Three New Years

I remember that before I was a believer, I wondered and asked the question:  Why do we have and remember New Year’s.  I was particularly thinking about the Jewish “New Year” which had become one of the High Holy Days in the synagogue.  The answer that I gave myself, and to my parents, was that there must be Someone who is keeping us (the Jewish people) alive for another year.  It gives an opportunity to thank Him, and to also hope that He would do the same for the next year.

Now, I have what, for me, is a broader and a more personal understanding of the significance of New Years.  YHVH God has given three opportunities to observe a New Year.  He is the God of Creation and of Redemption.  We are all born in the flesh; we  must be born of the Spirit to inherit eternal life.  We are individuals; Israel is a nation, whom God calls His first-born son.  These New Years — new beginnings —  are begun by God, and adopted by His people — whether Israeli Jews, or whether Christians.

YHVH told Israel that for them, the New Year would begin on the first day (the first day of the covered New Moon) of the month of Aviv/Nisan, the first full month of Spring of the Hebrew calendar for Israel.  This New Year focuses on the death of the Lamb of God, who died at the Passover, which is the 14th of that month (a Full Moon).  Israel does not perceive the resurrected sacrificial Lamb, but only the Passover sacrifice for deliverance from Egyptian slavery.  Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah is the Lamb of God who died for the sin and sins of every person, both in Israel and for all humanity for all time.  In His death, all died, for He is the representative Man in God’s ultimate plan of salvation, which He conceived before time began.  This first New Year of God’s redemptive calendar is the foundation of the gospel:  Messiah crucified, and risen from the dead on the day after the Sabbath of the Passover week.  By grace Israel was delivered out of Egyptian bondage; by grace all who believe are saved from sin’s bondage.

At some point in her history, Israel began to observe the civil New Year on the first day (the first day of the covered New Moon) of the seventh month (Tishri/Etanim) on her calendar in the Autumn/Fall.   This may seem strange, yet for Israel, each year they would be forgiven their sins, and God would dwell among them for the next year, which the Feast of Booths commemorates with joyful celebration, two full weeks after the beginning of the month, marked by the light of the Full Moon. And the Jubilee year is marked from the Day of Atonements, which falls on the 10th of the same month.  Jubilee is a new beginning for slaves, prisoners, debtors and creditors, and land possessions.  The Day of Atonements is the day of the LORD, in which those who accept YHVH God’s sacrifice for forgiveness of sins — both personal and corporate — are saved and justified; and those who refuse His sacrifice and way of righteousness are condemned for their unbelief and unthankfulness.  For an individual — and for Israel as a nation — this experience of being born-again through faith in God’s good news of His Son, truly marks a New Year of a new life in everlasting restored fellowship with God the Father and with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  It marks new birth, which is needed since we all died with Messiah in His death on the cross.  This new beginning for Jews and for Gentiles upon whom the Lord bestows His mercy will be fully realized at the coming again of the Lord.

The time around the birth of this Son, this Lamb, who was born to die, and to live forevermore to provide for the full reality of the Kingdom of God over all, marks the celebration of the third New Year, and this for all who love Him for who He is and for what He has done, is doing, and will yet do.  God so loved the world that He gave His only unique Son so that whosoever believes in His name should not perish but inherit eternal life.  Yeshua was born near the end of the “world” calendar, in the first month of winter, Chislev/December, on both calendars (and the 9th month beginning with April/Aviv), and puts away the old that the new may come in.  His birth marked a new beginning of God’s intervention in Israel’s and the Gentiles’ affairs in order to take back to Himself all that had been lost by Adam and Eve and subsequent humanity, and deceitfully stolen by the devil to oppose the Sovereign God and His plan that human beings created in His image and likeness would be joint heirs with God’s Son of the Kingdom of God.  Jesus’ circumcision on the 8th day marks the covenant faithfulness to God’s promises given to Abram/Abraham that Israel and the people of God would one day worship Him without fear of any enemies.  We have all been God’s enemies, and the birth, death, and resurrection of the Lord Messiah takes away that enmity in us against Him, and we glorify Him, who is seated on the Throne!

So, to summarize:

All of the New Years have to do with Jesus Christ, and the celebration of Him by those who are God’s chosen and elect. They quicken an expectation of what God will do, based on what He has promised and has already done:

1.  Yeshua’s Death and Resurrection:  The Lamb of God was slain to redeem His people and set them free to serve YHVH God, and Him only.  He was slain before the foundation of the world, according to the perfect plan of God. And this Lamb rose from among the dead to everlasting life to enjoy the fruit of His suffering and sacrifice!  Israel’s calendar begins with YHVH God’s redeeming them from slavery that they may know and serve Him.

2.  Yeshua’s Coming Again:  All who are born-again through faith in the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus begin a new life unto God.  Israel as a nation still has this promise before them when Yeshua returns to save “all Israel”, the preserved remnant from all the tribes who will see Him whom they pierced, and afflict their souls for all their unfaithfulness and unfounded hatred toward Him and the Father. And the Body of Messiah has the hope of the Lord’s return and the resurrection of their bodies, to rule and reign with Him during His kingdom on Earth.

3.  Yeshua’s Birth:  His coming into the world in the flesh, born in order to be our Redeemer – to be the Lamb of God — who died to declare God’s Sovereign righteousness regarding sin, and His grace toward human sinners.  Peace on Earth, goodwill towards mankind!

These three New Years center around the birth, the death and resurrection, and the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ.  For the people of God, they mark natural birth, death, redemption by new birth through faith by the Holy Spirit, and the return of the Lord.  These three events are each memorialized with a ‘new song’: the song of Moses, the song of Mary, and the song of the 144,000 redeemed from the Earth.  They mark progressive time as the Sovereign Lord of history continues onward bringing to pass all that must be. Till now, the Holy Spirit is bringing all to pay homage to the Son, whether they realize it or not, and whether they rejoice in it or not in fellowship with other worshipers of God in spirit and truth!

Religious War? – 21 Nov 2014

The recent terrorist attack in a synagogue in West Jerusalem by Arab Muslims from East Jerusalem, in which rifles, knives, and meat cleavers were among the weapons used against Jewish men praying their morning prayers, has brought closer to home the reality that we are entering a religious war, and not only a nationalistic, political war here in Israel.   Among the dead and wounded Jews, a Druze policeman was also mortally wounded and killed as he responded to the terror within the Har Nof neighborhood synagogue.

There are those who remember what Dr. Baruch Goldstein did 20 years ago, when he entered a mosque in Hebron and massacred 29 Arab Muslim pray-ers during their morning prayers, and wounded many others.   As despicable as Goldstein’s act was, it is not comparable as a modus operandi to what took place in the synagogue:  apart from some fringe supporters, the government of Israel and the people as a whole repudiated such use of violence to achieve whatever the goal may be.  The then PM Yitchak Rabin said that he was ashamed to be a Jew.  Such an act taints all of us.  On the other hand, the Islamic terrorists are praised and celebrated, called martyrs, and others are encouraged to go out and wantonly murder Israeli Jews — and any others — in order to rid the land and the planet of particularly Jews and Christians — those who are the living witness of the one, true, living God, and of His Son, Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah.  This is done in the name of their God, who is not the same as YEHOVAH, God Most High.  The murderous attack by the Jewish terrorist and murderer, Jack Teitel, against Palestinian Arabs and against Jewish believers in Jesus was his act of war, thinking to do God’s will; yet he, too, was widely denounced for his thinking and for his actions.

While most wars seem to have be for economic and political reasons, there have been many religious wars in history; the Crusades come to mind fairly quickly.  The Islamic conquests after its beginnings in the 7th century were all religiously motivated.  There have been intra-faith wars between rival parties within religions; for example, the Jews led by the Maccabees against the Hellenizing Jews and Greeks; Sunni vs Shia Muslims; Catholic vs Protestant Christians.  Hindis have fought Buddhists.  When the Israelis first conquered the Land of Canaan in the 15th century BC, it is stated in what would be considered religious terms:  the iniquity/sin of the inhabitants of the land was full, and YHVH God was bringing His chosen people — the descendants of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob — back into the land from Egypt in order to possess it as an everlasting possession, with the stipulation that should they also act as the Canaanites did, then they, too, would be removed from the land as a punishment under the terms of the covenant between YHVH and the Children of Israel.  The return of the Jewish people back to Palestine (the Land of Israel) in the 20th century was both pragmatic, political, and religious, and God in His sovereignty brought both His will and the will of man to coincide.   This return of the scattered Jews from out of nations all around the globe is itself a strategic act of war by the LORD of Hosts against those who seek to prevent Him from fulfilling His covenant promises and glorifying His name.  The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount — the place which God led King David to choose as the place for YHVH’s earthly Temple — and the Muslim efforts to eradicate the validity of Israeli and Jewish history there, is itself an affront and act of defiance to the historical record.

Yet, for the most part, most religions do not teach to engage in war in order to propagate their faith and culture.  Islam does, and there have been many who have written about that, using the Koran and Mohammed’s teachings as a proof.  The God of Israel also instructed His people to use force as needed, under His directions and guidelines, when taking possession, and then defending their natural and spiritual identity and heritage.  This use of force by Israel was not to extend beyond their borders.  Until today, this is generally the way Israel employs its military might and prowess.

The Word of God in the Bible tells us that war was declared already back in the Garden of Eden, when YHVH, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth — including the angels and human beings — let Satan (the devil; the fallen angel, Lucifer) know that his rebellion against God, and his active efforts to spread that rebellion among humanity, whom God created in His image and likeness, would not go unanswered.   The enmity between the seed of the serpent and between the Seed of the woman — this ‘state of war’ between the devil and Christ Jesus — has been the “mother of all wars” since, whether carried on in the heavenlies, or played out here on land, seas, and air.   “Just wars” are those which are perceived as being between good and evil.  While warfare is itself a result of sin and rebellion, it is nonetheless used by God to ultimately defeat all enemies of that which is godly and righteous and good, and to glorify His holy name in the process.  One of our problems is that we have not exercised our senses to discern both good and evil.

Those who believe in Yeshua as Lord and Messiah are also called to engage in what is called spiritual warfare:  this is the war against lies, against the works of the devil, against unrighteousness, against the truth of the true God and Savior.  We are called to take the gospel to the ends of the Earth to all nations and people groups, to deliver people from the lies and darkness of Satan and to bring them into the truth and light of Jesus Christ.  This is effected through preaching, not by carnal weapons or through lying, intimidation, or force of arms.  It is a war for the hearts and minds of men, women, and children — to know and believe the Word of the God who alone forgives sins, and who has power and authority to not only kill the body, but also to send both soul and body to hell.  In His love, and to win this war, God the Father sent Yeshua His only-begotten Son into the world, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but inherit eternal life.

Jesus won the war on the cross, in His death, and subsequent burial and resurrection!  The sad news is that many people have not heard, or have not believed what they have heard concerning this good news.  The good news is that the Holy Spirit is still at work to bring the many who do repent and believe to saving faith.  The peace which Jesus gives is not the peace which the world gives.   The day is nearing when the Lord Jesus Christ is going to return from Heaven to put an end to all rebellion and unrighteousness, and to establish the true God’s kingdom over Israel, and over the entire Earth and universe!  He alone forgives sin.  “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Vengeance and Redemption – 6 July 2014

Rockets have again hit Beer Sheva (yesterday, as of this writing), violence and rage are again venting, cries for vengeance are shrieking.  Yet, for all this, God is working out redemption, as witnessed by people repenting and believing the good news of God about salvation through living faith in Jesus throughout the country and region.  Today is still the day of salvation!  This is still the acceptable year of the LORD (YHVH)!  We, as believers in Yeshua/Jesus, cannot forget that.

The natural man either witdraws into isolation and seclusion, seeking ‘private’ peace for/with those who are ‘his/hers’; or else draws upon carnal weapons to defend, and to ‘kill before being killed’.  This is normative human response to existential threat.  Yet. . .the spiritual man — those born of the Spirit from Above — must exercise faith, hope, and love just in such times as these.  Even should we be engaged in military service, we must not rely upon, nor think, that such weapons will bring peace. They can not kill a spirit, nor will human weaponry gain the credit for bringing true righteousness and peace to the world and all that lives in it.

God does say that there will be wars until the end, and that He will even glorify His holy name through war.  Jesus is, after all, YHVH (the LORD) of Hosts (Armies)!  But it is not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit human hearts will be replaced, and thoughts and intentions renewed and transformed.  Only the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ will make wars to cease, and weapons turned into agricultural tools. War will not be learned anymore, and this will be in EVERY FACET of life! O, for that happy day!

Tonight we had a prayer meeting at ‘the Old House’ (Yeshua’s Inheritance Cong. home, thanks to God and to the CMA), and this time we invited other city pastors to join us, with anyone else that they wanted to bring.  The situation in the country and region is also a call for the believers in general, and the congregational/church leaders in particular, to come together in unity to beseech God on His Throne of Grace, as well as work together for the sake of the gospel and Yeshua’s name, by whom we are called and identify. This is a trying time for the Arab Israeli believers, who are being spiritually challenged, I know; they are caught between a rock and a hard place, and the cost of being a disciple of Yasu is weighing in on them.  But this is not less so for the Jewish Israeli believer vis a vis our own primary allegiance.

Dates to Remember

Times and seasons have a way of stirring the memories, both personal and collective. Depending on what they may signify, the reactions and anticipations may vary among individuals or nations, or among those joined together through religion or faith. Below are some historical markers that are beginning to converge to draw attention to a watershed, perhaps. Both friend and foe are taking notice.

Oct 31, 1517 – Reformation Day, which gave the Bible back to the people that they may be saved by faith alone in God and His Word
1517 – Turkish Ottoman Muslim Empire begins rule in the Holy Land, the land of the God of the Bible

1882-1903 — First Aliyah (Immigration wave), following pogroms (riots) in Russia in 1881-1882

Aug 29, 1897 – First Zionist Congress in Basle, led by Theodor Herzl, who prophetically understood the times that the Jewish people needed to seek “a publicly recognized legally secured homeland”
http://www.herzl.org/english/Article.aspx?Item=544

June 28, 1914 – the assasination of Austrian arch-duke in Serbia, the catalyst for the declaration a month later of what became WW1, ending on Nov 11, 1918; “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…”

Oct 31, 1917 – ANZAC/Lighthorse Beer Sheva Charge victory over Ottomans in break-through victory towards return of Jewish people back to Land of Israel, and of ending 400 years of Ottoman rule in Holy Land, and 400 years to the day of the Reformation
http://www.lighthorse.org.au/famous-battles/world-war-one/famous-battles-the-battle-at-beersheba

Nov 2, 1917 – Balfour Declaration of intent of British government to establish a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine; “It shall come to pass in that day that [YHVH God] shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left . . . . He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the Earth.”
http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/the%20balfour%20declaration.aspx
(here is a site devoted to regretting the Balfour Declaration: http://www.balfourproject.org/ )

Dec 11, 1917 – Jerusalem surrendered to British General Edmund Allenby and the Allies from Turkish Ottoman control
http://www.colonialfilm.org.uk/node/6131

Apr 25, 1920 – San Remo Resolution ratified by post-WW1 Allied Powers, legally sanctioning the establishment of the Jewish people back in the land of their fathers
http://www.cfr.org/israel/san-remo-resolution/p15248

Aug 12, 1922 – League of Nations establishes British Mandate in Palestine, authorized to carry out San Remo Resolution (which legally sanctioned the intent of the Balfour Declaration)
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp

Sept 1, 1939 – Sept 2, 1945 – World War II

Nov 29, 1947 – UN Partition Plan for Palestine, offering both Jewish people and Arab Palestinians states. Israel accepted what for them constituted “a publicly recognized legally secured homeland”; the Arabs rejected, and prepared for war (Israel’s Independence War, 1948-49); 430 yrs since the restored promise of salvation and righteousness by faith in YHVH God and His Word, and of the Ottoman Islamic control of the Land of Israel
http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/un%20general%20assembly%20resolution%20181.aspx

May 14, 1948 – State of Israel as the re-established homeland for the Jewish people proclaimed by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, in accord with the legal status conferred by both the League of Nations and the United Nations; the British Mandate ended day before
http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/declaration%20of%20establishment%20of%20state%20of%20israel.aspx

Jun 7, 1967 – Capture of Jerusalem in Six-Day War, unifying the city in Israeli Jewish hands (70 years after 1st Zionist Cong; 50 yrs Jubilee since Balfour Declaration)

Dec 9, 1987 – First Intifada (Arab uprising) begins, lasting seven years, leading to Oslo Accords between the State of Israel and the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), signed on Sept 13, 1993

Sept 29, 2000 – Second Intifada begins, inconclusively ending in a truce on Feb 8, 2005, and leading to the Gaza disengagement on Sept 12, 2005

2014100 years since start of WW1

201570 yrs since end of WW2

2017500 yrs since the Reformation; 120 yrs since 1st Zionist Cong; 100 yrs (double Jubilee) since Beer Sheva Charge, the Balfour Declaration, and the capture of Jerusalem by Gentile Christians; 70 yrs since UN Partition Plan; 50 yrs Jubilee since capture of Jerusalem by Israeli Jews; 30 yrs since beginning of 1st Palestinian Intifada (“breaking the yoke; horse shaking off the rider”)

2018100 yrs from end of WW1; 70 yrs of Israel’s re-established nation-state

202880 yrs since Israel’s re-establishment as homeland for the Jewish people

20?? – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Israel’s Independence Day – 6 May 2014

Tuesday, May 6, is Israel’s 66th Independence Day.  Millions of Jews suffered, were murdered, died in the Holocaust; tens of thousands more have died in the wars from the inception of the re-establishment of the Jewish people back in their homeland; hundreds are memorialized for their deaths since 1860 as they ‘returned to Zion’.  All of this human tragedy and valor as a price in order to be redeemed from the lands of exile, scattered around the globe, after 1900 years, and to be free as a people in their own  land.  And yet. . . .there is still no genuine and lasting peace, freedom, nor true independence.  These can come only from God, and specifically from the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob — Yehovah, Possessor of Heaven and Earth.

No man can save himself, at any price.  He needs the right man who has legal rights of redemption, and is capable and willing to pay the price required.  Redemption is always from a negative state to a restored and improved positive situation than the original condition had been.  For example, we who know Jesus/Yeshua as Lord and Messiah, have not been forgiven of our sins just to continue on as before.  This might seem “good enough”.  But no!  We have also received the indwelling of God’s own Spirit to purify us, and have inherited eternal life and the Kingdom of God with the Lord!   Far better!  The eternal life is not a return to the original ‘Paradise’, the Garden of Eden, as good as that might seem:  the serpent, the devil, was there, as was the forbidden fruit to frustrate mankind from the beginning.  The New Heavens and New Earth for the redeemed will be perfect, with all futility removed and no thing to mar them forever.  Far better!

When we fellowship in the Lord’s Supper, we remember our redemption and the price paid for it.  But it is not something merely factual:  we remember with love and thanksgiving our Redeemer and Ransomer who gave Himself as the human seed of Abraham, that all who believe — whether of Abraham’s natural covenanted family or not — receive the unimaginable greater benefits which come with salvation, bought with the price of the blood of the Son of God crucified.  Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ is the New Covenant:  He is the Lamb slain; His is the blood.  God has raised Him from the dead and given Him glory.  He is Israel’s Hope.

We were slaves to sin and death; now we are free to righteousness and life.  A return to God through Jesus, and knowing the Father and the Son  — and being known by the Lord:  this is true peace, liberty, and independence.

HOPE DESPITE FUTILITY – 19 June 2013

The people of Israel lives!  Am Israel Chai!   Last night witnessed a gala celebration of a man and his life, and of a people and their hope.  Israeli President Shimon Peres enjoyed a birthday party unlike any other person on the world stage.  Although his actual birthday isn’t until August 8, leaders and celebrities from Israel and from all around the world came together in an exciting and emotive way to wish Shimon a happy 90th birthday, with the hope of many more.

President Peres was one of the founding builders of the modern State of Israel, and has served in nearly every major government position available.  He is a man who has embodied the Israeli and Jewish people’s dream and hope of a better tomorrow, whatever today brings.   It is an indomitable optimism that does not give up hope, despite the reality of futility which constantly frustrates its realization.  He has been a politician and a statesman who has never been tainted by scandal, yet has often found himself at odds with the conventional wisdom during the course of his long, and still very active, life.  He, like his nation, has a remarkable record of achievement and resiliency.  His reputation is honored as a man who has lived according to what he believes.  He received accolades of praise that properly belong to another Man.  He is a man of the world, and the world hears him.   If ever a a person has received his reward in this life, Shimon Peres is among them.  If it only ends with this, it will be an eternal tragedy he will forever regret.

King Solomon, the wisest man who has ever lived apart from Jesus Christ, was also very wealthy.  With his wisdom and wealth, he set himself to do whatever came into his heart and mind.  The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible tells of his quest for understanding and for happiness.  What the son of King David came to realize, with all the resources at his disposal to be a self-satisfied man, was that all was vanity, and vanity  of vanities.  The  optimistic humanistic effort to have a good life and to make the world better is, at the end of the day, futile.  Yet God, the Creator and Redeemer — who has subjected the whole creation to futility  — has put into it and into every person a hope that there is — and can be — something better.  This hope is embedded in the collective soul of the Jewish people in particular, and in humankind generally; but wishful thinking does not bring fulfillment, nor does God have a dream that He hopes will come true.

Shimon Peres has struggled with his fellow pioneers and builders of the State of Israel in his and their quest for peace and security.  Last night’s gala celebration, which brought people from the whole spectrum of political and social life — both within Israel and the Jewish world, and also from many  other countries — was a proof that Shimon had prevailed.   Israel, like this man who has shared her life and struggles from the beginning, continues to seek approval from her neighbors and from the whole international community, and finds them very fickle.  Neither Shimon Peres nor his people Israel has yet overcome in their struggle with man and God, who alone gives the most important approval which anyone must have, and who gives the peace which comes from ceasing our own works to find significance and worth in this world, by coming to know that the true unifying truth and Hope of Israel — and for all humanity — is found in the Messiah Son of David, even the Lord Jesus Christ/ha-Adon Yeshua ha-Mashiach.

My prayer for Shimon Peres, and for the others of my people, is that they be saved, and to give the glory to the God of our fathers, and to do His will in obedience of the faith in the living God, and in His Son.   What a wonderful testimony to hear the likes of President Peres — who has won the acclaim of the world and accomplished so much, yet frustrated by the elusive peace he so much wants for all — to be able to confess like the apostle Paul, who had all the credentials, that all that he achieved in and from the world is rubbish not to be compared with the living and sure hope in God of the riches of the glory of knowing his exalted Lord and Savior and Prince of Peace — the Light to enlighten the nations, and the Glory of His people Israel!

THE NEW MOON: COVERED, OR REVEALED?

On March 11 there is a New Moon.  Will you see it?  What is it that you will see?

This New Moon also marks the beginning of the first month in God’s redemptive calendar year given to Israel, leading up to the Passover on the Full Moon two weeks later. (Ex 12:2)

So, is the new moon covered over, that is, darkened?; or, is it a slim crescent, that is, partially revealed or exposed?  The Scriptures are not silent about this, since God commanded Israel to celebrate every New Moon, and to blow the trumpets on that occasion! (Num 10:10)  If Jesus does fulfill the meaning of the New Moon, and if the moon does symbolize Israel, then the answer to whether the new moon is covered or partially revealed will be consistent with its symbolism. 

There are three Bible references to the New Moon that can help us: 

1Sam 20:5   “And David said the Jonathan, ‘Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the King to eat.  But let me go, that I may hide in the field until the third day at evening.'”

From this verse, we can see that David knew when there would be a new moon, without there being any official ‘spotters’ to watch for it and inform all the others after they had seen it.  David also says that he will be hiding in the field.  How hiding?  Because there would be no light of the moon to help make him visible in any movements, as he sought to protect himself from the king who sought his life.  How long did he plan to hide out in the field during the new moon?  Until the third evening, which is about the length of time for the dark moon to wax as it goes from its final light phase to its next crescent moon. 

Amos 8:5   “. . . When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? . . . .”

The heartless people who were only concerned with their own commercial interests at the expense of the poor and needy were anxious to know when the beginning-of-the-month New Moon (and the end-of-the-week Sabbath) would be over – and not, “when is it?” — so that they could get back to business and oppress the poor and needy.  If the New Moon were a sliver of light (like the Islamic sign by sight!), there would be no need of the question!  But if the new moon is darkened by the Earth being directly between it and the Sun, it could take up to three days until the life that was hidden appeared again to sight.  The oppressors wanted to know when they could again be ‘freed’ from the constraints of the Law of God in whatever way it restricted their evil thoughts and plans.

Ps 81:3-4Eng   “Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon; at the covering, on our celebration day.  For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob.” 

Verse 3 has been used by many to go through hoops not to accept it for what it plainly and simply says in Hebrew.  The two verses are each in parallel.  Verse 4 (5 in Hebrew) says in parallel the same thing:  God gave His instruction to Israel – to Jacob – to celebrate the New Moon.  Verse 3 (4 in Hebrew) is describing when to blow the trumpet:  at the New Moon, which is described as being covered.  The parallel part of the verse is not describing the time, nor is it speaking of two different moon phases, just as the other verse is not speaking of two different peoples.  And, God did not command Israel to blow the trumpets on the full moons.  The Hebrew word is ba-kaseh (כסה), which simply means “at the [whole] covering“.  If something is partially covered, it is not ‘covered’; it is partly exposed.  We do not speak of covering something in some measure of light, but we speak of covering something over.  Light reveals; darkness covers.  Yeshua spoke of letting our light shine, not being hidden under cover of a basket. (Mt 5:14-16) The heavens declare the glory of God!

(You can read the full article here:  http://streamsinthenegev.com/school-of-fish/the-new-moon-covered-or-revealed/ )

DOES THE ‘GOD PARTICLE’ FOREBODE DOOM TO THE UNIVERSE? – 21 Feb 2013

The capture of the most wanted sub-atomic  particle in physics last summer was named as Science journal’s Breakthrough of the  Year 2012.  (see earlier post on the ‘God Particle’:  http://streamsinthenegev.com/latest-news/god-particle-found-4-july-2012-2/  ) 

Now scientists are speculating that the Higgs bosun could also be a cause for the eventual destruction of the universe — should the sun not burn out first.

“It may be that the universe we live in is inherently unstable,” said Joseph Lykken, a theoretical physicist from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. “And at some point, billions of years from now, it’s all going to get wiped out.

Scientists refer to last year’s discovery as a Higgs boson-like particle, since they’re still working to confirm it really is the elusive particle. The Higgs boson, also called the “God particle”, is believed to give all objects mass. But Lykken says it could also spell doom for the universe.”

We see again that the Bible and Science can be reconciled.  True science — knowledge — will confirm what is written for our instruction and admonition in the Scriptures.  But, the problem with “Science” is that, while it has much of the data right, too often the scientists do not interpret the data correctly so as to give us the true knowledge for understanding of what it really means, and the wisdom for living in the truth.

The Bible is very clear that this very good universe is going to go, and will be replaced by one that is Perfect!  But it will occur far sooner than billions of years from now, but will be within the next 1000 years, give or take a few years.

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

Is 34:4a  “And all the host of the heavens shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled like a scroll.”

Rev 6:14-17    “And the heaven departed like a scroll when it is rolled together.  And every mountain and island were moved out of their places.  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains.  And they said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him sitting on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath has come, and who will be able to stand?”

2Pt 3:3-14   “First, knowing this, that there will come in the last days scoffers walking according to their own lusts and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.

For this is hidden from them by their willing it, that the heavens were of old, and the earth out of the water, and through water, being held together by the Word of God, through which the world that then was, being flooded by water, perished.  But the present heavens and the earth being kept in store by the same Word, are being kept for fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

But, beloved, let not this one thing be hidden from you, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. And the earth and the works in it will be burned up.  Then, all these things being about to be dissolved, what sort ought you to be in holy behavior and godliness,  looking for and rushing the coming of the Day of God, on account of which the heavens, being on fire, will melt away, and the elements will melt, burning with heat?

But according to His promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.   Therefore, beloved, looking for these things, be diligent, spotless, and without blemish, to be found by Him in peace.” 

BIRTH, DEATH, AND GOOD FRIDAY OF MESSIAH YESHUA THE LORD – 12 Dec 2012

I just did a quick count-down and count-up and came to this conclusion on this fourth day of Hanukkah:  if Jesus died in 30 AD (which is 40 years before the Temple’s destruction; mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 39b, and also referred to in the Jerusalem Talmud; see http://www3.telus.net/public/kstam/en/temple/details/evidence.htm  ), and was 33 1/2 yrs old (having begun His 3 1/2 yr public ministry when He was about 30 years old, then He was born in Dec., 5 B.C., by my reckoning. http://streamsinthenegev.com/school-of-fish/conception-and-birth-of-john-the-baptiser-and-jesus-the-messiah/  (If He were born in 2 B.C., because of Herod dying in 1 BC instead of in 4 BC before Passover, then His death would have been in 33 AD, which reduces the forty years from the rent veil till the Temple’s destruction).  The magi from the East could have seen His star up to a couple of years before they actually arrived in Bethlehem, Israel.

Yeshua, as the Passover Lamb, began His last week (Passion Week) in Jerusalem on Sunday, the first day of the week (the day after the Sabbath), which would have been the 10th day of the first month (Nisan) leading up to the Passover.  He was “examined” until the 14th of the month (Ex 12), and was found without spot or blemish by the people, by the Jewish rulers (they needed false witnesses in order to “make” Him guilty and condemn Him), and by Pilate and Herod.  He was crucified and died on the afternoon of the 14th of the month, Thursday.  This also fulfills the prophecy connected with Jonah, that Jesus would be in the heart of the Earth for three days and three nights, rising early on the first day of the week as the first-fruits from among the dead, the day after the Sabbath.

“Good Friday” would have been a Sabbath as being the first full day of Passover (Lev 23); and I believe it is called Good Friday because believers — after the fact (and the Holy Spirit from the beginning) — would have come to understand that what took place the day before was actually the greatest victory of all ages and the essence of the Good News and the New Covenant:  Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, and to bury our sins with Him, fulfilling the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread at the appointed time of the 15th day of the first month!  HalleluYah!

The Hebrew/Jewish/Messianic roots of New Testament faith are found in the Word of God given to and through Israel.

GOD PARTICLE FOUND? – 4 July 2012

Speaking to a packed audience Wednesday morning in Geneva, CERN director general Rolf Heuer confirmed that two separate teams working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are more than 99 percent certain they’ve discovered the Higgs boson, aka the God particleor at the least a brand-new particle exactly where they expected the Higgs to be.

The long-sought particle may complete the standard model of physics by explaining why objects in our universe have massand in so doing, why galaxies, planets, and even humans have any right to exist.

“We have a discovery,” Heuer said at the seminar. “We have observed a new particle consistent with a Higgs boson.”  (National Geographic, July 4, 2012)

It is a fascinating testimony to the greatness of God that $10 billion have been spent to build a huge and complex machine to discover the smallest of ‘things’ that scientists call the Higgs bosun particle, or the “God particle”.  After about 40 years of predicting such a thing, the discovery has seemingly been made.

It is written in the book of Daniel in the Bible that in the latter days knowledge will increase (Dan 12:4).  (What about understanding and wisdom?)  This discovery certainly is an interesting find, and takes us to the outer and inner limits of what can be known of the unseen visible world.  True science will confirm truth which the Word of God has already spoken:

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” (Heb 11:3)

” For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Col 1:16-17)

“who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3)

All of these verses speak of Jesus Christ being the Creator of the “God particle”!  Praise the Lord, and give glory to Him!