COALS OF FIRE – 1
WHAT IS IT TO YOU?
John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh is no help. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life, 64 yet some among you do not trust.” (For Yeshua knew from the outset which ones would not trust him, also which one would betray him.) 65 “This,” he said, “is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has made it possible for him.”
66 From this time on, many of his talmidim turned back and no longer traveled around with him. 67 So Yeshua said to the Twelve, “Don’t you want to leave too?” 68 Shim‘on Kefa answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the word of eternal life. 69 We have trusted, and we know that you are the Holy One of God.”
If one finds that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have remained in your heart and continued to dwell there despite all that has befallen you, then you can be sure that the faith in Yeshua Mashiach you have is from above, a true gift of G-d, by grace and not of works.
John 10: 27 My sheep listen to my voice, I recognize them, they follow me, 28 and I give them eternal life. They will absolutely never be destroyed, and no one will snatch them from my hands. 29 My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one can snatch them from the Father’s hands. 30 I and the Father are one.”
THEY WILL ABSOLUTELY NEVER BE DESTROYED.
Do not believe those who say that you can lose your salvation. They lie about the eternal effectiveness of Yeshua’s suffering and sacrifice on your behalf. They lie about the power of His Blood. They lie about the purposefulness with which He destroyed the Devil and Death for humanity’s sake. They lie about His gentleness and portray Him as a hard taskmaster.
John 1: 12 But to as many as did receive him, to those who put their trust in his person and power, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 not because of bloodline, physical impulse or human intention, but because of God.
So what if you have doubted? So what if you have disobeyed? So what if you were depressed? So what if you were oppressed? So what if you felt abandoned? So what if so-called ‘brothers’ cast you out? So what if they thought you were a devil? So what if they thought you were mad? At the end of it all and through it all, you kept returning to Him, you continued to pursue Him. Therefore:
John 6: 37 Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will certainly not turn away.
John 6: 66 From this time on, many of his talmidim turned back and no longer traveled around with him.
What are we to say about John 6:66?
666. The mark of the anti-Mashiach! Were they anti-Mashiach?
Firstly, it’s none of my business.
John 21: 20 Kefa turned and saw the talmid Yeshua especially loved following behind, the one who had leaned against him at the supper and had asked, “Who is the one who is betraying you?” 21 On seeing him, Kefa said to Yeshua, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Yeshua said to him, “If I want him to stay on until I come, what is it to you? You, follow me!”
Or if I make it my business, I must touch the sorrow of the Mashiach which his next words are steeped in.
John 6: 67 So Yeshua said to the Twelve, “Don’t you want to leave too?”
Not I. That is what has always been in my heart. May it be so with your heart too.
John 6: 68 Shim‘on Kefa answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the word of eternal life. 69 We have trusted, and we know that you are the Holy One of God.”
John 21: 17 The third time he said to him, “Shim‘on Bar-Yochanan, are you my friend?” Shim‘on was hurt that he questioned him a third time: “Are you my friend?” So he replied, “Lord, you know everything! You know I’m your friend!” Yeshua said to him, “Feed my sheep! 18 Yes, indeed! I tell you, when you were younger, you put on your clothes and went where you wanted. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 He said this to indicate the kind of death by which Kefa would bring glory to God. Then Yeshua said to him, “Follow me!”
I am the talmid who loves traveling around with Him. I am the talmid whom Yeshua loves.
Shalom! May it be so for you and I. Always. Amein!
ENDURE ALL THINGS
The evil we experience is allowed by G-d. The saints just grit their teeth and endure the shit and plough through it and beyond it. The others reason and argue for or against all of it.
1 Corinthians 13: 7 Ahavah covers all things, believes all things, has tikvah (hope), even zitzfleisch, for all things.(Orthodox Jewish Bible)
1 Corinthians 13: 7-8a Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. (J B Phillips)
1. The ability to sit through or tolerate something boring.
2. The ability to endure or persist in a task.
[From German Sitzfleisch, from sitzen (to sit) + Fleisch (flesh). Earliest documented use: Before 1930.
Sitzfleisch is a fancy term for what’s commonly known as chair glue: the ability to sit still and get through the task at hand. It’s often the difference between, for example, an aspiring writer and a writer. Sometimes the word is used in the sense of the ability to sit out a problem — ignore it long enough in the hope it will go away.
Elizabert Gilbert says:
“Sitzfleisch” is a fabulous word, and everyone out there who is living a creative life needs to know about it. The word is German (though widely appropriated in Yiddish) and it literally means “butt flesh”. (The meat of your ass, in other words.) But the figurative use of “sitzfleish” means: “The amount of endurance a person has for sitting still on his/her butt for the hours and hours and hours of time that it takes to get important work done.”
Sitzfleisch is sort of the opposite of Ants In Your Pants.
The amount of sitzfleisch you’ve got will directly influence how much work you can produce. How long can you stand it, to sit there and push through? Inspiration is beautiful, imagination divine, and we all love soaring dreams. But sitzfleisch? Ass meat? THAT’S how you write your novel. That’s how you compose your symphony. That’s how you paint your masterpiece.
Some of us are more fortunate that others, in that we are, shall I say, NATURALLY gifted with an excess of sitzfleisch. (Ahem…) Others of us must build up that boredom-enduring flesh over time. But one way or another, the answer is in your butt.
Sit. Stay. Work. (And every once in a while, stretch.) Repeat.
YOGA IS ACHIEVED
By Mani Pulimood
Yoga is one among the darsanas ( philosophies ) that took root in India. It was codified into sutras by the sage Patanjali. The metaphysics of Yoga shares much with the Sankhya darsana of Sage Kapila.
Yoga as described by Patanjali has eight facets and hence is also known as ashtanga yoga.
The first two facets are Yama and Niyama and form the foundation of Yoga.
Yama is to refrain and in it are five;
1. Refrain from causing injury.
2. Refrain from untruth (allowing a difference or a gap to exist between thought, expression and action).
3. Refrain from coveting what belongs to others.
4. Refrain from breaking the cycles of nature.
5. Refrain from seeking to be served.
Niyama is to engage or be and in it are five;
1. Engage in cleanliness.
2. Be content.
3. Be austere
4. Engage in self study
5. Engage in seeking the grace of Easwara
The next tier is made up of three facets, Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahaara which focuses on the body, the mind and the self. Asanas which borrows postures from nature and aims to tone the body synchronised with breath. Pranayama aims to gain mastery over the life force by restraint of the four aspects of the cycle of breathing; breathing in ( filling ) , holding the breath ( the filled ) , breathing out ( emptying ) and the the gap (empty) duration. The last of the aspects of the external yoga is Pratyahaara which focuses on restraint of the five senses finally reaching a state where smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing are disengaged from the mind and the sensory inputs no longer impact the self.
Practice of Yama Niyama prepares one for Asanas and Pranayama and they in turn for the practice of Pratyahaara.
Rooted in these with determination continuously engaged with discipline one becomes ready for the next aspect of Yoga , Dharana or one pointedness in concentration . Here the yogi is offered great insights on all of the universe both the tangible and intangible. He becomes one with all knowledge, expression and action. The yogi’s physical , mental, intellectual, logical and psychological capacities constantly improve and make the yogi a human being who is engaging life to its fullest potential and a fit vehicle for the ultimate purpose of Yoga which is when the separated individual consciousness that each being is merges with the universal consciousness and becomes the undifferentiated potential of the entirety of the universe.
All of this happens when the next aspect of Yoga is attempted ; Dhyana, where the one pointed concentration on any object is maintained in continuity .
When Dhyana becomes a continuity and involuntary and the resplendent knowledge alone remains the yogi begins to experience the final aspect Samadhi. Samadhi is truly indescribable and its variety of expression is infinite.
In the final state of Samadhi arising from Dhyaana supported on Dhaarana based on the external aids to yoga the yogi transcends cause and will, when the dimensions of time and space and those supported by them collapse into consciousness the eclipse of the individual occurs and the merger with the un-manifest potential of the universe becomes complete and the cycle of individual expression as a differentiated entity in the universe is forever broken.
Yoga is achieved.
GOD IS NOT MAD AT YOU
It feels more spiritual if G-d really is mad at you and beats the shit out of you with a club and all for your own good! G-d doesn’t need to do anything like that. Nature (if it is conscious) might get mad at humans for deforestation, pollution etc and get back at humans through quakes, floods, famines etc. Human nature has so much anger inbuilt that make for beating up children, spouses, wars, power and control games, etc. And, lo and behold, the devil has also come down to the planet with great anger – the liar, the thief and destroyer. G-d does not add the burden of His anger onto human shoulders that are already breaking with the weight of mortality and its consequences. G-d has something better than anger and punishment in store for human beings and that secret can be discovered in the being of Yeshua Mashiach. Have you found it?
By Arielle Varghese
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
This morning I am reminded that I have so much to be thankful and shout out from the rooftops about. It is truth to me that there is a God who created the heaven and the earth and the oceans and the stars has known me from before the foundations of the earth. He has had a plan for me right from the beginning. Some of these paths may seem rugged and fearsome, yet there is safety in his grasp. My paths may look crooked but my feet grow accustomed to walking over them because He goes before me and makes them straight.
Psalm 23 says “He leads me beside still waters.”. It resounds in my head as I write this. An image came to my mind, I saw myself on the bank of a really large body of still water kneeling down on the green grass and looking into the water. Still water gives you a rather clear reflection. I would say as clear as a mirror. As I lean over and look at the reflection, I ask myself a whole torrent of questions; “What do you see? Do you see what you like? Am I beautiful? Am I blameless or spotless or worthy?” I’m here on this bank of green grass because of Him. But I can honestly answer that because of His goodness I’m not always afraid to look at my reflection. I know that slowly yet surely because of what He has done there is a change. His perfect love does cast out fear from within me.
As I lean over, I suddenly see ripples. But I see two kinds of ripples. A series of ripples because I caught a glimpse of a something that was thrown in and which disturbed the water at a distance but still reached where I was peering in. The other was a series of ripples were because there were raindrops falling all around. It showed me two areas of how it is inside of me. There are times when something that happened so far away from you is able to affect how you see yourself through the eyes of the Father. The other showed me that it doesn’t matter if the first happens because He will send His rain to fall on me and raise the water level to see closely and clearly what He thinks of me if I would just keep gazing in.
FRANK SCHAEFFER in the documentary HELLBOUND
Frank Schaeffer (Crazy for God)
So in a way, and I know this would sound terrible to Evangelicals, it doesnt matter what the Bible says. What really matters is what has the faith always believed to be true and where has the debate always been? What was believed, for instance, about salvation before there was a Bible over which to argue? And if we say that “Now we have a Bible, that doesnt matter” – well, that’s a very odd thing to say because the writers of the New Testament text were in that era and so what did they believe and what did they teach? This is where I think the Evangelicals pay a tremendous price for saying ‘Sola Scriptura’ because all youre left with is this ragtag collection of letters and epistles and gospels and bits and pieces of Bronze Age mythology and all the rest to go on, rather than what did the Church always believe was true? So oddly, Evangelicalism has become much closer to Islam on this issue and that is it’s ‘the Book’ and so you really have to ask the question at some point: is being correct according to ‘the Book’ and being correct accordingf to the teaching of what that book says according to some Evangelical tradition more important than actually loving God, worshipping and communing with Him? And so, ‘the Book’ has become a stumbling block.
Ron Dart – The Bible becomes a form of authority in a way it never has been and the Bible becomes a ‘paper Pope’ and each person becomes their own Pope.
May 24 was Pentecost Sunday.
Acts 2: 2 And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place,
2 When suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting.
3 And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them.
4 And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit [a]kept giving them clear and loud expression [in each tongue in appropriate words].
It always amuses me to move among the Pentecostals or neo-Pentecostals.
You must be born again, be baptised by full immersion in water, be baptised in the Holy Spirit and give proof of this by speaking in tongues, they say. And they think that those who do not fall into this Pentecostal ‘pattern’ have something wrong with them.
By insisting on this ‘pattern’, which was instituted and institutionalised in the mid-19th century by some excitable and enthusiastic groups, very late in the history of Christianity, Pentecostals have contributed to bringing about increasing divisions and strife among those who have put their trust in Yeshua Mashiach.
It is also interesting that none of the many random Pentecostal ‘churches’, or their leaders, while they might succeed in stealing sheep from other churches and converting Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists or other ‘heathen’ to their ‘pattern’, have much understanding of the Nicene Creed, the Apostles’ Creed, the Athanasian Creed, or the Chalcedonian Creed, none of which make it mandatory to be ‘baptised’ in the Holy Spirit (the way the Pentecostals explain it), or to speak in tongues as proof of the pudding.
These Pentecostals put their ‘pattern’ way above and as superior to the simple ‘faith’ confessed in the creeds – I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, the Giver of Life. They refer to complex feelings and experiences over faith or as issuing from ‘faith’. Then they reverse the order and state that because they have such feelings and experiences, they have definitive proof of their ‘faith’.
Further, they make the tall claim on behalf of others – who stand before the face of G-d and not the face of Pentecostals – that unless they have similar experiences and feelings, they do not have ‘full salvation’. And if they belong to one of the extreme Pentecostals sects, they might even condemn you as not being a child of G-d.
Can such claims be attributed to the work of the humble Holy Spirit?
What the Pentecostals have ‘faith’ in is not so much as understanding the Person and Being of Yeshua Mashaich or the Triune G-d, but ‘faith’ in their subjective experiences and feelings that they desired and sought and happened upon through sheer perseverance for such ‘gain’. They again reverse the order and claim that their feelings and experiences contemporaneously tally perfectly with certain scriptures they lay emphasis on as ‘special’ or super-important!
All right. Let’s have no doubt that such Pentecostals too belong within the spectrum of ‘believers’ and that they may be allowed their idiosyncracies (just as some Brethren believe that the use of musical instruments to praise G-d with is an abomination!).
But notice, how they generate a ‘pattern’ of convenience to prove that they are ‘special’ and how they make a fragmented pattern culled from scripture into a mandatory feeling or experience!
At Pentecost, two important things (other than speaking in tongues) happened which the Pentecostals do not dare include in their ‘pattern’ of convenience.
Agreed and accepted, that they were all locked up in one place and PRAYING. That’s the baseline.
1. There came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house.
Why do the Pentecostals avoid this aspect? Why do they not state that this experience too ought to be mandatory to the baptism in the Holy Spirit? Is it because they no longer have access to the Ruach Ha-Kodesh, as mentioned in Acts 2? Or is it because they know that while the sign of tongues can be cooked up or manipulated or forced out of the self, it is impossible to control the movement of the Ruach Ha-Kodesh?
John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
2. There appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them.
This aspect too, very visible, direct and impactful, is conveniently sidelined by the Pentecostals who just want to hear some strange sounds being uttered which they immediately take to be a sign of ‘baptism’ in the Spirit. They dare not make the ‘fiery’ aspect mandatory to the experience of being ‘baptised’ in the Spirit because it would make it tougher for them to sell their ‘pattern’. Easier to have tongues, than have tongues of fire settling on each one!
Ask them why the Ruach Ha-Kodesh no longer comes as a tempest blowing through the entire house, affecting everyone therein? Or ask them why none can see tongues of fire alighting on each and every one? As them why today, they have only the ‘sign’ of tongues and are bereft of the other two experiences? They will be stumped, by and large.
Do you understand how easily individual(s) or collective(s) can generate a ‘pattern’ that is called ‘scriptural’? In most cases, the phrase ‘scriptural’ pertains to a particular redaction, arrangement of and interpretation of certain portions or verses from Scripture to buttress one’s ‘argument’ (another word for ‘theology’).
The ‘scriptural’, in other words, is more often than not a sleight of hand, a twist in the tale, a veil, actually a pattern of convenience or experience forged into ‘doctrine’ or ‘dogma’ to keep a particular type of sheep within a particular type of sectarian or denominational pen.
On Pentecost Sunday, nay, EVERY DAY, every true talmid (disciple) who believes in Yeshua Mashiach will surely and certainly be filled, immersed, baptised in the Holy Spirit, whether or not there is a feeling, an experience or the ‘sign’ of tongues to accompany that which is truly the consequence of faith in the Mashiach.
John 20: 21 “Shalom aleikhem!” Yeshua repeated. “Just as the Father sent me, I myself am also sending you.” 22 Having said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Ruach HaKodesh!”
Have you received the Ruach Ha-Kodesh by faith in Yeshua Mashiach, the Son of G-d?
FORMLESS, IN FORM
G-d inhabits every form, but G-d is beyond form itself, formless, without form.
Isaiah 53: 2b He has no form or comeliness [royal, kingly pomp], that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. (Amplified)
Isiah 53: 2b He was not well-formed or especially handsome;
we saw him, but his appearance did not attract us.
3 People despised and avoided him,
a man of pains, well acquainted with illness.
Like someone from whom people turn their faces. (Complete Jewish Bible)
John 4:23 But the time is coming — indeed, it’s here now — when the true worshippers will worship the Father spiritually and truly, for these are the kind of people the Father wants worshipping him. 24 God is spirit; and worshippers must worship him spiritually and truly.”
BLOW, WIND, BLOW
Being a talmid of Yeshua Adonai is not about the ‘doing’ but about the ‘blowing’ with the wind.
John 3: 6 What is born from the flesh is flesh, and what is born from the Spirit is spirit. 7 Stop being amazed at my telling you that you must be born again from above! 8 The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it’s going. That’s how it is with everyone who has been born from the Spirit.”
VBS THOUGHTS – LISTEN TO GROW IN FAITH
Day 3 & 4 of VBS
Key concept: To listen is to grow in faith and understanding.
The general trend among Christians of a particular ilk is to turn Yeshua Mashiach into another Moses, to turn the Author of Faith and Giver of Grace into another Law-giver like Moshe.
And then, the watchword or obsession of such Christians is to make every effort to OBEY the laws (commands) with which their Law-maker Yeshua supposedly pressures humans!
Disobedience, they claim, will lead to punishment, destruction, hell, so on and so forth, as they propagate a religion based yet again on fear and not deriving from the love of G-d.
John 1: 17 For the Torah (the Law) was given through Moshe; grace and truth came through Yeshua the Messiah.
The main thing is to L-I-S-T-E-N. Simply because faith comes by hearing.
Romans 10: 17 So trust comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through a word proclaimed by/about the Messiah.
When it comes to LISTENING, the Law itself is a distraction. As are many other aspects of life.
DAY THREE consisted of meditating on Luke 10: 38-42
Luke 10:38 On their way Yeshua and his talmidim came to a village where a woman named Marta welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Miryam who also sat at the Lord’s feet and heard what he had to say. 40 But Marta was busy with all the work to be done; so, going up to him, she said, “Sir, don’t you care that my sister has been leaving me to do all the work by myself?” 41 However, the Lord answered her, “Marta, Marta, you are fretting and worrying about so many things! 42 But there is only one thing that is essential. Miryam has chosen the right thing, and it won’t be taken away from her.”
Being busy with work, even work (ministry, vocation, etc) dedicated to bringing comfort to Yeshua Adonai, or to please Him, to curry favour with Him, can become a distraction from LISTENING.
Further, such distractions lead to irritation towards others and the launching of blame games! Those who make Yeshua a Law-giver end up irritated or blaming others when their plaint about how things ought to be done is not addressed or is plain ignored.
Here emerges, too, a species of self-centredness and an asking Adonai to give you some special attention.
But it is good to take to heart what Yeshua told Marta: “Marta, Marta, you are fretting and worrying about so many things! 42 But there is only one thing that is essential. Miryam has chosen the right thing, and it won’t be taken away from her.”
Having an ear to LISTEN. That is the key. That ability to be listening and to contemplate or ponder upon the Living Word is what is essential. He who has ears to hear, let him/her hear.
Luke 2: 19 Miryam treasured all these things and kept mulling them over in her heart.
Miryam, mother of Yeshua, had LISTENED to the angel Gabriel’s word and faith sprang up in her heart that it would be as the angel had said.
LISTEN, TREASURE AND PONDER.
For, through LISTENING, faith or trust springs up in one’s heart as Living Waters.
2 Peter 1: 5,6
Faith will then be furnished with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with perseverance, perseverance with godliness, 7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
Imagine what a treasure one can furnish oneself with, simply because you sit at the feet of Yeshua Adonai and LISTEN!
Remember too that Shi’mon (Peter), like Miryam, was a man who LISTENED.
Luke 5: 1-11
Verse 4 When he (Yeshua) had finished speaking, he said to Shim‘on, “Put out into deep water, and let down your nets for a catch.”
Though there were other thoughts and recent memories of experiences jangling and jostling inside Shi’mon’s head demanding that he be distracted from what Yeshua was telling him, he LISTENED.
In a moment, faith sprang up in him. This is what happens when one LISTENS.
Luke 5: 5 Shim‘on answered, “We’ve worked hard all night long, Rabbi, and haven’t caught a thing! But if you say so, I’ll let down the nets.” He put the boat out to sea and caught an incredible catch!
LISTEN TO CATCH THE FIRE OF FAITH! IT LEADS TO A GREAT CATCH!
DAY FOUR takes us deeper into what it means to LISTEN and what exactly it is that one LISTENS to.
Here we see something higher and greater and better than Moshe’s Law being proclaimed. That all the Law and the Prophets hang on just TWO commandments.
Mark 12: 29 Yeshua answered, “The most important is, ‘Sh’ma Yisra’el, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear, O Isra’el, the Lord our God, the Lord is one], 30 and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself.’
The scribe was a listener and so grasped the import of what Yeshua had declared. That G-d is Love.
So he was extremely close to the Kingdom of G-d. But the question remains: Had this listener come to faith through listening to the Word of G-d, the Person of the Mashiach, Yeshua?
A good listener, the scribe. But it seems he had not made the critical jump from listening to faith in the Mashiach. He was content with testing the Mashiach and finding no fault in Him. Not too bad! And yet, perhaps the point was missed by a whisker!
Romans 10: 17 So trust comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through a word proclaimed by/about the Messiah.
Faith comes by LISTENING, and thenceforth,forward into all the riches that are in Yeshua Mashiach!
LISTEN. BELIEVE. TREASURE. PONDER. CATCH.
G-D IS EVERYWHERE
G‑d everywhere—not only in the “yes,” but in the “no” as well.
Because there is only yes. There is only One.
There are two stories of Rabbi Akiva that demonstrate just how far he took that attitude:
Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabbi Akiva went up to Jerusalem. When they reached Mount Scopus, they tore their garments. When they came to the ruins of the Temple Mount, they saw a fox running out of the Holy of Holies. They began to cry, and Rabbi Akiva began to laugh.
They asked, “Akiva, why do you laugh?”
He asked, “And why do you cry?”
Said they to him: “Here is the place of which it is said, ‘The stranger that approaches it shall die,’ and now foxes walk through it! And we shouldn’t weep?!”
Said he to them: “That is why I laugh. For it is written, ‘I shall have bear witness for Me faithful witnesses—Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Yeverechiah.’”
“Now, what is the connection between Uriah and Zechariah? Uriah was in the time of the First Temple, and Zechariah was in the time of the Second Temple! But the Torah makes Zechariah’s prophecy dependent upon Uriah’s prophecy.”
“So I will explain: With Uriah, it is written: ‘Therefore, because of you, Zion shall be plowed as a field.’2 And here it is, plowed as a field and desolate.”
“With Zechariah, it is written, ‘Old men and women shall yet sit in the streets of Jerusalem . . . and the streets of the city shall be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets. . . . In those days, ten men of all the languages of the nations shall take hold of the fringe of a Jewish man’s garment, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”
“As long as Uriah’s prophecy had not been fulfilled, I feared that Zechariah’s prophecy may not be fulfilled either. But now that Uriah’s prophecy has been fulfilled, it is certain that Zechariah’s prophecy will be fulfilled.”
With these words they replied to him: “Akiva, you have consoled us! Akiva, you have consoled us!”
After the failed Bar Kochba revolt, the Romans prohibited the teaching of Torah in public. Rabbi Akiva defied the prohibition and was arrested. And then, the Talmud tells:
When the Romans brought out Rabbi Akiva to be executed, it was time to recite the Shema. They began torturing him by raking his skin with combs, and he prepared himself to accept the yoke of heaven by saying Shema Yisrael—Hear O Israel, G‑d is our G‑d, G‑d is one.
His students cried out, “To such a point?”
He responded, “All my life I was pained over this verse, ‘You shall love G‑d with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.’ What does it mean to love G‑d with all your soul? It means, even if He should take your soul from you. All my life I ached for the opportunity to fulfill those words. And now that it has arrived, I should not fulfill it?”
He sustained his recitation of the last word “one,” so that his soul departed from him with that “one.” A voice from heaven was heard, declaring, “Fortunate are you, Akiva, that your soul departed with ‘one.’”
As David sang, “Even darkness will not obscure anything from You, and the night is light like day; darkness and light are all the same.
By Tzvi Freeman (chabad.org)
VBS THOUGHTS – DAY 2 – WHAT IS SIN?
‘Sin’ is not about ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ actions like lying, disrespect to parents, hatred …so on and so forth. And overcoming ‘sin’ is not about putting an end to such actions or behaviour.
Every religion points to ‘wrong’ action as ‘sin’. And encourages people to DO the ‘right’ thing. If this is the case with Christianity, it has nothing to offer.
So, ‘sin’ is not about actions. Actions like lying or hatred are symptoms or manifestations of ‘sin’ which is a deep, grave underlying condition in the human being or human matrix.
Human beings lost the Garden of Eden (Delight) – a condition that G-d had created for them – by means of ‘sin’ – a lack of faith or belief in G-d’s instruction meant to preserve them in bliss. That instruction was to help humans avoid the consequences of falling into the schizoid binary of Good and Evil, Right and Wrong, symbolised by the Tree of Knowledge.
That guideline or plumbline from G-d was a ‘target’ or ‘benchmark’ they could have adhered to but did not. As a result, their DNA or ‘condition’ or ‘state of being’ was altered. They fell into ‘sin’ or, in other words, they missed or, rather, fell away from the target or the mark to which they were aligned. This mark is symbolised by the Tree of Life.
The condition of balance, beauty and bliss in fellowship with G-d and the keeping of His singular instruction was exchanged for a condition of curiosity, critical thinking and a cursed continuum.
A creature experiencing the qualities of infinite bliss took to a path or trajectory of self-discovery and forging a destiny based on Knowledge rather than Delight. As a result, Delight was exchanged for the Pleasure(s) of ‘sin’, that is being on a course apart from and tangential to Life and G-dliness.
Hamartia = sin = missing the mark or target = innocent error = moral flaw = tragedy.
‘Sin’ is also a synonym for ‘ignorance’ or ‘rebellion’.
To sum up, ‘sin’ is a condition and has to be dealt with at a level that is not about behaviour modification to suit social or familial expectations. Further, ‘sin’ is a condition that CANNOT be fixed by human means or methods to force people into ‘good’ behaviour via threats or law.
For the ‘target’ itself (G-d Himself) had gone missing or become veiled leaving behind only a plethora of notions about Himself in every culture or civilisation, and occasional hints of Himself here and there.
Having allowed ‘sin’ to reign in humanity, and veiled Himself, G-d decided to do something radical. He sent His Son, Yeshua Mashiach, His express image, to atone for the radical departure of humanity from G-d’s way and to set up the Target all over again so that all who desired to discover bliss, balance and beauty in life could receive the same.
Further, instead of humans seeking to find the veiled or moving ‘target’, which is what the efforts of all religions and their founders are locked into, the Target has now revealed itself as a Living Being that can help the lost to be found. The Target comes in search of the seekers. All that seekers have to do now is to receive the Target by faith and align themselves with Him.
This is the story or discourse of FAITH.
Simon Peter in his encounter with the Target, the Person of Yeshua Mashiach, realises that he has been terribly ‘off-target’.
Luke 5: 8 When he saw this, Shim‘on Kefa fell at Yeshua’s knees and said, “Get away from me, sir, because I’m a sinner!” He knew he had missed the target. The ‘toiling all night and catching nothing in the nets’ is figurative of Shim’on’s condition and that of his companions, the consequence of being ‘off-target’.
In the presence of Yeshua Mashiach, Adonai, one is compelled intuitively to acknowledge that one has sinned or missed one’s mark. The radical realisation of this gap leads to confession, a contrite heart and a broken spirit.
The goodness of G-d leads to this acknowledgement.
Luke 5: 8 When he saw this, Shim‘on Kefa fell at Yeshua’s knees and said, “Get away from me, sir, because I’m a sinner!”
Yeshua Mashiach does not condemn the fact that humanity collectively or individually has missed the mark. It is a reality. Then there is no condemnation for one who acknowledges and confesses his lack or the gap.
Luke 5: 10 “Don’t be frightened,” Yeshua said to Shim‘on.
MOMENT OF FAITH
Luke 5: 5 Shim‘on answered, “We’ve worked hard all night long, Rabbi, and haven’t caught a thing! BUT IF YOU SAY SO, I’LL LET DOWN THE NETS.” 6 They did this and took in so many fish that their nets began to tear.
Shim’on was willing to take Yeshua at His word in spite of prior failure and act on His word. Eden (Delight) restored!
Failure is exchanged for Faith in Yeshua’s Word and Promise.
FISHERS OF MEN
Luke 5: 10 “Don’t be frightened,” Yeshua said to Shim‘on, “from now on you will be catching men — alive!”
There is no fear in the presence of Love. Love casts out fear of punishment. And one goes out with this message of redemption to all human beings.
Love overcomes Fear and Failure.
He who has been forgiven and accepted by Adonai is given THREE BOONS.
1. Exchanging the ‘sinful nature’ for Divine Nature:
The ‘sinful nature’ is the consequence of the diversion of the human condition from Delight to Pleasure, from Life to Death, from Light to Darkness – is superseded by the love and goodness of G-d, by the re-discovery of the Target or the Divine Benchmark – the Man Yeshua Mashiach. Or in the words of Paul and Peter, much later in life, the ‘sinful nature’ is crucified with the Mashiach and exchanged for the Divine Nature in Yeshua Mashiach.
2 Peter 1: 3 God’s power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through our knowing the One who called us to his own glory and goodness. 4 By these he has given us valuable and superlatively great promises, so that through them you might come to share in God’s (divine) nature and escape the corruption which evil desires have brought into the world.
2. Learning from the Master by becoming His Talmidim (disciples)
Luke 5: 11 And as soon as they had beached their boats, they left everything behind and followed him.
3. Drawing those who have ‘missed the mark’ (sinned/sinners) to the Master-Target:
Luke 5: 10 “Don’t be frightened,” Yeshua said to Shim‘on, “from now on you will be catching men — alive!”
VBS THOUGHTS – DAY 1 – CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST
Day 1 of VBS.
Theme for the day: G-d’s Provision
Lovely class of eight beautiful kids 12-14 in age.
G-d’s power is such that he transforms the enemies of Yeshua Mashiach into His witnesses. It’s very dangerous to be an enemy of the Mashiach, you just might end up becoming what you hated being most – His talmid or disciple.
Saul was transformed into Paul.
Acts 9: 1 Meanwhile, Sha’ul, still breathing murderous threats against the Lord’s talmidim, went to the cohen hagadol 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Dammesek, authorizing him to arrest any people he might find, whether men or women, who belonged to “the Way,” and bring them back to Yerushalayim.
3 He was on the road and nearing Dammesek, when suddenly a light from heaven flashed all around him. 4 Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Sha’ul! Sha’ul! Why do you keep persecuting me?” 5 “Sir, who are you?” he asked. “I am Yeshua, and you are persecuting me. 6 But get up, and go into the city, and you will be told what you have to do.”
The name Saul or Shaul comes from the verb שאל (sha’al) meaning to ask, inquire, borrow, beg. It means ‘asked for’ or ‘prayed for’.
The name Paul comes from the Roman family name Paulus, which meant “small” or “humble” in Latin.
The secret of the story is that Saul had been ‘prayed for’ or ‘asked for’ by the Mashiach to G-d even before he was born to be a ‘chosen vessel’ for the Maschiach’s work.
Acts 9: 10 There was a talmid in Dammesek, Hananyah by name; and in a vision the Lord said to him, “Hananyah!” He said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to Straight Street, to Y’hudah’s house; and ask for a man from Tarsus named Sha’ul; for he is praying, 12 and in a vision he has seen a man named Hananyah coming in and placing his hands on him to restore his sight.” 13 But Hananyah answered, “Lord, many have told me about this man, how much harm he has done to your people in Yerushalayim; 14 and here he has a warrant from the head cohanim to arrest everyone who calls on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man is my chosen instrument to carry my name to the Goyim, even to their kings, and to the sons of Isra’el as well. 16 For I myself will show him how much he will have to suffer on account of my name.”
Key understanding: Galatians 2:20 When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, I was too; so that my proud ego no longer lives. But the Messiah lives in me, and the life I now live in my body I live by the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God had, who loved me and gave himself up for me.
THE HOLINESS TEST
THE HOLINESS TEST
I have something I call the ‘Holiness Test’.
When people get too holy, then they generally avoid or ignore or despise me. Or stop talking to me.
And that’s good, because I know I have miles to go before I sleep unlike these ‘holy joes and janes’ who are already chirping in heaven while fluttering their delusional wings on earth.
It’s good to have the ‘holy ones’ outta one’s hair.
See you on the other side of the wall of Zion someday.
TO WHAT/WHICH CHURCH DO I BELONG?
First, (Paraphrasing CCC 846):
“The Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in His Body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic (Holy, Apostolic, Universal) Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.”
I am in the Mystical Body of Christ which has taken, across two millennia, a variety of forms and expressions across the planet, none of which necessarily is the exact or perfect image of Yeshua Adonai.
It has taken time for me to understand that playing around with and participating in such forms and expressions (read Denominations, Sects and Cults) are but aspects of the journey through life. In different phases, in one’s life that is hidden with Yeshua Adonai, one stumbles into one Denomination/Sect or the other, perhaps even a Cult, as happened to me.
In all this, there is a continual learning, understanding and insights available, sudden glimpses (epiphanies) into the workings of the Yeshua, the Head of the Body, His Church, His Bride.
Here are a few insights that I have garnered across my experiences with and within a wide variety of Denominations/ Sects and even a Holiness Cult, beyond their rigid doctrines and dogmas and behaviour-driven systems of judgement, condemnation and exclusion/ostracism:
1. Mathew 16: 15 “But you,” he said to them, “who do you say I am?” 16 Shim‘on Kefa answered, “You are the Mashiach, the Son of the living God.” 17 “Shim‘on Bar-Yochanan,” Yeshua said to him, “how blessed you are! For no human being revealed this to you, no, it was my Father in heaven. 18 I also tell you this: you are Kefa,” [which means ‘Rock,’] “and ON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY COMMUNITY, and the gates of Sh’ol will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”
2. Colossians 1: 17 He existed before all things, and he holds everything together. 18 Also HE IS THE HEAD OF THE BODY, the Messianic Community — he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might hold first place in everything. 19 For it pleased God to have his full being live in his Son 20 and through his Son to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace through him, through having his Son shed his blood by being executed on a stake.
3. Ephesians 1: 22 Also, he has put all things under his feet and made him HEAD OVER EVERYTHING for the Messianic Community, 23 which is his body, the full expression of him who fills all creation.
4. Ephesians 4: 10 The one who went down is himself the one who also went up, far above all of heaven, in order to fill all things. 11 Furthermore, he gave some people as emissaries, some as prophets, some as proclaimers of the Good News, and some as shepherds and teachers. 12 Their task is to equip God’s people for THE WORK OF SERVICE THAT BUILDS UP THE BODY OF THE MESSIAH, 13 until we all arrive at the unity implied by trusting and knowing the Son of God, at full manhood, at the standard of maturity set by the Messiah’s perfection.
5. Isaiah 7: 14 Therefore Adonai himself will give you people a sign:
the young woman will become pregnant,
bear a son and name him ‘IMMANU EL [G-D IS WITH US].
6. Mathew 24: 23 “At that time, if someone says to you, ‘Look! Here’s the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ don’t believe him. 24 For there will appear false Messiahs and false prophets performing great miracles — amazing things! — so as to fool even the chosen, if possible. 25 There! I have told you in advance! 26 So if people say to you, ‘Listen! He’s out in the desert!’ DON’T GO; or, ‘Look! He’s hidden away in a secret room!’ DON’T BELIEVE IT!
7. Psalm 16: 5 ADONAI, MY ASSIGNED PORTION, my cup:
you safeguard my share.
6 Pleasant places were measured out for me;
I am content with my heritage.
7 I bless Adonai, my counselor;
at night my inmost being instructs me.
8 I always set Adonai before me;
with him at my right hand, I can never be moved;
9 so my heart is glad, my glory rejoices,
and my body too rests in safety;
10 for you will not abandon me to Sh’ol,
you will not let your faithful one see the Abyss.
11 You make me know the path of life;
in your presence is unbounded joy,
in your right hand eternal delight.
8. John 14: 23 Yeshua answered him, “If someone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and WE WILL COME TO HIM AND MAKE OUR HOME WITH HIM.
Whoever understands such things will never be disappointed or shaken by their experiences in a variety of Denominations/Sects/Cults.
You will re-cognise that, in the words of T. S. Eliot:
“With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate …
And then, finally:
Revelation 21: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer there. 2 Also I saw the holy city, New Yerushalayim, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “See! God’s Sh’khinah is with mankind, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and he himself, GOD-WITH-THEM, will be their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will no longer be any death; and there will no longer be any mourning, crying or pain; because the old order has passed away.”
5 Then the One sitting on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new!” Also he said, “Write, ‘These words are true and trustworthy!’” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’ the Beginning and the End. To anyone who is thirsty I myself will give water free of charge from the Fountain of Life.
Fellowship with the lost in the forests of doubt is sweeter by far than fellowship with the saved in the cemeteries of certainty.
Luke 13: 1 Just then, some people came to tell Yeshua about the men from the Galil whom Pilate had slaughtered even while they were slaughtering animals for sacrifice. 2 His answer to them was, “Do you think that just because they died so horribly, these folks from the Galil were worse sinners than all the others from the Galil? 3 No, I tell you. Rather, unless you turn to G-d from your sins, you will all die as they did!
4 “Or what about those eighteen people who died when the tower at Shiloach fell on them? Do you think they were worse offenders than all the other people living in Yerushalayim? 5 No, I tell you. Rather, unless you turn from your sins, you will all die similarly.”
6 Then Yeshua gave this illustration: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit but didn’t find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘Here, I’ve come looking for fruit on this fig tree for three years now without finding any. Cut it down — why let it go on using up the soil?’ 8 But he answered, ‘Sir, leave it alone one more year. I’ll dig around it and put manure on it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, well and good; if not, you will have it cut down then.’”
THE MASHIACH’S TESTIMONY ABOUT ISRAEL
John 8: 44 You belong to your father, Satan, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. From the start he was a murderer, and he has never stood by the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is speaking in character; because he is a liar — indeed, the inventor of the lie! 45 But as for me, because I tell the truth you don’t believe me.
In making such a statement, Yeshua questions the very core of the Jewish belief system – that they are the Chosen Ones or Elect of G-d, that they have the Word of G-d (Torah and Tanakh), that they have a right to consider themselves superior to the Goyim, that they have a better code of morality than other human beings, that they have a right to despise other nations, pillage and conquer them, etc.
Yeshua points to the essence of the Jewish belief system. That it is murderous, has no truth in it, is built on a lie, that it judges and condemns and is not based on mercy.
In doing so, Yeshua is returning to the story in Genesis of Abel and Cain. The Jews pride themselves in being of the line of Seth of whom was born Enosh and it was at that time (through the tribe of Seth-Enosh) that “people began to call on the name of Adonai”.
Genesis 1: 25 Adam again had sexual relations with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Shet [granted], “For God has granted me another seed in place of Hevel, since Kayin killed him.” 26 To Shet too was born a son, whom he called Enosh. That is when people began to call on the name of Adonai.
Yeshua is suggesting that this ‘Adonai’ they started calling upon was a shadow, a deception, a conjured up G-d, in many ways allowing for only a partial, skewed understanding of the nature and being of G-d. The nature and being of G-d was revealed prior to the time of Enosh through the sacrifice of Abel – the blood offering of the Lamb as the sin-offering for all human beings, the promise of Mercy.
The significance and meaning of that Sacrifice was overshadowed in time – from the time people began calling on the name of Adonai and further down through all the various notions of G-d, as well as ‘sacrifice’, that the Hebrews and the nations of the world played around with to create a variety of systems of belief.
It is to this beginning ‘sign’ that Yeshua was re-calling the Jews of His time. Yeshua was fervent in pointing out that in Him, in His life, words, example and definitive sacrifice and Resurrection would be found ‘teshuvah’ – the Return of the Exiles to the one, eternal Cosmic Sacrifice.
Both the Goyim (represented by Cain) and the Jews (represented by Seth) had gone astray from the original ‘sign’. The Goyim had sinned or missed the mark by taking the direction of the worship of created things forgetting the Creator, the worship of elemental spirits, the worship of the heavens and the signs therein and traversing a multitude of other metaphysical and spiritual alleys and bylanes.
Romans 1: 22 Claiming to be wise, they have become fools! 23 In fact, they have exchanged the glory of the immortal God for mere images, like a mortal human being, or like birds, animals or reptiles!
The Jews had moved far away from seeking to understand and wait for the time of the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away the sin (the ignorance, the veil, the pride) of the world. Instead, they had opted for the crumbs of partial understanding of G-d scattered along their pathways by the Patriarchs, the Judges, the Prophets and, of course, Moses and the Law. That pathway had led them to the point of being unable to re-cognise the Mashiach when He appeared.
Moses was a murderer in the cause of ‘righteousness’ and ‘justice’. One’s sin or murderous nature does not disappear even when one is involved in the search for and the listening to the ‘voice of G-d’. When Moses came down from Sinai and saw the Jews worship the Golden Calf, his first impulse was yet again to murder in the cause of ‘righteousness’ and to initiate the murderers as priests (Levites).
Exodus 32: 27 He told them, “Here is what Adonai, the God of Isra’el, says: ‘Each of you, put his sword on his side; and go up and down the camp, from gate to gate; and every man is to kill his own kinsman, his own friend and his own neighbor!” 28 The sons of Levi did what Moshe said, and that day three thousand of the people died. 29 Moshe said, “You have consecrated yourselves today to Adonai, because every one of you has been against his own son and against his own kinsman, in order to bring a blessing on yourselves today.”
This, in spite of the fact that he had just received the express command – THOU SHALT NOT KILL – on the tablets of stone from the partial revelation of G-d that he received. But, of course, once the tablets were broken, murder was the only solution.
Yeshua had seen through the Jewish enterprise – that it was built on a lie and strengthened by murder in the cause of ‘righteousness’ and ‘justice’ and even ‘revenge’. It seemed right and good that Abel should be avenged (condemnation, judgement and execution). But of far more significance was the sign of the sacrifice he brought before G-d – the sign of Yeshua, the Merciful One, the one who blots out the sins of humankind.
Hebrews 12: 24 (You have come) … to Yeshua, the Mediator (Go-between, Agent) of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks [of mercy], a better and nobler and more gracious message than the blood of Abel [which cried out for vengeance]. (Amplified)
The history of the Jewish race, that proudly claims to be of the lineage and heritage of the true G-d, is the history of lies and murder. The central lie they believed was that because they were ‘chosen’ and ‘belonged’ to G-d, they could do anything – pillage cities, rape women, steal lands, commit genocide, destroy other civilisations, even destroy one another. And, further, that as the sword-arm of G-d they were justified in doing so.
Mathew 23: 35 And so, on you (the Jews) will fall the guilt for all the innocent blood that has ever been shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Hevel to the blood of Z’kharyah Ben-Berekhyah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar. 36 Yes! I tell you that all this will fall on this generation! 37 “Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you!
The hope of Yeshua was that such a calamity would bring the Jews, who had practised bringing false witness against and the murder of the righteous in the name of ‘righteousness’, to their senses and they would understand what He had tried to show them through the sign of the sacrificial Lamb, the sign of the Scapegoat and the sign of Jonah. To little avail.
The Second Temple was destroyed. The Jews were scattered. The Holocaust took place. And today, the Jews build a wall around their land out of fear of their enemies and continue to weaponise and commit murder and genocide against their enemies. There is no peace for the Jew(s).
Mathew 23: 37 “Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused! 38 Look! God is abandoning your house to you, leaving it desolate. 39 For I tell you, from now on, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai.’
How long will Israel deny the Mashiach? How long will they deny the Lamb, slain from before the foundation of the world? How long will they pursue lies and murder in the cause of ‘righteousness’ and ‘justice’? How much longer before they welcome Yeshua as having come in the name of Adonai and bless Him? How long before they see the Crucified and Risen one? How long before they drop the stones in their hands?
John 8: 57 “Why, you’re not yet fifty years old,” the Judeans replied, “and you have seen Avraham?” 58 Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! Before Avraham came into being, I AM!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to throw at him; but Yeshua was hidden and left the Temple grounds.
Yeshua was hidden and left the Temple grounds. The Mashiach’s testimony about the Jews remains exact. They have not known the Path of Peace or the Prince of Peace.
And yet, it is still possible that G-d will yet open the eyes of the Jews to their true inheritance in the sign of Abel’s sacrifice. This sign was given to Moses the murderer too once he had been transformed into a humble man. The sign of the killing of the Passover Lamb and the smearing of its blood on the doorposts and threshold of homes that would escape the Angel of death.
The Sign of the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world was given to Moses too. That Sign of the Lamb who yet desires to gather the children of the Jews as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings! The Sign of mercy that has triumphed over condemnation, judgement, death, hatred and vengeance.
Romans 9: 2 My grief is so great, the pain in my heart so constant, 3 that I could wish myself actually under God’s curse and separated from the Messiah, if it would help my brothers, my own flesh and blood, 4 the people of Isra’el!
What Yeshua warned the Jews of was not spoken in condemnation but in the Spirit of faith and hope and charity. The faith and hope that they would yet be able to get beyond their lies and murderous ways to see the Light of the World, the Lamb of G-d.
John 8: 47 “Whoever belongs to God listens to what God says; the reason you don’t listen is that you don’t belong to God.”
John 8: 28 So Yeshua said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM [who I say I am], and that of myself I do nothing, but say only what the Father has taught me.
John 3: 14 Just as Moshe lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life.
THE MOSHIACH – THE LEPER (thanks to Chabad.org)
The Talmud states that Moshiach is called “chivara-the leper” (Sanhedrin 98b). This is rather astonishing and seems to contradict the Biblical description of Moshiach: “My servant shall be wise, exalted and lofty, and shall be very high” (Isaiah 52:13). From this verse we know that he will be the wisest of men, an extraordinary prophet, second only to Moses (and in many respects more exalted than Moses), greater than the patriarchs, and of a stature exceeding that of all kings before him.
Thus, we must conclude that there is a deeper meaning to his being called chivara.
First of all, tzara’at is a disease of the skin. It is not an internal ailment, nor is the body per se affected. It is an external malady, indicated by a change of color in the skin.
Now, throughout the course of our lengthy galut (exile), the Jewish people have been involved with Torah-study and mitzvot. Every effort has been made to have good triumph over evil, and to bring light into the darkness of the galut. Thus we have already succeeded in healing the “internal malady” of the galut.
At present, with the conclusion of the galut, there remains but a minor and strictly external disease-“on the skin of his body” (Tazri’a 13:2ff.). It is up to the generation which merits the very end of the galut and the beginning of the redemption to bring about the correction and healing of this final stage.
Moshiach, the redeemer, suffers the agonies and pains of these last days of the galut, the “disease of tzara’at.” For Moshiach waits anxiously and impatiently to redeem his generation the moment it completes the cure for the minor affliction that remains. As long as he is unable to do so and the galut continues, Moshiach personally suffers the pains of this tzara’at, the agony of the last days of the galut.
In this context, the second parshah begins: “This is the teaching concerning the one afflicted with tzara’at on the day of his purification…” (Metzora 14:2). This refers to the day of the redemption:
For as long as the galut persists, Moshiach is called chivara (afflicted with tzara’at). He himself is essentially pure and perfect, and his affliction merely reflects the condition of galut. The very moment of the redemption, when Moshiach will be revealed and his real being and righteousness will become manifest to all, that is “the day of his purification.”
The redemption will demonstrate how in Moshiach is fulfilled the verse, “the leprous mark has healed in the one afflicted by it” (Metzora 14:3).
Lots of ‘Evangelical Christians’ strut around these days who claim that there can be no ‘Christian by birth’. I am a Christian by birth and so are my children and it is all a great blessing. My children are included in Christ through me and my wife and our union in Christ even from before/when they were formed in the womb.
I wonder what the children of these “Evangelical Christians” are – things, beasts, retarded. pagan, subhuman, hybrid frogs, children of Mammon…? Add to that list please …
Jeremiah 1: 4 Here is the word of Adonai that came to me: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I separated you for myself. I have appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”
Psalm 139: 13 For you fashioned my inmost being,
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
15 My bones were not hidden from you
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes could see me as an embryo,
but in your book all my days were already written;
my days had been shaped
before any of them existed.
Isaiah 44: Thus says Adonai, who made you,
formed you in the womb, and will help you:
Don’t be afraid, Ya‘akov my servant,
Yeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit on your descendants,
my blessing on your offspring.
The deepest atheists are those who have been disappointed by the religion of Christianity which they confuse with the Person, Teachings and Works of the crucified and resurrected Yeshuah Mashiach.
FRIENDS WITH DEATH
Make friends with Death before He arrives at your doorstep, for then you can go out of this world-womb hand in hand with the One you feared but befriended well ahead in Time.
Mathew 10: 28 And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna).
Satan comes mostly as an angel of light ‘doing G-d’s will”.