, that together we can indeed both give and leave a testimony of the Presence of God in our midst, and of much good fruit unto Him in His name?

Let’s consider briefly together several changes both required of us and also promised to us by the Lord, and which are impossible for man to do naturally or by his own efforts only, but which, in cooperation with God, are possible and worthy of our attention:
Jn 3:3  We all must be born again by the Holy Spirit form Heaven!

Mt 18:3-4; 11:25-30  We all must humble ourselves and become like a child  – “a lamb of the first year” —  
in order to hear and receive from God, and also to know Him.
Mt 5:3-12; Gal 5:22-23; Rom 8:29; 2Cor 3:18; 1Jn 3:2  the character and the fruit of God formed in us, and being expressed outwardly: 
from glory to glory Ezek 36:26  God gives us a new heart and a new Spirit.
Lev 16:16,30; Is 1:18; Ezek 36:25; Jn 3:11  God makes us clean from all our defilement from sin and sins, and baptizes us in holiness and purifying fire
.
2Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15; Col 3:9-10  We become a new creation in Messiah, who makes all things new, and must put off the old man and put on the new man created in the image of God
.
Mt 7:17; 12:33  We must become a good tree which will produce good fruit
.
2Cor 11:2; Lev 21:13  We must become a chaste virgin
to marry our great High Priest and King of Glory.
Gal 2:20  Not I, but Christ lives in me
!
Mt 13:11-17; Ps 32:2-6a (Heb)  Jesus will heal
us – physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually.
–He forgives.
–He does not condemn.
–The love of God draws out our loving obedience and trust.

Let each of us individually, and all of us together, allow God to be glorified in Himself through us His people and children.  May the Holy Spirit help us to know that repentance is a good thing – not bitter for long – and that we would learn to rejoice in repentance, for it transforms us and sanctifies us, bringing us closer to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, and to one another:  joy is fulfilled!  Amen.

PEACE AND RECONCILIATION BETWEEN THE NATIONS OF JACOB AND ESAU – Aug 1995

(Delivered in Lempala, Finland, at Israel Conference)

Summarize:
Gen. 25:21-34    birth of Esau and Jacob, fathers of two nations; birthright sold by Esau to Jacob; Isaac loved Esau (Edom); Rebecca loved Jacob
27:1,20-22   Isaac’s poor eyesight in his old age; voice of Jacob vs. hands of Esau; Isaac’s carnal love for Esau
27:28-41    the blessings; the deceit of Jacob; the hatred (grudge) of Esau
32:28   Jacob’s name changed to Israel by God, indicating new character (person) and position (status)
33:1-20   unresolved reconciliation between Jacob/Israel and Esau/Edom over the issue of the land

1Cor. 10:11    the Bible and its examples written for us living at the end of the age
Read:   Col. 1:19-23    Jesus, in whom dwells the fullness, is our peace

The Bible is very clear that the covenant of God with Abraham (Abram) extended through Isaac and to Jacob and his descendants.  Under the Old Covenant, YHVH was in personal relationship with the people of Israel as a nation, excluding the gentile nations.  Individually, the Lord has always had His witnesses amongst all peoples.  (Eph. 2:12; Amos 3:2; Deut. 4:32-39; Acts 14:17)

Esau and Jacob were born to the same father and mother – in fact were fraternal twins – yet one is the father of Israel and is thought of as “Jewish”, while the other is not in covenant relationship to the LORD, and so is considered not Jewish, but rather, in other words, gentile. (1Cor. 10:32)

From God’s viewpoint, the Land of Canaan was to belong to Israel.  The Arabs and other Gentiles have had no sovereign claim to it once God gave it to the children of Israel through the leadership of Joshua.  Gentiles, including Arabs – both Ishmaelites and Edomites – could live in the land but not possess it.  The LORD conditioned Israel’s possession upon their faith and obedience to Him and His law, which, as we know, they failed to do, as would any other people in the same position as God’s chosen people (Acts 15:10).  All blessing to Israel has been ultimately connected to the promised Redeemer and Savior, Jesus Christ, whom God would bring into the world through the Jewish people, but who was to be the same promised Seed of the woman that was to deliver all humanity from the seed of the serpent.  God is faithful to His Word even if we are not, and He is presently dealing with the Jewish people (and with all the tribes of Israel which He alone can recognize) back again in the land which He promised and which He refers to still as the Land of Israel, despite peoples’ uncertainty regarding the name, and their rebellion against YHVH and His Anointed. (2Tim. 2:13; Josh. 5:13-15; Ezek. 36–39; Ps. 2; 83; Mt 2:20-21)

Under the New Covenant, which Israel as a nation has not yet accepted or entered into, although it was first (and still) offered to her, God is offering to both Jews/Israelis and Arabs/Palestinians far more than what they each are struggling over now:  eternal life with the Lord Himself in the New Heavens and New Earth He will create, rather than a portion of land which is not even all that was promised to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.  When Yeshua returns, He will bring to fulfillment His word and promises regarding the land, its boundaries, and where the different peoples will live during the millenial kingdom.  Messiah Yeshua/Christ Jesus will bring righteousness and peace – even to the animals!

So until then, what do Isaac’s prophetic blessings to his sons, and the characters of and relationship between Jacob and Esau have to instruct us as Christians in the Church of God?  (Heb. 11:20)  Let’s look together at. . .
Gen. 27:28-29,33   blessing to Jacob in disguise. . .and he shall be blessed (much as Balaam had to concede hundreds of years later)
Rom. 9:7-8; Gal. 4:28   Isaac as child of promise (grace vs. works of flesh, custom, or law) a picture of believers and the Church
Gen. 27:39-40   “blessing” to Esau, but without fruitfulness and divine presence and protection
Rom. 9:13; Mal. 1:2-3; Heb. 12:14-17   character of Esau, and God’s attitude and sovereign election
cp. Mt. 10:37   love for Jesus vs. love of family and self

         Gen. 27:40   “intifada”:  shaking off (uprising), growing restless, gaining dominion (upper hand); the undoing of Jacob’s security and assurance

Much of the Body of Messiah today is similar to Isaac and Rebecca in their attitudes and action towards both the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs:  whether as pictured in Isaac or in Rebecca, God’s ways and will are being distorted.   Jacob’s hope is not in his father Isaac, who in his rightful annoyance at being deceived – though a consequence of his own paternal carnal love (Praise God for it though!) for Esau – undid Jacob’s confidence by giving to Esau the hope of “getting even”; Jacob’s hope is not in himself nor in Israel the people, nor in Christians and the Church; Jacob’s hope is not in an unresolved “reconciliation” with his brother Esau or the Palestinian Arabs, who at heart hold a murderous grudge against him and developed a bitter root (the seed of Islam) as witnessed in the whole after-history of this long-standing family feud (Ezek. 35:5; Obadiah).

Jacob has no hope – nor do the Arabs – under the terms of the O.T. because of his own and Israel’s unrighteousness.  Jacob’s hope – and of the Arabs – is the Hope of Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ.  God will fulfill His purposes, but in His way and in truth and righteousness.  As it is written in Rom. 11:25-32:    “From out of Zion shall come the Deliverer, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them – when I take away their sins,” and all Israel shall be saved. (Ezek 36:27)
And again, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD.”  And, “. . .They shall look on Me whom they have pierced.”  (Ps. 118:25-26; Zech. 12:10)

Jacob’s/Israel’s attitude as God’s chosen people towards Gentiles in general and towards Arabs and Palestinians in particular is similar to that often displayed by Christians and the Church toward Israel and Jews.  Both have presumed an unmerited arrogance or wisdom in themselves in a manner contrary to the truth and character of our God as revealed in the Scriptures (Rom. 11:25).  God loves all persons, desiring that none should perish but rather receive forgiveness of sins and inherit eternal life (Ezek. 18; John 3:16), and the Lord is also faithful to His covenant promises to and through Israel for all nations.  The Church’s pre-eminent place before God is not at the expense of His word and promises regarding Israel or the other nations.

We as believers ought to humbly marvel and worship God as we realize more and more Who and What He is!  As believers we are exhorted to examine and to judge ourselves, for those of the world – which today includes Israel and the Arab nations and peoples – are already condemned in their unbelief on the Name of the only-begotten Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ (1Cor. 11:28-32; 2Cor. 13:5).  To us has been given the message of reconciliation – the good news of God to all peoples and nations – until the Lord takes us up to Himself and He finishes the work of putting away evil and workers of iniquity through His righteous and true judgments upon the nations – including Israel and the harlot church – as mankind’s Redeemer (Is. 26:9-10; Rev. 19:2).

Let us seek God’s grace and mercy and long-suffering to remain faithful to our own election in Christ, maintaining the salt of the covenant, even as we carry the gospel of peace to the children of Jacob and of Esau.  The blood of Yeshua the Messiah, which He shed on the cross for our sins, is God the Father’s signature on His peace treaty.  Hallelu-Yah!  Amen.

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.

ISRAEL OF GOD AND COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL: NOT ALL ISRAEL IS ISRAEL; NEITHER IS THE CHURCH – 24 Aug 1995

(Message at Salaam Church to Friends of Israel in Forssa, Finland)

Gal 6:15-16  For in Messiah Yeshua neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but rather a new creation.  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Eph 2:11-13  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by them who are called the circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth  of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world; but now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Messiah.

Rom 9:4-8  . . .Israelis, to whom pertain the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever.  Amen.  Not as though the Word of God has not taken effect, for they are not all Israel which are of Israel; neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children:  but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called.  That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God, but, rather, the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

The Jewish believers (Messianic Jews; Hebrew Christians, whatever) are presently the Israel of God, part of the whole Church of God, which includes Israelis and Gentiles from all time who have believed in the promises concerning God’s Son, the Savior of all persons, especially of those who believe in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Those who sincerely want to bless Israel as the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, can do this particularly by blessing Jewish Israeli believers – and especially those who walk by the rule set by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul.  But not Jewish believers only, but all genuine Christians through faith and new birth are called the seed of Abraham through his ultimate promised Seed, Yeshua the Messiah. 

The nation of Israel (the preserved remnant being the “seed bed”) will fulfill all YHVH God’s word regarding her during the Millennial Kingdom of Christ Jesus, following her national repentance (which includes both a new and different orientation, and also regret over sin) and conversion (transformation; transfiguration) at the coming and presence of the Lord of lords and King of kings to save the remnant, comprising “all Israel” – the Israel of God — and to judge the nations – preserving also the sheep among the Gentiles.

God has always considered Israel as a nation (Jer 31:35-36), even when we were scattered throughout the sea of nations of the world, away from the Promised Land.  The Church is not Israel, but rather a new creation, made up of blood-bought (redeemed) persons – both Jews and Gentiles – with saving and living faith from out of every nation, tribe, language, culture.  (YHVH God creates:  the present Universe Gen 1:1; Adam and Eve (man and woman) Gen 1:27; Israel, the people Is 43:15; the Church (Body of Messiah/Christ) Eph 4:24; the regenerated Millennial heavens and Earth Is 65:17; the new universe Rev 21:1)

There is only one God and Savior, and one Lord and Messiah; and only one Bible, which YHVH God the Holy Spirit has given to and through Israel to the whole world through the Church.

Through the Old and New Testament Scriptures, written primarily by Jewish prophets and apostles (not to mention the Lord Yeshua Himself), the Israel of God is presently a light to the Gentile peoples; and the Gentiles, through the spread of the gospel and the use of the Bible, are brought near to the Commonwealth of Israel by their relationship to the God of covenant, who is YHVH, God of Israel.  Gentile Christians, whether walking in faith or not, are brought to accountability before the God of the Bible – YHVH, God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; to the Messiah and King of the Jews – Yeshua the Nazarene; to the historic and traditional and prophetic ‘holidays’ spoken of by YHVH through Moses to Israel, including what is popularly called Easter (Firstfruits), and Pentecost/Shavuot, as well as Hanukkah, Purim, and Christmas (the birth of the Lord).  All of these were first celebrated by Israeli Jews in Israel who worshipped God, their Creator and Redeemer, in holiness and fear with a thankful heart.  Jewish believers are also brought back, and carried onward through faith, to all that the Lord has spoken regarding all things.

Gentile believers are told that they have a debt to Israel.  Jewish believers also have a debt to the historic Church – and even to barbarians! (Rom 1:14; 15:26-27; Acts 28:2)  We have all entered into the labor of others.  Those who sow and those who reap are one.  God is no respecter of persons.  He is on His own side, and is faithful to the finished work of His Son on the cross. (Josh 5:13-14)  The Holy Spirit fulfills the righteousness of the Law through the Body of Christ, and Jesus, whom the Spirit glorifies, is Head over all things to the Church, to the glory of the Father.

Israel is the most accountable nation  before God on the Earth, because of her special relationship and covenantal responsibilities with the Lord. (Amos 3:2)  To her belongs double honor, but also double judgment.  To the Church has been granted greater and fuller revelation and privileges by the grace and mercy of God, rather than by mere legal rights and obligations.  We have been bought by the precious blood of the Son of God, who is also the Son of Man, and our responsibility as a people is therefore greater thanIsrael’s at this time to show forth the wisdom and praises of God and of His Anointed One.  The love of God has been revealed to and bestowed upon us, that we are called sons of God!

Let us pray that the Lord would help us to maintain a faithful witness and testimony to the light of the New Covenant revelation, while recognizing both our link and relationship to Israel – because of our faithful God – and also our distinction and distinctiveness from Israel – because of Messiah our Passover.  We – both the present Israel of God and also the rest of the Body of Messiah – are justified through faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who is the King of Israel.  Amen.

WHAT IS IN A NAME?: “[YESHUA] SHALL BE CALLED A NAZARENE”

(Updated 18 May 2017)

Ps. 138:1-6     “. . .for You have magnified Your word [saying] above all Your Name” (v. 2)
–recognition of God’s Name brings forth songs of praise (psalms included musical  instrumentation);
–songs of YHVH and of His ways;
–the names of God a progressive revelation of Himself to His people–in fact to the world–finding fulfillment under Heaven and in this present creation in the Name above all names, Yeshua (Jesus), our Savior God;
–names are significant throughout Bible, both prophetically and in reference to character of a person, sometimes becoming forever associated with good or with evil, e.g., Abram/Abraham, Jacob/Israel, Samuel, Daniel, Delilah, Jezebel
–in eternity, both the Lord Yeshua/Jesus and we will have new names–an eternal testimony from God our Father of  who and what we are (Rev. 2:17; 3:12; 19:12)
–The YHVH’s  name is praised for His lovingkindness (grace) and truth:  we come to know Him as He has revealed Himself through His names which He has made known to us, e.g., El Shaddai (God Almighty or Nurturer);     God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob; I AM; YEHOVAH; YHVH our Righteousness, our Healer, our Peace; YHVH of Hosts; Wonderful Counselor; Father of Eternity; Immanuel. . .
–We, as the people of the Living God, are called by His Name–that which gives us identity and identifies us with YEHOVAH GOD of Israel and with His Son Yeshua whom He sent.  (Num 6:23-27)
–the LORD tells Israel that He would call His servants by a new name (Is. 65:13-16; Jn 15:14-17; Gal 4:4-7)
–in the N.T. the Holy Spirit says that Yeshua would be called a Nazarene, according to the prophets  (Mt. 2:23)

Is. 11:1       (also read the added segment from Tree and Shrub in Our Biblical Heritage about the “shoot”, the netzer)
The netzer is specially chosen from among many offshoots from the roots of the olive tree.  It is by all appearances small and insignificant, yet, in truth, it is the one in which is contained the life and hope of future generations.  Yeshua is God’s Twig; He is the Netzer–the Nazarene.  God in His wisdom chose a small, lowly regarded town called Nazareth (נצרת ) as the place in which His Son would grow up “in order that” Yeshua  should be called “Notzri“.  Not Bethlehem, and so perhaps a Yehudi or Beitlachmi; not Jerusalem, and so Yerushalmi; but Nazareth and Notzri (“my netzer” / “נצר שלי”).

In the eyes of Israel, Jesus is insignificant, of low esteem, not the Hope of Israel in Whom is her life.  He is the Stone which the builders rejected, but whom the Father, the Husbandman and Vinedresser, has made the rock of offense and the head of the corner (cornerstone and foundation stone). (Ps 118:22-23; Is 8:14; 28:16; 1Pet 2:6-8)

God chooses the foolish and the weak things in the eyes of the world to confound the wise (Ps 119:141; 1 Cor. 1:23-31).  YHVH chose Isaac, and his half-brother Ishmael mocked him;  God chose the children of Israel, the fewest in number, because He loves them; God chose David, the youngest of Jesse’s sons, but a man after God’s own heart; the LORD chose Jerusalem to be His city, yet it has no natural resources of the great capital cities of the world; Jesus emptied Himself of all glory to become not the rightful King, but rather the servant of servants — meek and lowly in heart.  The meek shall inherit the earth; those who fear God and do righteousness will see His favor.  To the world foolishness and weakness–“friars”; to God wisdom and salvation, life from death.

[Other examples of God’s foolishness being wiser than man’s wisdom are His choices of the Seed of the Woman; Jacob; Bethlehem; Ruth the Moabitess;  Solomon, the son of David and Batsheva; Mary; the Lamb.]

God will fulfill His Word.  In Mt. 2:23 the Word of God says that through the prophets (plural) Yeshua would be called a Nazarene (this is not the same word as nazirite).  Even today in Israel, the Jewish people call Yeshua/Jesus, “Yeshu haNotzri” (Jesus the Nazarene, in a completely derogatory sense), fulfilling the Word of God! (also fulfilling Is 8:20-21, giving deeper meaning to Yeshua telling His city and people that they will not see Him again until they bless Him and His name – Mt 23:37-39)

A few examples from the Scriptures of the use of the Hebrew word netzer and its root derivations are:
Ex. 34:6-7        in connection with the Name of God, who keeps lovingkindness for thousands
Deut. 33:9    Levites (esp. Pinhas) kept covenant with YHVH in preference over his family and kinsmen
Is. 49:6         the preserved of Israel by the Servant of YEHOVAH
Jer. 4:16       the watchers sent by God against Jerusalem and Judah
Ps. 25:10       the paths of YHVH are grace and truth for the keepers of the LORD’s covenant and testimonies
                      Ps. 119:2      blessedness ( inner-man happiness, satisfaction) of those who keep the LORD’s testimonies
                       Ps 119:22    supplicating God to remove reproach and despite on account of keeping His testimonies
                      Prov. 4:23    keeping of one’s heart essential to the issues of life

Yeshua fulfills all these, and we are called to do so as believers in Him; Israel is also called to be notzrim in truth, both morally and spiritually.  Yeshua is YHVH’s Tzemach (Branch; Plant; Sprout – Is 4:2; Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zech 3:8; 6:12).

From the Greek texts, we find the following applications of the Messianic use of the name Notzri/Nazarene:
Lk. 18:37-38     Associated with the Son of David, Messiah
Lk. 24:19          Known by His disciples (on way to Emmaus after resurrection of Yeshua)
Rom. 2:28-3:4   An issue of the heart, both to be a Jew and a Christian (whether Jewish or Gentile by birth)
–seeking God’s approval
–suffering indignity for the sake of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ the Nazarene (not merely Jesus of/from Nazareth, though this has its own proper use as well) (Jn 1:45-46; Acts 5:41-42)
Mk. 16:6     The angels refer to Jesus the Nazarene as the One the women are seeking at His tomb
Acts 22:8   Yeshua calls Himself the Nazarene (הנצרי ) after His ascension when He appears to Saul (Paul) and identifies Himself to him.

The apostles and disciples are identified with Jesus as Christians (משיחיים ) or as of the Nazarenes (נצרים).
Acts 11:26        first called Christians (meaning belonging to Messiah/Christ, or followers of Messiah/Christ, whether Gentile of Jewish)
Acts 24:5          scornfully referred to as Nazarenes; Paul takes the opportunity to declare his faith and hope
Acts 26:28        Jewish King Agrippa referred to Paul’s persuasiveness to make him a Christian; Paul had borne testimony to the sufferings of Messiah and of His resurrection
1 Pet. 4:14-16   apostle to Jewish believers refers to suffering as Christians for the Name of Messiah (the Greek word for Christian which Peter used for the Messianic Jews is the same as used for the disciples in Antioch, and by King Agrippa — Christianos)
Acts 6:14           a name of contempt by false witnesses
Acts 3:6; 4:10    healings and miracles done in the Name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene (Yeshua ha-Mashiach ha-Notzri)
Mk. 1:24; Lk. 4:34  demons, evil and unclean spirits, knew Yeshua as the Nazarene, the Holy One of God

The devil always desires to make God’s people ashamed or afraid of being known by the names God uses.  Both Jews and Christians have done much which has brought reproach and dishonor to our own people and so to our God and Savior.  Yet if we pay notice only to the ways in which the seed of the serpent has abused the Name of YHVH or of His Anointed One, then we will not hear the voice of our Shepherd, whose Name is honorable to God, and He has placed His Name upon us.

Just as Jews in the diaspora often times want(ed) to dissociate themselves from their God-given identity (also oft used in derision), so many Christians do the same–some due to rebellious unbelief or to a bitter root, others due to a sense of shame or of guilt, still others from fear of ridicule or of disapproval.  Nonetheless, even as the name of Israel and of Jews remain to this day, so too has YHVH preserved the name (Hebraically- and English-wise today) of Notzri/Christian.  If we look to Yeshua/Jesus and suffer with Him for His Name’s sake, then we will be glorified together with Him.  The cross of our Lord does not permit us to find our comfort by seeking to save our own lives and names (reputations), but rather by losing our life for Yeshua’s  sake. (Heb 13:13-15)  Then His promise is that we will indeed find life.  We are hidden with Messiah in God.

As we see through faith God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit reveals and enlightens through the Scriptures, then the sayings ( (אמרים of God–not His words (דברים) only, but what He is saying with His words — are magnified, enlarged, are seen more fully and clearly:  great is the glory of YHVH, our pride of self is exposed and abased — grace and truth come through Jesus Christ the Nazarene.  We have no boast but in the cross of our Lord.

Through believing on the Name of the Son of God, the Spirit of God opens up the whole of Scripture to lead us and confront us with liberating and sanctifying truth and love, as He magnifies all that comes forth from the mouth of God and fulfills in us and through us all that His Name means.  Do you know this in your own life, and do we know this together as a congregation gathered together in His Name?

I am a Jew who believes in Jesus.  After that, you can call me what you want.  To the Synagogue I am saying that I am still a Jew, even though I believe in Jesus.  To the Church I am saying that I am still a Jew, even though I believe in Jesus.  Being  a Messianic Jew, a Christian, or a traitor does not alter that declaration of identity.  The main thing is that I belong to and follow Jesus/Yeshua — both Lord and Messiah/Christ.

To whomever has an ear to hear, let him/her hear what the Spirit is saying.  God is faithful to His own Name (He is not unknown or anonymous, and it is our duty and our privilege to make known and honorable His Name–especially here in Israel where they have forgotten it or show their broken relationship with Him through much vain superstitions), and to the name He has sovereignly chosen to bestow upon His beloved Son – hated without cause — who died upon the cross for our sins (John 19:19):

                         Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews                   ישוע הנצרי המלך היהודים

 Netzer – נצר

(from Tree and Shrub in Our Biblical Heritage; pages 82-88; written by Nogah Hareuveni)

“Frequently the olive tree is surrounded by offshoots, the strongest of which are kept by the farmer for transplanting.  In this context it is easy to understand the words of the prophet Isaiah: ‘And a shoot (hoter) shall grow out of the trunk of Jesse, and a twig (netzer) shall sprout from his roots.’  (Is. 11:1)

The offshoots that surround an olive tree grow both from the roots and the trunk of the tree.  When a trunk offshoot grows into a sturdy “branch”, it is sometimes cut out from the trunk, together with a thick knob at its head–the hoter, or shepherd’s staff.  It serves the shepherd both as a weapon and as a tool for directing the flock.

Unlike the hoter,  worked from the offshoot that grows from the trunk of the olive tree, the netzer is an offshoot that grows from the roots of the tree.  The olive grower destroys most of these offshoots, leaving only one or two of the sturdiest to develop into new saplings for transplant.  This is the guarded offshoot [the word netzer being derived from the Hebrew word natzor, to guard], selected from among all the others to propagate the new generation of olive trees. . . .

These characteristics of the olive offshoots help explain the words of Isaiah (in 11:1) which describe the Messiah, a descendant of David, son of Jesse, who will be a leader of his flock (represented by the hoter, the shepherd’s staff with which he leads his flock) and who will grow as the guarded sapling (the netzer) from the roots of the stock of Jesse.  Though that ancient stock was chopped down during the destruction of the Temple, the roots did not lose their ability to put forth the new growth of a fruitful tree. . . .  After being planted, the olive tree offshoot grows into an olive tree of great age. . . .

Moreover, the olive offshoot can survive for days after being severed from the parent tree, even without soil or water.”

“. . .מסביב לגזע הזית גרופיות-גרופיות, אשר החזקות בהן תישמרנה בידי האיכר כ”נצרים” לנטיעת עצים חדשים

 בקשר זה אפשר להבין את דברי הנביא:  “ויצא חוטר מגזע ישי ונצר משורשיו יפרה” (ישעיה י”א: א’).  הגרפיות, אשר מסביב לעץ זית, יוצאות בחלקן מן הגזע ואחרות עולות מן השורשים.  כאשר גדלה ומתעבה גרופית שצמיחתה מן הגזע, יש המנתקים אותה ממנו, עם האזור המעובה אשר במקום הניתוק.  לאחר מכן מחליקים אותה ומעבדים אותה למקל, אשר בראשו גולה, או “חוטרת”.  זהו מקל הרועים – החוטר – המשמש את הרועה ככלי נשק וגם ההנחיית העדר. . . .

 שלא כמו החוטר, המעובד מגרופית הגדלה מן הגזע, מתפתח הנצר מגרופית העולה מן השורשים.  הכורמים נוהגים להשמיד את מרבית הגרופיות הללו, ולהשאיר רק אחד או אחדות מהן ברצותם לטפח שתילים חדשים.  אלו הם הנצרים:  הגרופיות אשר נצרו אותן מבין כל אלה שהושמדו, כדי להעמיד מהן דור חדש של עצי זית. . . .

 בתכונות אלו של גרפיות הזית מוסברים יפה דברי ישעיה על המלך לעתיד-לבוא מבני בניו של דוד בן-ישי, שיהיו בו תכונות של מנהיג (המסומלות בחוטר, הוא מכשיר הנחיית העדר שבידי הרועה), ואשר יצמח כנצר

משורשי גזע-ישי, הוא הגזע העתיק שנכרת עם החורבן, אך שורשיו לא איבדו את חיוניותם להצמיח מחדש אילן פורה (“יפרה“). . .לאחר נטיעתה גרופית של זית, היא מצמיחה עץ רב-שנים.  יתר על כן:  גרופית הזית עשוייה לשמור על חיוניותה גם ימים רבים לאחר תלישתה מאילן האם – וזאת גם אם לא תינטע באדמה ואף לא תקבל אספקת מים . . . .”    (שיח ועץ במורשת ישראל, כתב: נגה בראובני, עמ’ 88-82)