Monday, December 25, 2017

Is There a Pre Tribulation Rapture?

Shalom Everyone;

I am starting a new  Question & Answers from our new weekly Shabbat Midrash.   Many times I wrestle with scriptures, not because I doubt the Word at all, but I want to make sure I am understanding the correct interpretation of a verse or passage.   Again, last Shabbat we touched a little on the theory of the “Rapture”.

There are certain topics that we wrestle with and how they are interpreted, such as the “Catching Away” at the end of days:

The Catching Away of the Saints, i.e. the Rapture and interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, i.e. the great Tribulation escape clause.

You will get different arguments pro and con from both Messianic Believers and Christians (non Torah observant believers). When I was in the traditional Christian Church, I believed in the Rapture teaching, but when I started studying scripture over 20 years ago from a Jewish, Hebraic mindset I questioned the interpretation of this verse, not the verse itself.

To rightly divide the Word of God is a skill we must all learn in the study of Scripture.   Of course the Rapture is not a salvation issue, but it is important that we have the correct biblical understanding.   Some use examples of Enoch and Elijah as examples of people who were “caught up” to heaven without seeing death, and yes this is absolutely true, but does there experience apply to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18?  There are many excellent teachers of the Word who do not agree on the “catching away” theory. 

One of the arguments is that God has not appointed us to wrath.  When I was thinking upon that word wrath and looking it up on both Hebrew and Greek it means the following:

There are 2 Hebrew words for wrath
H639
אף
'aph
BDB Definition:
1) nostril, nose, face
2) anger
Part of Speech: noun masculine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H599
Same Word by TWOT Number: 133a

H2740
חרן  /  חרון
chârôn
BDB Definition:
1) anger, heat, burning (of anger)
1a) always used of God’s anger
Part of Speech: noun masculine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H2734
Same Word by TWOT Number: 736a

G3709
ὀργή
orgē
Thayer Definition:
1) anger, the natural disposition, temper, character
2) movement or agitation of the soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion, but especially anger
3) anger, wrath, indignation
4) anger exhibited in punishment, hence used for punishment itself
4a) of punishments inflicted by magistrates
Part of Speech: noun feminine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G3713
Citing in TDNT: 5:382, 716

Yes it is true, we have been forgiven and are saved from God’s wrath. So what is the ultimate “wrath” that the lost will suffer and that we will not experience?   I believe that wrath refers to the punishment of “hell” for those who have rejected God and His Truth and Salvation Yeshua.  

I was looking up several Scripture translations and the Ruach Hakodesh led me to look up the Scripture in the AENT (Aramaic English New Testament) translation and also the commentary.  Andrew Roth referred the reader to an article on this topic, which I have attached.

The AENT Translations reads like this:
“And this we say to you by the Word of our Master (Y’shua), that we who may survive and be alive at the coming of our Master (Y’shua) will not proceed them who have slept. Because our Master (Y’shua) will himself descend from heaven with the mandate and with the voice of the chief Messenger  and with the Qarna (Shofar) of Elohim; and the dead  who are in the Mashiach will first arise; and then we who survive  and are alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet our Master (Y’shua) in the air; and so we will ever be with our Master.

John McKee is a Messianic Apologists & Scholar who also does not agree with the PreTrib Rapture Theory, here is a link to his teaching on the Pre Trip Rapture which is very good. 


So the bottom line is this; that 1 Thessalonians is absolutely true, however the time of Pre, Mid or Post catching away is a matter of interpretation.

Yes there will be a “Catching Away” of the saints, but most believe it will be at Yeshua’s return, after the Tribulation.   In the meantime our focus should not be that of fear or a looking to escape the Tribulation, but to be faithful now and to the end doing what He has called us to do.   As one person said, “I would rather be surprised by the Rapture and prepared for the Tribulation, then prepared for the Rapture and surprised by the Tribulation😐

Shalom In Yeshua
Rabbin Deborah



Mathew 27:51 The Resurrected Saints at the Time of Yeshua's Resurrection Question & Answer

Shalom Mishpocha’

We had a good discussion during our time of Nosh after service.   

Sherri had a question from a friend regarding the people resurrected with Yeshua at His first coming, whether they received new bodies at that resurrection and where did the go?

Mat 27:51  And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.
Mat 27:52  The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
Mat 27:53  and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

In our discussion, I felt that they received their resurrected Bodies and went to the Heavenly Jerusalem (or Heaven being the typical term used) with Yeshua, or the place where those who have gone before us await the New Millennium and rule and reign of Messiah Yeshua, but I wanted to do some more research anyway.

Here are 2 scholarly opinions, and they both have their good points.

Opinion #1 – Arnold Fruchtenbaum – Messianic Bible Study Collection
b.   The Resurrection of Many Saints
A second thing that occurred on this occasion was the resurrection of many of the saints who had recently died. While they did not come out of the tombs until after the Messiah’s own Resurrection, they were resurrected at the time of His death. This clear wording is sometimes missed and it is often taught that the resurrection of these saints occurred after Messiah’s Resurrection. But that is not the way the passage reads.
In verse 52, when Jesus died two things happened. First, the tombs were opened. Many of the tombs opened up as a result of the earthquake. Secondly, many bodies of the saints that had fallen asleep were raised. At that point, many were resurrected from the dead. Verse 53 states that they did not come out of the opened tombs until after his resurrection and then went into Jerusalem and were seen by many.
Some have interpreted this verse as recording the resurrection of the Old Testament saints, but that cannot be. There cannot be a resurrection to eternity before the Messiah’s own Resurrection. According to 1 Corinthians 15:20–24, Jesus is the first-fruits of the eternal resurrection. But these saints were resurrected at the point of Messiah’s death. This is not a resurrection of Old Testament saints into eternal life and existence, but, as with all previous resurrections, this was only a restoration back to natural life. These are just some of the saints who had recently died and then were resurrected by a restoration back to natural life, not a resurrection to eternal life.
The difference is that if one is raised from the dead into resurrection life, he will live from then on physically forever. So far, only Jesus has received this type of resurrection. The kind of resurrection being spoken of in this passage is a resurrection back to natural life, which means that these people would die again later.[1] 

Opinion #3 Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary
Matthew 27:52
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose — These sleeping saints (see on 1Th_4:14) were Old Testament believers, who - according to the usual punctuation in our version - were quickened into resurrection life at the moment of their Lord’s death, but lay in their graves till His resurrection, when they came forth. But it is far more natural, as we think, and consonant with other Scriptures, to understand that only the graves were opened, probably by the earthquake, at our Lord’s death, and this only in preparation for the subsequent exit of those who slept in them, when the Spirit of life should enter into them from their risen Lord, and along with Him they should come forth, trophies of His victory over the grave. Thus, in the opening of the graves at the moment of the Redeemer’s expiring, there was a glorious symbolical proclamation that the death which had just taken place had “swallowed up death in victory”; and whereas the saints that slept in them were awakened only by their risen Lord, to accompany Him out of the tomb, it was fitting that “the Prince of Life ... should be the First that should rise from the dead” (Act_26:23; 1Co_15:20, 1Co_15:23; Col_1:18; Rev_1:5).

Opinion #4 – John Wesley Commentary
Matthew 27:52
Some of the tombs were shattered and laid open by the earthquake, and while they continued unclosed (and they must have stood open all the Sabbath, seeing the law would not allow any attempt to close them) many bodies of holy men were raised, (perhaps Simeon, Zacharias, John the Baptist, and others who had believed in Christ, and were known to many in Jerusalem,) And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, went into the holy city (Jerusalem) and appeared to many - Who had probably known them before: God hereby signifying, that Christ had conquered death, and would raise all his saints in due season.

Opinion #5 – Scofield Commentary
Matthew 27:52


graves

That these bodies returned to their graves is not said and may not be inferred. The wave-sheaf (Lev_23:10-12) typifies the resurrection of Christ, but a sheaf implies plurality. It was a single "corn of wheat" that fell into the ground in the crucifixion and entombment of Christ (Joh_12:24); it was a sheaf which came forth in resurrection. The inference is that these saints, with the spirits of "just men made perfect" (Heb_12:23) from Paradise, went with Jesus (Eph_4:8-10) into heaven.

Opinion #6  - Bible Archeology Website


(This is a Christian perspective)

What Happened to these Resurrected Saints?
There are three possibilities as to what happened to these resurrected saints.  First, they are still alive today.  I have lived in Jerusalem, on and off, for more than thirty years.  I’ve met a lot of people in that city.  I even met some people who thought they were Jesus, or Elijah, or John the Baptist, but I have never met anybody that was 2,000 years old.  So I think we can safely assume that they are not alive today.
The second possibility is that they died again.  We have no Scriptural warrant for this claim, nor are there any Jewish or Church traditions that states they died again.  So I think we can dismiss this idea.
The third possibility, and the one I believe is correct, is that they ascended into Heaven with the Lord Jesus forty days after His, and their, resurrection (Cambron 1973:57, 146-147, 334).  Let’s examine the account of the ascension of the Lord Jesus to Heaven.  After the Lord Jesus gives another commission to His disciples for world evangelism (Acts 1:8), Luke records: 
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven’ (Acts 1:9-11).
There are several things to notice in this passage.  First, “a cloud” received Him out of their sight.  Most commentators would state that when Jesus ascended, He disappeared into a cloud, a vaporous mass.  But Dr. Luke may be using this word in another way.  When the Apostle Paul describes the return of the Lord Jesus in the air for His saints, what has been called the Rapture of the Church, he states: “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17).  It is important to note that in the Greek text, there is no definite article before “clouds.”  So the text should state that the living saints shall be caught up “in clouds” to meet the Lord Jesus in the air.  At the Rapture there would be a cloud of saints over North America, a cloud over Europe, a cloud over South America, Asia and Africa.
I believe that Dr. Luke is using the words “cloud” in this manner, as a collection of saints. Thus, the cloud that received the Lord Jesus above the Mount of Olives was a cloud of the saints that were resurrected in Jerusalem when the Lord Jesus was resurrected.  This was the first fruits of a greater harvest to come and the prophetic point of the Feast of the LORD.  The Israelites were to bring the first fruits of the barley harvest to the Temple and the priest would wave the omer (sheaf) before the LORD and acknowledge His provision for the harvest and trust Him for the full harvest in the months to come.  In the prophetic analogy, the priest would not wave one stalk [Jesus] before the LORD, but rather, a sheaf [Jesus and the Jerusalem saints that were resurrected at the same time that He was].  Thus, this fulfilled the prophetic aspect of the Feast of Firstfruits and what Paul wrote, “Christ, risen from the dead, has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
Notice also the words of the two men in white apparel, most likely angelic beings.  They said: “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into Heaven.”  When the Lord Jesus returns to earth with His saints at His revelation as the King of kings, and Lord of lords, the Apostle John states that “He is coming with clouds [of saints], and every eye shall see Him, even they who pierced Him.  And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.  Even so, Amen” (Rev. 1:9; cf. Rev. 19:11-16).
The prophet Zechariah predicted that the Messiah would return to the Mount of Olives with all His saints (Zech. 14:4-5).  The words of the two angels were that the Lord Jesus would return the same way He left.  He will one day visibly return to the Mount of Olive with His saints.  If he returns with saints, then He must have left with saints as well!  The saints that He left with were those resurrected from the graves around Jerusalem at His resurrection, but one day He will return to earth with more than just these resurrected Jerusalem saints.  He will have all His Church saints, those who have trusted Him as their Savior, from Pentecost to the Rapture, with Him as well (cf. John 5:25-29).
(We do not necessarily agree with their view of the Rapture, we do know that we will be caught up as told in 1 Thess. 4:17, but only God knows when)
I thought it was interesting regarding their interpretation of “Cloud” when Yeshua ascended into heaven refers to all of those who were resurrected with him at that time, which were the Tenach saints/Believers who were waiting in Sheol until the Resurrection and had looked forward to Messiah.

Mat_24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat_26:64  Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Mar_13:26  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
Mar_14:62  And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
1Th_4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Could the “Clouds” refer to all the saints that went before us and us when we are caught up to meet Him at His return?

Also Paul uses the term “A great cloud of witnesses”, so this interpretation makes sense because upon His return, He will be returning with those who have gone before us!  So in this case cloud could be a idiom for people, just like trees and sea represent  people at times in scripture as well?

Heb 12:1  Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God

Isa 60:8  "Who are these who fly like a cloud And like the doves to their lattices?

Eze 38:9  "You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you."

Eze 38:16  and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog."

Cloud can also represent the Presence of God, His Glory!

Exo_24:18  And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.
Exo_34:5  And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
Exo_40:34  Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
Exo_40:35  And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

Interpretation always depends on the context and also
Glory H3519
כּבד  /  כּבוד
kâbôd
BDB Definition:
1) glory, honour, glorious, abundance
1a) abundance, riches
1b) honour, splendour, glory
1c) honour, dignity
1d) honour, reputation
1e) honour, reverence, glory
1f) glory
Part of Speech: noun masculine

Cloud H6051
ענן
‛ânân
BDB Definition:
1) cloud, cloudy, cloud-mass
1a) cloud-mass (of theophanic cloud)
1b) cloud

Cloud

`anan (H6051), "cloud; fog; storm cloud; smoke." Cognates of this word appear in Aramaic and Arabic. Its 87 appearances are scattered throughout the biblical material.
The word commonly means "cloud mass." `Anan is used especially of the "cloud mass" that evidenced the special presence of God: "And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way..."(Exo_13:21). In Exo_34:5, this presence is represented by `anan only: "And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him [Moses] there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord."
When the ark of the covenant was brought into the holy place, "The cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord" (1Ki_8:10-11). Thus the "cloud" evidenced the presence of God's glory. So the psalmist wrote that God was surrounded by "clouds and darkness" (Psa_97:2); God appears as the controller and sovereign of nature. This description is somewhat parallel to the descriptions of Baal, the lord of the storm and god of nature set forth in Ugaritic mythology. The "cloud" is a sign and figure of "divine protection" (Isa_4:5) and serves as a barrier hiding the fullness of divine holiness and glory, as well as barring sinful man's approach to God (Lam_3:44). Man's relationship to God, therefore, is God-initiated and God-sustained, not humanly initiated or humanly sustained.
In its first biblical occurrence, `anan is used in conjunction with God's sign that He would never again destroy the earth by a flood: "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth" (Gen_9:13). Elsewhere, the transitory quality of a cloud is used to symbolize the loyalty (Hos_6:4) and existence of Israel (Hos_13:3). In Isa_44:22, God says that after proper punishment He will wipe out, "as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins...."
`Anan can mean "storm cloud" and is used to symbolize "an invading force": "Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee" (Eze_38:9; cf. Jer_4:13). In Job_26:8, the storm cloud is said to be God's: "He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them." In several passages, the thick storm cloud and the darkness accompanying it are symbols of "gloom" (Eze_30:18) and/or "divine judgment" (Eze_30:3).
`Anan can represent the "smoke" arising from burning incense: "And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not..." (Lev_16:13). This "cloud of smoke" may represent the covering between God's presence (above the mercy seat) and sinful man. If so, it probably also symbolizes the "divine glory." On the other hand, many scholars feel it represents the human prayers offered up to God.

You never know where a question will lead to and what  you will learn!

Shalom In Yeshua
Rabbin Deborah





[1] Fruchtenbaum, A. G. (1983). Vol. 70: The Messianic Bible Study Collection (17). Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Body of Messiah Includes Christians, Messianic Jews & Hebraic Roots Etc.

Something has been grieving my spirit for quite awhile, and I had to repent of my wrong attitude towards those who are in the Body of Messiah and truly love God but are not Torah observant the way we think they should be!

First of all what is the greatest commandment in Torah according to Yeshua?

Mat 22:34  But the Pharisees, when they heard that Yeshua had silenced the Sadducees, gathered together in one place.
Mat 22:35  And testing Him, one of them, a lawyer, asked,
Mat 22:36  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Torah?”
Mat 22:37  And He said to him, “‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
Mat 22:38  This is the first and greatest commandment.
Mat 22:39  And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Mat 22:40  The entire Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  TLV

So according to Yeshua, who are the real Torah observant believers?  The ones who are arrogant and prideful and spew hatred and ugly mems at their brothers and sisters in The Body of Messiah (I prefer to use Body of Messiah vs. Church) or those in the Body of Messiah who do not have the revelation yet of the Blessings of Torah, yet are walking in Torah Principles?

Recently we were led by the Ruach to go to a Word church midweek service, the worship was beautiful and teaching was scriptural!  We also are Rabbis who have our own Congregation and have gone through many ups and downs because people who are coming into the Messianic walk come in with bitterness, pride and have thrown out the baby with the bath water!  We also were guilty of this, but have come into a Spiritual Balance in the Word.

First, I was not brought up in a Jewish home or a Christian home, but I did have a Bible believing grandmother, who kept Shabbat and taught me the Word whenever we visited her.  Yes I am a Messianic Jewish Believer, but did not discover my heritage until much latter.  It is Yeshua who brought me back to my Heritage and His Torah.

All I hear from people coming into this movement is "I was deceived", 'They lied to me"!  Blaming others because they never cracked open their Bible to  find out the truth themselves.  I do not believe that most Pastors are intentionally lying to their people about "The Law", they truly believe that what they were taught was correct, however many are coming out of this misconception and teaching the truth.   Sometimes it takes time to turn a huge ship around when it is off course.

What did I learn from the Church?

  • From the Baptists I learned that preaching salvation and reaching the Lost was important.
  • From the Pentecostal, I learned the importance of Holiness, Sanctification, Obedience and the Power of the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit and Gifts, along with Healing.
  • From the "Word of Faith" Church, I learned about walking in Faith so I can do what God called has called me to do, who I am in Messiah, and yes Prosperity because guess what, it takes money to help people and to the work of ministry etc. 
  • From the Messianic Walk I have learned that Torah is important, it is in my heart and that His Feasts are about Yeshua.

And yes, everything we learned prepared us for ministry.

Now when I refer to The Body of Messiah, I am talking about those who truly love God, Yeshua and His Word and are trying to walk in obedience.

Yes there are a lot of bad "Christian" teachers who have compromised the Word, but there are also bad' "Messianic" teachers as well who are perverting the truth as well.  So do we lump everyone into one judgmental category because of a few sour lemons???  NO!

This Church I went to have many programs to help people because their people tithe and give offerings and support the vision of the leadership.  This Church has a Business School, Youth Group, Job placement service, Ministry School, Continuing Education so people can learn MS skills, Prison Ministry, Inner city Ministry, Mentoring Program, Conferences, Missions  etc.

So those of us "Messianic s" who think we are better than our brothers and sisters In the Body of Messiah, who happen to not have the understanding of Torah yet, are doing more works of the Torah then those I see in the Messianic Movement.  Again, I am not lumping everyone together because there are some Messianic Congregations that are able to do these things as well because people tithe.

So before we start getting all prideful and patting ourselves on the back because we feel like we have arrived, WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD?

Yes there are "Kooky Christians" and "Messy Messianic s" but there are also Believers both Christian and Messianic who are doing what the Bible says to do, and they are the ones who are making a difference in this world.

Why would they want to listen to what we have to say, if we are being ugly, portraying them as deceived and demon possessed and stupid!!  Before you start criticizing someone for what they teach, maybe you should find out what they teach first, you might be 100% wrong in what you thought they were about!  Most of the time you are just parroting what someone said about them and passed judgement without finding out the facts first!  Many wonderful peoples reputations have been destroyed because of Lashon Hara/Evil Speaking and spreading Gossip and lies!

Don't be spouting off Torah principles if you can not live THE Torah principle that Yeshua upheld and that is LOVE.  


Mat 22:37  And He said to him, “‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
Mat 22:38  This is the first and greatest commandment.
Mat 22:39  And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 
Mat 22:40  The entire Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  TLV

And yes I had to repent of my attitude as well because it was not helping me to walk in His blessings but dragging me down.  There is just as much good Christian teaching that is solid in the WORD as there is Messianic teaching and also Jewish Teaching.   My plumb line for TRUTH is the WORD and the commandment that we all need to perfect is LOVING GOD WITH ALL OUR HEART, SOUL AND MIND AND LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES AND TO WALK HUMBLY BEFORE OUR GOD.

Rabbin Deborah Brandt M.Div Judaic Studies
Deborah's Messianic Ministries Training and Messianic Worship Center Beit Midrash Tefillah Hallel
Judaic Studies Institute, Vice President and Student Advisor


Monday, April 10, 2017




Keeping Things in Perspective:

Passover reminds us that we are in a constant journey to reach the Promised Land. As we study the Torah we see that Israel was miraculously delivered so they could serve and worship God in freedom! However the journey would not be an easy one. The journey of faith is never easy but it is required for all those who serve God. 

We need to keep our trials in perspective, especially here in America. Right now our ministry and congregation is going through a test of having to move out of our building because of lack of finances. And yes like our ancestors we are now moving on in faith, knowing He has another place for us and He will provide, because He didn't call us to be Shepherds without a pasture to feed the sheep. 

 Yes it hurts when people leave you to go somewhere else, especially those you have invested yourself, your life and your love into. Every leader and disciple will be tested and tried, and before promotion, the we must endure the purging of His purification fires. 

When we see what believers suffer all over the world, especially under the hands of ISIS, who are dying for their faith, who are we to kavech/complain about a little inconvenience.

God is saying in your trials, do you trust me? Or are we believing the lies of the enemy as he whispers in our ears to give up! Or as he whispers in our ears that your leaders are not good enough, that you can do a better job, as Korach thought.

God has called us to be faithful to the call no matter what things may look like. In my 40 + years of serving Him, my Father has always been faithful in the storm. I refuse to listen to the lies of the enemy. I choose to believe God no matter what it looks like. 

 As a leader you need to hold on to the vision God has given you, no matter what it looks like. No matter if everyone deserts you, no matter if you feel His presence or hear His voice, or do not. HE IS FAITHFUL.
As leaders we are going to be tried in the fire so that after all the dross has been burned off, the only thing left is a heart to serve Him. 

I am encouraging other leaders out there, especially Pastors and Rabbis who faithfully serve their people and nobody knows who you are. You are not the "Well known Name' on the Internet, you are the faithful servant who only wants to obey God and serve. You are the ones who sacrifice financially so people have a place to worship, who give and give and many times get no thanks in return. You are the ones that have been tested through the fires, who know what it is like to be rejected and misunderstood, yet you continue to be faithful to the call even though, no one knows your name. You are the ones who's hearts break for your Congregation, but no one knows what you have gone through. 

The applause and praises of men are fleeting and many times fickle because the ones who are praising you one moment, the next day will turn and walk away. Our Messiah Yeshua knew this well, even in His darkest hour only a few stood with Him. But Yeshua forgave them because He knew they would return to fulfill what He had called them to do.

Yes as Pastors/Shepherds/Leaders/Rabbis, we are called to serve and not be served. We are called to be faithful to the vision God has given us, no matter what! In good times and in bad. It is when things are bad that we find out how committed we are to what He has called us to do.
Yes every believer will be tested in their walk so that what is hidden in their hearts will be revealed. Will we persevere with the vision and the call when everything looks like it is falling apart, or will we see through the eyes of faith/trust, that God is in control and He will make sure that what He has called us to do, He will provide a way, if we do not give up. 

To those of you who are a part of a Community. If God has called you to serve, then serve and be faithful. A plant can not grow if it is constantly being uprooted. Yes you will be tested in your faithfulness to serve and God knows how to promote you, but He promotes faithfulness not fickleness. You will be tested when the enemy whispers in your ears telling you that you are misunderstood, nobody here cares about you, nobody here cares about what you are called to do, nobody cares. Or are you going to be one who instead of doing your own thing and taking away form the local community, give your gifts that God has placed within you for the best of the Community? God knows how to promote you, but He is going to test your faithfulness to serve others first.
Jas 1:2 Regard it all as joy, my brothers, when you face various kinds of temptations;
Jas 1:3 for you know that the testing of your trust produces perseverance.
Jas 1:4 But let perseverance do its complete work; so that you may be complete and whole, lacking in nothing.
Jas 1:5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all generously and without reproach; and it will be given to him.
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in trust, doubting nothing; for the doubter is like a wave in the sea being tossed and driven by the wind.
Jas 1:7 Indeed that person should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord,
Jas 1:8 because he is double-minded, unstable in all his ways CJB
Every person who has come across our path has helped us to grow along the way and I hope that in some small way, we have helped those who came across our path as well. We will continue to be faithful with the assignment He has given us and continue to be thankful for those who have stuck with us through thick and thin, good times and bad. That is called Covenant Faithfulness. 

As Talmidim/Disciples of Yeshua, we constantly fight the battle of rejection, the battle to forgive, the battle to continue on even when we are still healing from the wounds. 

The question is, are we going to be faithful to where He has planted us? It is easy to walk away, anybody can do that. We see that example in marriage, it is easier to walk away then to make it work out. But the ones who refuse to give up, will be the ones who will see the fruit of faithfulness in this life and the world to come. God is calling us to faithfulness in all areas of our lives, whether the sun is shining, or we are walking in the midst of a storm.
[From The Heart]

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Yet Will I Praise Him Even In The Midst Of The Storm

It is easy to be happy and joyful when everything is going well. The test of our faith and trust in God is, can we be joyful when it looks like everything is falling apart? When we know we have been faithful to walk in obedience to God, yet those we trusted and served desert us? When we have been faithful to the vision and still await its fulfillment? Spiritual joy is not dependent on circumstances, or if people love you and speak well of you, or if your popular or not popular. Our joy comes from our relationship with our Heavenly Father and our Messiah Yeshua. Our joy comes from knowing that his promises are true no matter what the circumstances look like. Our joy comes from His word that He said He will never leave us nor forsake us. Do we trust Him in the midst of the storm? He is always faithful to His Word. Can we rejoice when our children no longer have time for us? Can we rejoice when our family and friends forsake us?
Today: The Ibn Ezra to Tehilim 32:4 states "The righteous will always feel joy and never feel sad about what the Almighty has decreed upon them because they realize He whatever He does is for their ultimate best."
Hab 3:17 Though the fig tree does not blossom, and there is no yield on the vines, Though the olive crop fail, and the fields produce no food, the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no cattle in the stalls.
Hab 3:18 Yet will I triumph in Adonai, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!
Hab 3:19 Adonai my Lord, is my strength. He has made my feet like a deer’s, and will make me walk on my high places. For the choir director: On my stringed instruments.
Our Messiah Yeshua says:
Mat 5:2 And He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
Mat 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Mat 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Mat 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Mat 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
Mat 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Mat 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Mat 5:10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great! For in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
This is our challenge and as I look back these 40 years of serving Him, He has always showed Himself to be faithful, especially in the midst of the storms because after the storm comes the Rainbow and the sunshine. For His Glory and His Kingdom!
Not our will, but your will be done Father.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Living Torah- By Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan

Just received my copy of The Living Torah by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. A very easy to read translation and faithful to Torah principles and interpretation, with illustrations and maps.

I recommend for anyone who wants an easy to read translation for personal Torah Studies. It is available in Hebrew/English or just English translation. I would definitely recommend adding to your study library.

Available on Amazon.com
Product Details

Friday, August 12, 2016

I just received my copy of the "Complete Jewish Study Bible" by Hendrickson Bibles.  It is a Bible geared towards those who are Messianic Jewish or who want to know more about the Jewish Roots of our faith in Messiah Yeshua.

It is an easy to read bible with lots of study notes and explanations.  I highly recommend this Bible to anyone who wants to understand the Jewish Jesus!

The best price I found to purchase the Bible is http://www.christianbook.com

I have many different Bible Translations as well.  Here are some of my favorite.

  • New American Standard Bible - Key Word Study Bible
  • Complete Jewish Study Bible
  • ESV Study Bible (English Standard Version)
  • King James Version for verse comparison- Key Word Study Bible
  • Jewish Study Bible by Jewish Publication Society
  • Tree of Life Version Bible
  • Artschroll Chumash


 Most you can get at Christianbook.com or Amazon.com