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Isaiah’s Afflicted Angel

January 24th, 2014

I will make mention of the mercies of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us; and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He hath bestowed on them according to His compassions, and according to the multitude of His mercies.  For He said: ‘Surely, they are My people, children that will not deal falsely’; so He was their Saviour.  In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them, and carried them all the days of old.
(Isaiah 63:7-9; Jewish Publication Society, 1917)

This is a picture of God’s relationship with Israel.  Is it not a fitting picture of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)?  He is the fulfillment of God’s love to His people.

Posted in Anonymous, Biblical Interpretation, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, Redemption, Some Words and Thoughts | No Comments »

Are you good enough for God?

January 22nd, 2014

Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
(Isaiah 59:1-2)

Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
(Ecclesiastes 7:20) 

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
(Isaiah 64:6)

Are you sure you are going to have eternal life with God?  If so, and if the Words of God quoted above is true, then on what basis to you believe this?  There is a way to be sure!  Contact us and find out.

Posted in Anonymous, Following God, Salvation, Some Words and Thoughts | No Comments »

Hanukkah Posts Past

November 28th, 2013

Here are nine Hanukkah posts from the past that might interest you.  Nine messages representing nine candles on the Hanukkiah or Hanukkah Menorah:

  1. The Real Shammas of Hanukkah
  2. Hanukkah: a time to think of Jesus
  3. A Hanukkah Encounter with Jesus
  4. Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication
  5. A Message of Hanukkah (Dedication)
  6. Hanukkah: More than a Festival of Lights
  7. Light and Darkness at Hanukkah
  8. Twas the night before Hanukkah
  9. What does Hanukkah have to do with Jesus?

 

 

Posted in Anonymous, Jewish festivals, Jewish holidays, Jews and Christianity, Jews and Jesus, This, That, The Other Thing | No Comments »

Hanukkah with Thanksgiving

November 28th, 2013

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)

These words were spoken by Yeshua (Jesus) in the Temple in Jerusalem during the Feast of Dedication – what we call Hanukkah.  Today is the first day of Hanukkah.  It is also the day when our American friends will be celebrating Thanksgiving.

Both of these holidays are intended to be centered around family festivities – the family coming together to celebrate God’s provision.  At Thanksgiving we celebrate God’s providing us not only with food and shelter as he did our early forebears who came to dwell here, but also to celebrate the land of freedom for which both the U.S. and Canada are renowned; freedom of conscience, of religion, of expression and many other freedoms.  At Hanukkah, we celebrate God’s victory for his people Israel over the Syrian Greeks, and his provision in enabling the people to rededicate themselves to Him.

Yeshua, in the passage above, reminds us of God’s dedication to us, especially as we dedicate ourselves to Him.  We are his sheep, and we are called on to listen to Him.  Yeshua was our Messiah, God come in human form to provide the means for eternal life He promised us through the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34), and so we are called on to follow Him.

To not believe in God, is to celebrate Thanksgiving meaninglessly.  It is as foolish as talking on the phone when no one is on the other end.  We may celebrate all the trappings, but the reason for our joy is gone and the holiday serves no true purpose.

To not believe in Yeshua, is to celebrate Hanukkah meaninglessly.  Because, though God is dedicated to us, he only provides the reason for our joy through our dedication to Him – and that is by faith in the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua.  We may celebrate with all the trappings, but the holiday serves no true purpose.

This year, let us all celebrate Hanukkah with thanksgiving for the joy of eternal life vouchsafed by God through our faith in Messiah Yeshua.

Posted in Anonymous, Following God, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish festivals, Jewish holidays, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, New Covenant, Salvation, The Bible | No Comments »

The Right Kind of Judaism?

November 18th, 2013

But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. (Deuteronomy 30:14)

God was telling the people of Israel that they did not need a lot of rules in order to relate to Him.  They only needed the Law that he gave them.  Yet centuries later, the religious leaders of Israel began heaping all kinds of rules and regulations and calling them Laws.  God sought a circumcised heart (Deuteronomy 10:16) – a people after His own heart like King David was (1 Samuel 13:14), but instead we had rules piled upon us to become a burden (Luke 11:46).

If the Judaism of the rabbis (i.e. Talmudic Judaism) is the correct form of Judaism, then why didn’t the Lord return the nation to the Land of Israel in the 10th or 11th Century C.E., when rabbinic Judaism was in its golden age and supposedly every Jew knew the Talmud-Torah? Why did he wait till the time when most Jews were secular; yet more Jews were believing in Yeshua (Jesus) than ever before? Makes you think, doesn’t it?

God told us through the prophet Zechariah:

They [will] look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. (Zechariah 12:10)

Jewish people are coming to know Yeshua as their Messiah and Lord, just as God promised.  Why shouldn’t you?  Contact us to learn more.

We would love to send you the book, “Twelve Sons of Israel,” about 12 rabbis who came to faith in Yeshua.  Just ask for it when you contact us.

Posted in Anonymous, Following God, Jesus and Jews, Jewish Tradition, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, Some Words and Thoughts, Talmud vs. Tanakh | No Comments »

It’s the High Holidays!

September 11th, 2013

It’s the High Holidays!  It’s a time for spiritual awakening; a call to repentance as we prepare for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  We are to recognize our transgressions against God; we are to turn away from doing them and turn towards God.

So before Yom Kippur we ramp up our good activities and try to reduce our bad ones.  On Yom Kippur we fast and pray.  In the end, we hope that our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds sufficiently to have our names written in the Book of Life, as if our actions could ever meet the standards of our holy, perfect God.  In the end, we have no assurance – we just hope and pray that our sacrifice is acceptable to God, all the time knowing deep inside that it can never be sufficient.

What if, however, our eternal life had nothing to do with our merit and everything to do with the Lord’s?  What if our relationship with God was based on just that – our relationship and not our deeds or lack of them?  What if it were our faith that determined our eternal destiny?

In the Tanakh (Old Testament) it is written, “the righteous shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4).

Surely we already have the love of God, but we only inherit his kingdom if we are in right relationship with him by faith.  After all, we who are in God’s image love our children, even though they do wrong, but we long for them to be in right relationship with us.

For this reason, God came to be amongst us in human form (much like he did with Abraham in Genesis 18), and became a guilt offering for us (Isaiah 53:10).  This was Yeshua (Jesus) who died on the cross for our sins and who said,

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
(John 3:16-17)

Yeshua has paid the price of sin eternally for us. We do not need to wonder, for we know that the sacrifice for our sin is complete. God has provided the way for you and me.

This Yom Kippur, as you contemplate your sinfulness before God, why not receive forgiveness the way God intended: through our Messiah Yeshua.  If you want to know more, please contact us.

HAG SAMEACH!

Posted in Anonymous, Atonement, Following God, Jewish festivals, Messiah, New Covenant, Redemption, Salvation | No Comments »

Coming Out of the Bushes

February 13th, 2013

But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
(Genesis 3:9-10)

In Genesis Chapter 3, which relates the fall of Adam and Eve, three things are obvious:

  1. Through the temptation of the serpent, our first parents rebelled against God by eating the fruit forbidden to them – breaking the only rule that was given them to obey.
  2. By eating of the fruit of the tree of good and evil, the relationship between each other and between them and God seemed irrevocably disjointed.
  3. Though they deserved the death promised to them by God for their disobedience, they did not die.  God was gracious to them so that, even though there were consequences for their actions, they were not utterly destroyed.

The Genesis 3 account is one, therefore, of both regret and hope.  Regret at paradise lost, and hope for a future promised.  For here in Genesis 3 we have the first of the messianic promises found in the Word of God when the Lord  curses Satan: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel”  (Genesis 3:15).

This was fulfilled with the coming of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ).  When he was hung upon the cross, sinless though he was, Satan bruised the heel of the offspring of Eve.  And when he died upon that cross, the offspring bruised his head.

There is one element of this story that is often overlooked, but is implicitly obvious from our passage above.  When God came to call Adam and Eve out, Adam came out of the bushes.

You see they had hid themselves from God in fear.  When God called Adam out, he might have tried to hide further but he did not.  He came forward and confessed – not a great confession – but a start.

God is calling us to come out of the bushes; to recognize our rebelliousness against him.  He has also given us a means to reconcile ourselves to Him: Yeshua (Jesus).

Come out of the bushes!  Perhaps you’re not sure of the consequences.  That’s ok – come out!  It’s a start.

Contact us to find out more.

 

Posted in Anonymous, Biblical Interpretation, Following God, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, Some Words and Thoughts, The Bible | No Comments »

Some Words and Thoughts

January 14th, 2013

Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
(Exodus 3:1-6)

Some things to note:

  1. We are told that it is the Angel of the Lord who appears as a flame in the bush.
  2. Moses is commanded to take his sandals off his feet because the ground is holy. 
  3. The Angel of the Lord then introduces himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  4. Verse 6 clearly tells us that Moses assumed he was in the very presence of God.

What can we conclude?  The Angel of the Lord is God.  Now look at all the places where we see the Angel of the Lord and see how he is juxtaposed with the identity of God: Genesis 16:6-13; Genesis 22:10-18; Numbers 22:21-35; Judges 2:1-5; Judges 6:22-23; Judges 13:21-22; 1 Chronicles 21:15-17.

If the Angel of the Lord is an expression of God on earth, then it makes sense of this verse from the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament):

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
(John 1:17-18)

Is it possible that the Angel of the Lord was the Second Person of a tri-une Godhead, finding His ultimate expression in the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)?  It certainly makes sense of the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures)!

Posted in Anonymous, Biblical Interpretation, Knowing God, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, Some Words and Thoughts, The Bible | No Comments »

Some words from Yeshua (Jesus):

January 9th, 2013

Yeshua (Jesus) is here speaking to the Jewish leaders of his day:

And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me1.  His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me2, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me3. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
(John 5:37-47, English Standard Version)

1. Matthew 3:16-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22.
2. Genesis 3:15; 12:3; Psalms 2; 16:8-10; 22; 89:3-4, 35-36; 110; Isaiah 7:14; 9:1-7; 52:13-53:12; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Daniel 9:22-27; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 3:1-10; 6:9-15; 12:10, 13:1 et. al.
3. Deuteronomy 18:18-19. 

Posted in Anonymous, Following God, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jews and Jesus, Knowing God, Messiah in the Tanach, The Bible | No Comments »

Some Words and Thoughts

January 4th, 2013

Then the LORD caused to rain upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
(Genesis 19:24, Jewish Publication Society)

In Genesis 18, God appears to Abraham in physical form along with two other individuals.  Although the rabbis try to explain this away, the plain meaning of the text is clear – God took on physical form, ate with Abraham (even ate dairy and meat together – imagine that!) and walked around with him – read it for yourself.

In Genesis 19, the two individual with God turn out to be angels who go down to Sodom, speak with Abraham’s nephew Lot and then take him away from Sodom before God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah and the other sinful towns in the area.

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah begins with the verse quoted above.  God on earth reigns down fire and brimstone from God in Heaven.  Could it be that the biblical understanding of the nature of God is at odds with rabbinic understanding?  Could it be that the homogeneous oneness of God that traditional Judaism proclaims is merely the result of a polemic against a pluralistic view of God’s unity as understood by both Jewish and Gentile Christians.  Could it me that the idea of the tri-une nature of God is actually the biblical one and true?

John Wesley, an 18th Century commentator, reflects upon Genesis 19:24 in this way:

Then the Lord rained – from the Lord – God the Son, from God the Father, for the Father has committed all judgment to the Son. He that is the Saviour will be the destroyer of those that reject the salvation.

Let’s get scriptural shall we?!  Food for thought.  Contact us if you wish to know more or if you need a bible.

 

Posted in Anonymous, Biblical Interpretation, Jewish Tradition, Knowing God, Some Words and Thoughts, Talmud vs. Tanakh, Things Doctrinal and Theological | No Comments »

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