Light on the Rock Blogs

The blogs are short articles, almost like a “sermonette” compared to a sermon. They are on a variety of topics, please enjoy.

WHY are we going into battle without our sword?

I’m sure you would say – to the title – “of course I’m not doing that”.  It would be the dumbest thing we could do, wouldn’t it? But I contend most of us – at least some days – DO go into our spiritual battles without our sword.  Now I know we don’t use swords in most battles nowadays.  Today we’d say “without your rifle” or “your AR-15” or AK-47.  But when the Bible was written, they used swords and in Ephesians 6, Paul is inspired to urge us to put on the whole armor of God.  In there we have all the pieces of armor listed, including the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and many more.

We are physical – and so we understand the physical more.  The problem is, since we don’t see a real physical battle going on around us, we leave home without our weapons and armor. But in fact, there is an intense war going on for you – for your eternity, and as Peter says – “for your soul”. The “god of this world” – Satan and his evil spirits – are constantly broadcasting their moods, thoughts and temptations to try to bring us down; to do their best to cause us to sin or even to give up on our calling. 

Surely you can look back – even just perhaps a few hours or maybe even just a few minutes – and realize you were being bombarded by enemy missiles – but you didn’t recognize those moods and temptations as the spiritual warfare that was raging all around you.  But enough of me. Let’s let the Apostle Paul’s inspired words explain: 

Ephesians 6:10-13

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

The daily battles for our minds and eternity are more intense and more real than house-to-house combat in physical battles. We have to start to see it that way or we will continue to go into our very real battles without our sword. We are fighting against powers way beyond our puny physical strength – but in Christ we win.

Paul tries to open the eyes of believers in Corinth also. This is not a flesh-and-blood battle, he warns, but much more serious and ferocious. Are YOU aware of that? 

2 Corinthians10:3-6

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

If we could have our eyes opened to see what’s really raging around us, we’d probably collapse in fright!  Besides the evil temptations, moods and thoughts being broadcast at you, we also have our fleshly, carnal human nature with its passions.  How well we know those passions, right? 

1 Peter 2:11

“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul..”

So how could we possibly be going into spiritual battle each day without our sword?  Be sure to click on “Continue reading” to find out!  You want to win this war and find out what the sword is, and how to use it. 

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Come to know the Author, and not just His Book

I’m sure if you’re a reader of our blogs, you are also one who loves to study the Scriptures.

The point of this blog is simple – but I hope also profound. Many people study to learn data and facts. They can quote scripture and verse on almost any topic. They spend hours looking into the Hebrew and Greek and trying to learn every nuance.  I do a fair amount of that too, so I’m not “knocking” that.

But it’s very possible to know a book inside out – including the Bible – and still miss ever coming to know its Author.  Yeshua (Jesus) is the Word. He wrote and inspired what we read when we do Bible study.  You’re growing in grace and knowledge – but the rest of the verse says we are to “grow in the grace and knowledge OF our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Come to know HIM, not just what he wrote.  Sure, knowing what He wrote helps us to come to know him better as well. I get that. But go deeper than just facts and data. 

Any book – whether fiction, scripture or history or whatever – becomes indescribably more interesting – once you come to meet or to know the author.  The book and the words in the book will come alive.  That’s why when authors come out with their latest book, they do personal book signings. They want their readers to meet them – the authors – and have a “feel” for what kind of human being this author is.  They know the book will be more interesting and come alive more if people have met them, the authors, first.  If you come to meet Yeshua in a personal way, you’ll also find His book to be much more interesting.

FEEL the “heart” of God and Yeshua as you read the words being expressed.  Remember Yeshua is the Word (John 1:1-3) and the Bible is Yeshua in print.  Come to really know your Maker and Savior through His word. The apostle Paul said one of his over-arching goals in his life was “that I may KNOW Him and the power of HIS resurrection….” (Philippians 3:10).  Do you and I wish to really come to personally know our Savior?  It’s a must. And you will get so much more out of His Book – if we come to know its Author intimately.

Click on “Continue reading” for some examples of HOW to come to know the Author – and not just the Author’s words.

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Aaron – and the lesson of Christmas celebrations

Aaron – and the lesson of Christmas celebrations

No true believer would knowingly worship the true God from a basis of paganism. But without realizing it, could many mainstream Christians be worshiping God with more bits and pieces from paganism than they might remotely realize?

In Exodus 32 is the story of the Gold Calf that Israel made in the wilderness. This was a most painful and repugnant sin to YHWH, the living true God. You know the story of the Gold Calf - - but is it possible you’ve missed a crucial verse in the story that makes my point? When Moses’ brother – Aaron – agreed to fashion the golden calf and let Israel worship it, he thought he could lessen the sin and appease his Creator by – by doing what? What do you think? Do you remember the story? My main point is to get us to evaluate where WE could be doing the same thing. Could we be justifying a horrible sin in our life –and even in our worship – by doing the same thing Aaron did?

So we know he made the horrible gold calf. But he did something else that made that horrible sin far worse! So what did Aaron do and say regarding the gold calf that was so detestable to the Creator? Be turning in your Bible to Exodus 32 so you can read it with your own eyes in your own Bible.

Click on “Continue reading” to the right, to find out what was that terrible thing Aaron did. It’s what millions and millions of professing Christians are doing in fact right now.

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Keeping the main thing -- the main thing.

Some time ago, someone wrote a book or something that popularized the title above, so I want to give credit to where credit is due. But the point was: life is about keeping the main thing, the one main thing.  Know what are those “main thing” points in your life.

Yeshua said “seek FIRST the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these other things you worry about will be added to you.” (Paraphrased a bit from Matthew 6:33). 

We get into trouble when things that are not the “main thing” get in front of what’s most important.  ARE you and I seeking the Kingdom of God FIRST thing, each day?  Look for the sermon about Eating your Daily Manna. 

In the story of Mary and Martha, two wonderful faith-filled sisters who supported Christ’s ministry, we all have heard about “Martha, Martha.”  She was overly concerned with getting dinner ready for everyone and her sister Mary was stuck in the room with the guys listening to Yeshua (the Hebrew name for Jesus). 

What did our Master say?  How does that apply to us today?  Are you and I keeping the main thing, the main thing – day after day? 

            Click on “continue reading” – to the right of this page – to read the rest of this blog.

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Will the Bible itself need to be “cleaned up”?

When Christ returns to rule the earth – soon, we all hope – will He sit back and let us continue to use the present versions of His Word --the Bible – as we know them today? Some think their KJV is practically as good as the original autograph Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Others prefer their NIV or NKJV. And if you’re outside America, you have your own Bible in your own language. 

Are the various translations, paraphrases and language versions of God’s word completely perfect – or do you think one of the first things Messiah will do will be to give us His perfect, cleaned up version of His word as originally written?  What do you think? 

When Yeshua (Jesus) returns, He will begin a process of restoring everything to the way it should be, before mankind was cast out of the Garden (Genesis 3). You may have heard of the “restoration” or “restitution” of all things.  Will Bibles that people read every day also need to also be restored?  And if so, why would that be necessary?

Acts 3:19-21
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”

Notice it does say “ALL things” in verse 21. Don’t misunderstand.  I believe with all my being that the originally hand-written, God-breathed, God-inspired autograph manuscripts were perfect and had no error. I’m talking about the original manuscripts Moses and Ezra and the prophets wrote, and the original epistles of the New Testament.NO original autograph manuscript exists today. We do have carefully copied copies – and that’s what we use today as our authoritative source of what Scriptures says.  I trust those ancient manuscripts are also reliable copies. But from those old manuscripts – copied carefully as they were – we now have hundreds of versions of the Bible in scores of languages.  These versions are what people around the world are reading today as “the word of God”. 

Now add this to the equation:  it seems likely that one of the first things King Yeshua will do is to give us one worldwide language. Many believe that language will be Hebrew.Remember God is the one who scattered people from Babylon by instantly making the various groups (Genesis 11:1-9) speak in different languages.

Zephaniah 3:9  HOLMAN
“For I will then restore pure speech to the people so that all of them may call on the name of Yahweh and serve Him with a single purpose.”

How long Yeshua will take to have us all speaking one language again remains to be seen.  God confused the languages in an instant in Genesis 11.  He could work a miracle and once again, in an instant, have us all speaking one pure language with one another. I personally think that is likely.

Now especially if that happens, it seems very logical to me that one of the first orders of business will be for King Yeshua (Jesus) to purify His Word – the holy scriptures, the Bible --  from the many, many varying versions and translations that are “out there”.  And again, I believe strongly in the inerrancy and accuracy of the original scriptures and how they have traveled through time to us today.

My point is:  when the original gets translated into the various languages like English, French, Ilocano, Tagalog, Chinese or Russian and so on, and then add various versions within those languages, mistakes can and do happen.  By “versions” I’m referring to KJV vs the NIV, or RSV, Holman, and so on.  The reasons for the variations are myriad. There simply are differing ways that words and expressions can be translated. I spoke 2 languages fluently as a youth and learned the basics of two others.  It’s hard to even get a “word-for-word” translation and have it really make sense all the time.

Look at everyday signs posted in English and Spanish, for example. If you know Spanish well, you’ll realize many times they are giving the sense of the English notice. They are saying it the way it would be said in Spanish, but it’s not always a word-for-word translation, and neither should it always be. 

For example, in Ilocano, a Philippine dialect I grew up with, they have at least three words for “hair”.  The words are different for head hair, pubic hair and air on the arm.  The word of hair on the arm is “dot-dot”—literally meaning “feathers”, the same word they would use for the feathers on a chicken.  But if you were translating from Ilocano to English, would you translate “dot-dot” when referring to the arm hair on a man as “feathers” – or would you not say “arm hair”?  “Feathers” would be a literal word-for-word translation – but an English reader would be left very confused!

So translating is a very precise skill.  I personally am astonished at how many pastors –who are not expert in Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek --are willing to come out with their own translations of the Bible, which of course, will be in harmony with their own theology! 

MOST Bible translations – even the KJV—are NOT “word-for-word” translations, and neither should they be. In fact, the KJV often adds words and phrases in italics, so you know they are adding words to try to make the meaning clearer.  Sometimes they succeed with that -- and sometimes they don’t. 

So this is also why I like to study the original Hebrew or Greek words when trying to understand a passage of scripture and not just rely on what the translation says in English – or what it say sin your French or Swahili or Ilocano. 

There are some glaring mistakes. Yes, even in the KJV.  But the same can be said about the NIV, Holman, RSV and every other version out there – so I’m not picking on the KJV.

Click on “Continue reading” to the right to find out some of the corrections that will need to be made in the Bibles the everyday common man or woman reads in the Millennium. 

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TATTOOS – Should God’s children go have tattoos?

I was at a Barnes & Noble bookstore not long ago and was surprised how many magazines are devoted to “body art” – or tattoos specifically.  I paged through a few of the magazines and some of the models were covered from the top of their heads to their feet with tattoos.

And when you go to the beach or a beachside resort, what do we see? Men and women and even teens with tattoos.  You’ve probably seen some people tattooed from head to toe! 

What does YHVH say about tattoos?  What does God’s holy word say about it?  Would Yeshua ever have had a tattoo?  Or does having a tattoo break God’s law? 

It has become a worldwide craze.  What was once the realm of navy sailors, gangs or certain ethnic groups or tribal custom, is now being practiced by a wide swath of humanity.  I’ve been in locker rooms where men have tattoos in very private parts. I hear the same is true for women. And of course once tattoo is done, it’s very difficult and painful to try to un-tattoo.  I’ve heard it can be done, but how painful it must be.

tattoo

I’m writing on this not because it’s the most important thing to talk about. It isn’t. But it IS important enough that GOD talks about it. Did you realize that? Anything HE says IS important just so we know His mind on a topic.  And I am concerned because I suspect more and more believers are also starting to get tattoos.

What does our Father in heaven say to his children?

Click on “Continue reading” to the right of this page, to find out what our Abba, our dear heavenly Daddy, who is also Almighty God, has to say to His children.

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Are you waiting for “a more convenient time”?

Many people know they are being called. They can understand the word of God, and we now spiritual things can only be seen by those whose understanding has been opened by Abba’s spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10, 14).  But then we begin to realize that learning the Way of our Father means changing our way of life.

The biggest thing is to repent of what we are and what we have done and still do, change direction and accept Yeshua (Jesus) as our Savior and Lord of our lives. But is He your Lord in all parts of your life?  Or are we waiting to make changes in some areas of our lives until it’s “more convenient”?

Let me get specific to something very current, for example. Right now we’re coming up to Halloween and then Christmas (but this blog is SO much more than just being about those 2 holidays).  If you’ve looked into the history of these two celebrated days, you will quickly find out both have their roots firmly in paganism.  Halloween is obviously so, on its face.  Why would the children of God be playing around with darkness, evil, ghosts, and death?  WHY?  Or is it not convenient enough yet to make the decision to stop being part of a very demonic holiday? 

There was a leader who used to listen to the Apostle Paul. He came close to committing to the true living God – but it was not a convenient time for him to do so. Let’s read it.

We are speaking of Felix, the Roman Procurator of Judea 2000 years ago, who was intrigued by the word of God but sought a more convenient time.  The text we’re about to read centers on the time when Paul was arrested and bound – and now having to give a defense for his beliefs and actions to the governor Felix.  You might do well to review the story in Acts 24, maybe even reading a chapter or two before and after so you get the flow and context.

Acts 24:24-27

“And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, "Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you." 26 Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him.

27 But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.”

Admittedly, it must have been particularly difficult for those in governmental positions to step out in faith. But Felix was showing some interest in the truth and in Yeshua – but then procrastinated. He wanted a “more convenient time”.  It even says he “was afraid”. Paul’s words spoke to his heart initially.  He decided he would act on what he had learned – but not right now. In his delay, his heart began to change and he even began hoping Paul would give him money, a bribe, in exchange for release (v. 26). Delay changes our hearts.

Click “Continue reading” to the right if you want to know how this story applies to you. Where is each of us waiting for a “more convenient time” to fully commit to the true God?

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The Night God wrestled with man

You may be very familiar with “the night Jacob wrestled with a Man”.  And you probably know the “Man” was the One who became Jesus Christ (Yeshua).  So we tell the story about how Jacob wrestled with God.  But are you familiar with the time when God wrestled with Jacob? 

We often think that Genesis 32:24 onwards is the story of when Jacob wrestled with God. I guess technically, if two men are going “at it”, they are both wrestling. But in the past, we put the emphasis on Jacob – how HE wrestled with God. But when we read the story carefully, it’s quite different.  Jacob didn’t start the wrestling match.  God did. GOD wrestled with Jacob! This was the One who became Yeshua – Jesus the Christ – who was wrestling with Jacob.  For years I heard it preached, and I myself may have preached this too – that Jacob was to be commended for fighting so hard, striving so hard, not giving in.

But who was he fighting? Jacob was fighting his own Savior!  WHY would we ever think we have to resist GOD?

So let’s read it carefully again:Genesis 32:24-26

“Then Jacob was left alone; and A MAN (GOD- the one who became Christ) wrestled WITH HIM (Jacob) until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob's hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him.And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks."

But he [Jacob] said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!"

Wiersbe, a Bible commentator, has some good things to say on this in his commentary.  Italics are mine.

We often think that WE have to wrestle good things out of God.  That’s so backward from reality.  GOD is the one wrestling with US to get US to release OUR defenses against what He wants to do and will do in us IF we would but believe better.”

Read that again.  WE are the ones putting up the defense that HE has to crack.  He wants us to just rest in Him, trust in Him, believe Him, and LET the blessings flow.  It’s the hardest thing to do – is to let go and trust Him.  He wants us to know and believe He has best intentions for us and wants to prosper us, protect us, and shine on us. WE are the ones who put up defenses – and the worst barricades we put up are the barricades of doubting God’s heart and assuming the worst!

Here’s what Wiersbe said:

It is when we get alone with God that good things begin to happen. Christ came to wrestle with Jacob, and the struggle lasted all night. Keep in mind that Jacob was not wrestling to get a blessing from God; rather, he was defending himself and refusing to yield. The Lord wanted to break Jacob and bring him to the place where he would honestly say, "Not I, but Christ" (Galatians 2:20). All night long, Jacob defended himself and refused to surrender or even admit that he had sinned. Then God weakened Jacob, and now the wrestler could only cling! Now, this time instead of scheming for a blessing or bargaining for a blessing, he asked God for the blessing [as he clung to Him] --and he received it.”

Stop wrestling against God. ASK.  Believe.  Receive.  Stop praying that God will see things your way and start praying more that we see things HIS way.  Let’s stop resisting Him but be willing to cling to Him instead.  Clinging is great.  It’s not wrestling.  Start abiding in, resting in – your Savior. Let Him save you. Let Him bless you. Believe He wants to. Let Him carry your burdens.  Let Him feel – and take away – your pain. Let him give you His joy and pleasure instead.  Experience the JOY of His salvation that you feel in Psalms like Psalm 21. 

I “wrestle” with this topic too. But how much more peace we feel when we finally quit fighting, and just hang on and let him bless us. Something he wanted to do anyway - - before the fighting. 

Psalm 37:4

“Take delight in the LORD and He will give you your heart’s desire”

The majority of Psalm 21 is all about this.  I recommend you read it carefully.

Psalms 21:1-2

“The king shall have joy in Your strength, O YHVH;

And in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!

You have given him his heart's desire,

And have not withheld the request of his lips.”

Isaiah 58:14

Then you shall delight yourself in YHWH;

And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,

And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.

The mouth of YHWH has spoken."

Ahh, resting. Asking. Believing.  Trusting. Receiving.  It’s so hard to just rest in him and trust in Him and delight in what He’s doing—even when we can’t understand sometimes why it seems to hurt.  Trust Him.  He’s working out something good for you.  

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BANISH Satan from your Feast of Tabernacles!

Aah, if only we really could. But it’s an intriguing thought. While we’re at the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles), we’re picturing the millennial reign of the King of kings Yeshua (Jesus). Satan will have been banished by then (Revelation 20:1-3), before that reign begins.  But for the time being, that Adversary is still spewing his hate, suspicion and temptations – perhaps even to us who are picturing the time when he’s gone!

But here’s how we can at least reduce Satan’s presence and influence at the Feast, if not outright banish him.

--- Let’s PRAY Yeshua our king orders Satan to stay away from His feast sites.  Wouldn’t that be a great prayer to have answered?  Well, “you have not, for you ask not”, Yeshua said.  So ask. Remember the lessons from Job chapter 1, when Satan sarcastically reminds God that He had put a hedge around Job and had limited what Satan was allowed to do to Job (Job 1:6-12). Maybe Yah will do it for us today, if we but ask!  So ask. While you’re at it, pray for divine protection against feast trials, illnesses and accidents and to stay Satan’s hand. 

Click “continue reading” to the right for more ways to banish Satan or reduce his impact at least, from your feast.

--- RECOGNIZE we are in a huge war, but it is unseen spiritual forces we fight.  Just be more aware of this fact. You’re in a war. Fight the good fight.

Ephesians 6:10-13

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, THAT you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

--- “Therefore submit to God. RESIST the Devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7)  MONITOR your thoughts. Bring them into subjection to Yeshua. When you recognize un-Christ like thoughts, moods and attitudes starting – before you even resist those, submit yourself to the mind and heart of our Abba’s Way.  That comes first, before we fight Satan.  RESIST. Recognize the source of that evil. ALL evil starts from within, Yeshua said. So be aware, submit to God our Father and to Yeshua as your real Lord and Savior – and then resist Satan.  1 Peter 5:8-9 says “Satan goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he MAY devour. Him RESIST, grounded in the faith…”

--- Be aware of, and USE, the tools and weapons we have at our disposal to combat Satan while at the Feast.  The Feast is the last place we want to be getting so busy we have no time to pray, study and muse on the things of God. Going to church services can never replace the one-on-one time we must maintain with our Savior. And put on the whole armor of God. Too many of us, even I, all too often still go into spiritual battle without our full armor of God on!  How foolish and how dangerous that is.

--- Be aware that fatigue or lack of sleep can make us all behave less admirably.  Then when we do, we’re “sitting ducks” for the Adversary’s thoughts and moods.  Get your sleep and keep up your health at this Feast.

Much more can be said about this topic. But my main purpose was to just be sure we are very aware of Satan’s ploys, especially while at this Feast of Tabernacles – and then use the weapons we have at our disposal.  Have a wonderful feast, picturing an amazing time on earth, for 1000 years without Satan around.  That time will be starting not many more years from now. 

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WORSHIP during the Feast

WORSHIP during the Feast of Booths

Many of you who come to this site also keep the Feast of Booths (or Feast of Tabernacles), or Sukkot.  If you’re like many, you’ve traveled to a distant place after packing your bags and Bible. And you’ve also done some research into what is available to do and see while you’re there.  Of course you’re going to go to church services, but no doubt you’re looking forward also to the meals and outings and the things to do. 

You’ve probably also already planned some outings, socials, family get-togethers – on top of the group activities being planned.

That’s all fine and good. I just send this as a reminder. While we’re at Sukkot /Feast of Booths – remember WHY we’re there. There’s one place you don’t want to miss: the Holy of Holies of Heavenly Jerusalem. First and foremost, we are there to worship the King. That’s the prophesied reason the nations will send their people to Jerusalem after the King Yeshua sets up his reign:  to come and worship Him.

Zechariah 14:16

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, YHVH of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”

            The theme of worshiping is repeated in verse 17.

Also in John 12:20, it mentions those who had come to Jerusalem to worship at the Feast. That was also true of the Ethiopian eunuch – he had come to worship.

I know from my own decades of experiences at the Feast: it can get hectic. So hectic, you’re scrambling for time to pray and study. That’s the point of this blog. Don’t be up so late each night that you can’t get up early enough to have intense and fervent personal prayer.  Some people make the Feast a time to party so hard they don’t get enough sleep, or they’re sleepy during services or prone to get sick. Remember why you’re there. Don’t rely just on the group worship. Make time for your own personal devoted worship, prayer and Bible study. Even if it’s just 15-20 minutes at the start of the day. Make time for it. 

We are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33), Abba won’t be content to just have us wish we had made time for him. Make time. Put him first. Love him with all your heart, mind and soul. And worship the King – and His Son Yeshua – while at the Feast. Visit that exciting place:  the heavenly throne room. Talk to that exciting Being – the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, Abba our daddy.  Spend time with Yeshua, our Beloved King. 

One tip that will help you do this:  If you have children, offer ahead of time to take another family’s kids one day and they take yours on another different day. Use that day without your children after services – somewhere near the middle of the feast – to be able to do more intensive prayer and study, or even catch up on a nap for that matter, so you can enjoy the remaining days even more so. 

Whenever we did this, and we did do it a lot, it was one of those “best ideas” ever.  But that should be arranged early so everyone’s in the loop and knows what’s going on. I’m talking about one afternoon out of the 8 days! But it makes a world of difference.

Have a wonderful Sukkot/Feast of Booths everyone. And put first things first: personally worship the King, every single day and the other things you do will be put in their proper context.  And yes, go have fun and enjoy and celebrate everything the Feast pictures for us.

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Who worked on Atonement

Who worked HARD on the Day of Atonement?

Why? What does it mean?

Yah’s rule for the Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur (actually Yom Kippurim in the scriptures) – was that there be no work at all. Nobody was to do any work on this day.  This day was for the purification and atonement of the nation.  Passover in the spring was more a personal expiation and cleansing, but Atonement in the FALL was more for the entire nation.  I discuss the ramifications of this in the sermon about this Day of Atonement. 

 

You can read Leviticus 23:27-32.  In those few verses, God repetitively says not to work and it comes across like this: “There is to be NO work on this day! NO work! You get it? NO work. Anyone who works is in deep trouble! It’s a total of total rest, a sabbath of sabbaths (Shabbat shabbaton). Don’t work!” 

Leviticus 23:26-32

 

And YHVH spoke to Moses, saying: "Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to YHVH. And YOU shall do NO work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement FOR you before YHVH your God. 29 For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. And any person who does ANY work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. YOU shall do NO manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath."

 

However, ONE person DID do a lot of work. In fact a lot of attention was placed on this one hard working individual. Do you remember the story? And did you get the central point of that story?

 

Click on “continue reading” to the right to learn the identity of the one who worked hard on this day and who and what it all pictured. And WHY are we told not to do any work –but to rest-- on THIS day? It’s very important to grasp this very deep meaning.  You may be in for a revelation.

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The Joy of Yom Kippurim/the day of Coverings (Atonement)

Many in Judaism are feeling some apprehension about this day of Atonement.  It is called a “Shabbat shabbaton” – a Sabbath of Sabbaths.  The ultimate sabbath.  And it’s a most serious day, so they wonder: will they be in God’s Book of Life or not? 

Those of us who know Yeshua (Jesus) as the Lamb of God, and have accepted His blood over us to cleanse us from all sin, have indeed been reconciled with YHWH.  We can have the confidence our names ARE in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Look at the notes in the most recent Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement sermon for more proof and details on this.

We do not have to fear condemnation, for we have passed from death into life in him. Let Him continue the process and to completely change us “until Christ is formed in you”.  Our faith and confidence is in Him. We believe in the righteousness that is by faith.

This is a wonderful day that pictures the time when the whole world will be reconciled with the one true living God. He will start with Judah and the modern descendants of ancient Israel coming back to the Land together – as “one stick”.  Then the surrounding nations, one by one, until every nation on earth knows YHWH.  They will come to know King Yeshua, the King of Kings. 

Those of us who have already accepted Yeshua have already been sealed and have our names in His Book of Life. Hallelujah.  The spring holydays depict how God is working with a select few right now and bringing them first to reconciliation. What an honor.  Let’s cherish that high calling.

The Fall Holydays picture how King Yeshua will bring the whole world into the Kingdom Way of life. It will be their choice. He won’t have to force them.  Sure, there will be blessings and cursings, but the decision to surrender, repent and obey Him will be theirs. You and I will be there helping teach the Way. The best way to teach something is to live it. That’s the hard part – but that’s what makes it, and you and I, real. 

The day of Atonement is a time to focus on Yeshua and what He has done for us and will do for the nations when he returns. It’s not a time to focus on traditions, or even on sin – except to focus on how He has opened a way to cover all our sins for all time. Once and for all. 

In this we can have great joy. Amen and amen.

Have a wonderful Feast of Booths and 8th day.  I’ll have more live, fresh messages after the feast, though I will be sending some blogs to the website from time to time. 

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Day of Atonement – “Yom Kippur”– the day of Coverings.

Be watching for a new sermon on the powerful meaning of this most solemn and sacred of the holydays.  It’s a day of fasting and seeking after God as we “afflict our souls”.

For those of you keeping the rabbinic postponement calendar, this day is Oct 4, 2014.  For those who do not observe the moved dates, we will be keeping it on Monday Oct 6, from Sunday evening at sundown to Monday evening at sundown.  Whichever day you feel led to keep, it is a day of solemn rest, no work, and no food or drink for 24 hours.Details in the sermon.

It’s vital that you just don’t go 24 hours without food and drink. It’s vital that you use that day to spend extra time on your knees. 

I’ve always likened Yom Kippur as the time the world begins to “get it”, to wake up, to repent, to come back to their Maker – after King Yeshua has returned in majesty and power with his saints, angels and his Bride. The Bride of Christ has already received her covering and forgiveness and oneness with our Maker at Passover. The anger against our sin was covered by the blood back then – in a very personal way. 

But now the world will see what it’s like when Satan is bound (Revelation 20:1-3) and his evil and negative broadcasts cease. And God will show his very merciful side to a world that is going to learn that sin causes God’s wrath. And that God’s wrath needs to be satisfied – as that is his perfect justice.  But then the world will be taught what we have learned, that all the wrath against my sin and yours, was satisfied in the sacrifice of Yeshua, who died for ME (as Paul says in Galatians 2:20).  Yeshua (Jesus) took upon himself ALL the anger, the wrath and the punishment for my sin.  When I accepted him as my Savior, my sins were placed on him, God’s wrath was placed on him, and he “became sin” for me (2 Cor. 5:20-21).  HE (Yeshua) who knew no sin became sin that we – who knew no righteousness – could receive and be the righteousness of God himself, in HIM.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin [Yeshua] to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

There are so many of you who have a hard time accepting this!  Yeshua (Jesus) became sin for us so that WE might become the very righteousness of GOD – in HIM. We’re going to teach this to the world. It won’t be all that long now, probably less than 2 decades away. But whenever it is, whether in 5-10 years, or 15-20 years, or whenever God wants it to be, let’s be faithful in accepting His grace and the meaning of this Day of Coverings. 

Yeshua, or Jesus Christ, accomplished this covering for us through great pain and suffering on his part – for us. Because of the atoning sacrifice and covering of the blood of Yeshua, the wrath against sin was satisfied and we have been brought close to our Abba and into the very family of God Most High as beloved children.

This Day of Atonement is all about knowing we sinned, so we repent, turn around, and accept Yeshua as our Lord and Master. We ask him to be our covering. I’ve often called him our “covering”.  This is one of the main ways how: his blood covers and – more than that – takes away our sins. 

So we fast, to mourn the sins we have all brought on this world and against God. We fast to mourn and remember what Satan has wrought on all of us when we, through Adam and Eve, chose to follow him instead of our Creator. But this is primarily something the world will be doing. WE will be the Bride of Christ, teaching and leading the world to their Master and Savior, and sharing our experiences in coming to know Messiah. 

Be watching for the Atonement sermon. It’s actually a Yom Kippurim – a day of coverings, plural.  Learn all about it.  It’s a grand day. I’ll also get into the truth of the Bible vs. the Jewish traditions about Days of Awe and all that. There are also sermons from previous years you can find. Just type in the search bar at the upper left – Atonement – or even Yom Kippur – and search out those timeless messages.

King and Master Yeshua, we exalt and honor you on this day as our Covering. We seek you and express our love and obedience to you and your Way. Come, Master.  Come. This dying world needs you to come be the ruler of this world and put Satan away!  Come, Master. 

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Ebola Lessons

URGENT Bible Lessons from the EBOLA scare

Many of you reading this are on the way to group meetings for the Feast of Booths, or Sukkot in Hebrew.  There has been the recent news about Ebola coming to the USA through a man who reportedly did not fill out his departure papers truthfully. He did not admit to having been with a person with Ebola or Ebola symptoms prior. And now lots of folks in Dallas, TX are being monitored.  And since then, an NBC newsman has contracted Ebola and is on his way back to the USA.  And our president is thinking of sending thousands of our troops to those stricken areas to help out – and then our troops will be brought back into the USA.    

For the life of me, I think for the WORLD’S health sake, the western African countries who sadly are facing this horrible crisis would be wise to self-quarantine: to keep their people from traveling until the Ebola is brought under control. Our own US jets should not be going there. How do you sanitize a jet, the cargo hold?  How many are potentially being put at risk? Not just the passengers, but the baggage handlers at both ends, airport staff at both ends, and on and on. In this day and age, we have made it easier for viruses to hop across entire oceans in hours. So quarantine those 3 countries from international air travel.

Here’s why I say that:  Though we know someone without symptoms is not contagious, we know someone already exposed may not actually show symptoms for 2-21 days – and then they ARE contagious.  So someone could leave Liberia, let’s say – feeling fine but having been exposed – and not having any symptoms. But then when he arrives in Europe or the USA or wherever he’s going, within a few days he does display symptoms, is now contagious with a horrible disease, and he/she has just brought this incurable disease to another part of the world.

We also know that the questions asked, before allowing people to board an airplane from those areas, is all based on the “honor system”.  If someone lies, thinking if they tell the truth they’ll not be allowed to leave the country, then the whole system falls apart. People lie. Why should the whole health of the world be dependent on 100% of respondents being 100% truthful?  And again, even if they are being truthful, they could be a carrier and not know it – until a week or two later. 

We know the Bible tells us in the last days there will be plagues and death by illness that will make the Bubonic Plague seem like a rehearsal. Terrorists will volunteer themselves as epidemic carriers. You watch.  If they’re not afraid to blow themselves up, why would they hesitate to use themselves to spread disease?  So we might as well realize it’s going to happen more and more and God’s children need to be prepared.  But also never forget this: you ARE a child of Almighty God. He certainly is prepared to protect his children. Having said that, and more on that later, there are practical steps each of us should be taking as the foretold epidemics begin to hit closer and closer to home.

Click on “Continue reading” to the right to learn some practical steps from the Bible to help handle the Ebola scare or any other coming epidemics.  Learn, what in the end, will be our strongest safeguard? 

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Why Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) is called a “memorial”

This divine appointment day (festival) is interesting in many fronts.  Most have forgotten the Biblical name of Yom Teruah – Day of Shouts and blasts – and have replaced it with the non-Biblical name Rosh Hashanah.  ON this website, we still use the Bible name for this day – Yom Teruah, the Day of Blasts. 

Here are a few things that make this day so unique:

--- It’s the only festival that starts on the new moon. That’s why I want to be sure I’m keeping it starting on the day of the first visible new moon and not on a day moved by rabbis who did not acknowledge the Messiah with their 4 Rules of Postponement.  Remember that a “new moon” in Bible days was readily acknowledged in much of their written histories as being the time when the moon once more was giving visible light after 1-3 days of darkness.  

--- It’s the holyday with no reason given for its observance.  We’re just told to keep it, to rest, and to make it a day (Yom) of blasts/noise, blowing (Teruah).   We’re plainly told the reasons for keeping Passover, Days of unleavened Bread, Shavuot – Pentecost, Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Booths for example – but nothing is said to explain the purpose of this festival. Mankind has come up with many conjectures and explanations, but I’m just saying, the Bible doesn’t anywhere say, “This is why I want you to keep Yom Teruah”.  We’re simply told to observe it with a holy meeting, keep it like a Sabbath rest and don’t work on it, and make it a memorial of blowing.  (Leviticus 23:23-25)

Leviticus 23:23-25

Then YHWH spoke to Moses, saying, 24 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest,a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to YHWH.'"

--- It’s also said to be a day of “a memorial of teruah (blasts)” – usually translated as “a memorial of blowing of trumpets”.  Keep in mind the word “trumpets” is nowhere in the original Hebrew about this day. We know 2 silver trumpets were blown on all the holydays but on this day they also blew the shofar, the ram’s horn, over and over. Today the Jews blow their shofar 100 times on this one day. 

But why is it called a memorial of blasts?  The scriptures don’t tell us.  The Hebrew work is Strong’s # 2146 – zikkaronor zichron– meaning memorial, remembrance, record, or reminder.  It was used to help people remember past significant events or to bring certain things to mind. Joshua’s stone monuments (Josh 4:7) were a zikkaron. Written records were a zikkaron (Ex 17:14; Esther 6:1).  Really it pointed to events that were pivotal points in God’s working with man.

Here are some points to consider.

(Click on “continue reading” to read the rest of the blog).

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Are we READY for the King’s return?

The last trumpet blast shall sound, the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible spirit, and holy angels will be swooping down to collect the Bride of Christ, to be with Him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Matthew 24:30-31).  Many of us believe we are then whisked to God’s heaven where we marry Christ and THEN return triumphantly with our Maker – most likely on the Feast of Trumpets/Yom Teruah –in a future year that is rapidly approaching.

Are you ready to return with the Messiah ben David, the son of David but also the Son of God, to land on the Mount of Olives? Will you and I be there?  You will, if your name is entered into the Book of Life

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 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.”

If you answered “absolutely, yes, no question I’m ready for the King” – I’d ask you to be certain and look again. I say this because the condition of those waiting for the bridegroom, whose coming is delayed according to Christ’s own parable in Matthew 25:5, is alarming. All ten virgins slept. Even the wise ones. NONE of the ten were awake and ready. None. Let that sink in.

Yeshua also openly wonders out loud if He’ll find faith on the earth when he returns (Luke 18:8). Prophecies say in the end time “love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).  Not a pretty state of the world – or the church. Look at Revelation 2-3 about the 7 churches. The Laodicean brethren are lukewarm and self-satisfied with their state. The Sardis believers are almost dead. Even Philadelphia has little strength. The churches before those are in various stages of allowing sin into their midst, except for Smyrna. You get the picture. The end time description of God’s people is nothing to write home about. That’s you. That’s me.

So I say “no”. I’m not ready, and I don’t see many who truly are.  They’re more committed to updating Facebook, or their prophetic timelines and charts, perhaps, than they are in growing closer to their Savior and Abba, their heavenly Daddy.

And yet, though our Master says he will return at a time “you think not” (Matthew 24:44), he also tells us through Paul that His coming should NOT come as a surprise to those who walk in the light (1 Thessalonians 5:1-5).  So it appears that unless we are very close to Him, many will be caught off guard and unprepared.

The point of this blog is to remind us of what Yeshua our King said: “BE ready” (Matthew 24:44).  We all can trend to think in terms of “I’ve got time to GET ready…later”, but that could be a disastrous way to think.

We’re now in the 7th month of the Hebrew Calendar. We are now coming before our Master on 4 holydays in rapid succession.  Be sure to hear this year’s and last year’s messages on the meaning of Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets.  There’s overlap in both sermons, but also different focus in each one as well as we keep His holydays.

And yes, here we refer to them as “HOLY days”, divine appointments, not “holidays”. Now more than ever is the time to be waking up; to be trimming off the dead wicks from our lights and lamps so our lights shine brightly.  It’s time to be putting on the wedding garments granted to us. We need to be covering ourselves with our Master.

Yeshua (Jesus) is our Covering. HE is our husband. HE is our Master. HE is our King. He is our Savior.  HE is LORD of LORDS, King of Kings, for all praise and honor and glory forever and ever, Amen!  HE is what this day is all about to the glory of our Almighty God in the Highest, our dear Abba, and Father of the House of God. 

Click to the right “Continue Reading” to read the conclusion of “Are you READY?”  We’ll define what “being ready” means.

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Science in the Bible

 Many people think the Bible was just written by men thousands of years ago. But it may surprise you how amazingly scientific the Scriptures are.  Of course, the Creator inspired its writing.  In fact, we’re told that every wordin the original copies at least – was “God-breathed” (that’s what the Greek means) -- 2 Timothy 3:16.   In so many cases our Father’s Word reveals knowledge that wouldn’t be understood by everyday mankind until thousands of years after the Bible was written.  

Certainly the “signature of God” is written all around us in His creation.  He is the ultimate Scientist, the unequaledArtist. The more you look at what God has touched, the more reverent you will be of His great power.  I believe it takes far more faith to believe in godless evolution than to believe in our awesome Creator, the Great Designer and Architect of everything that is out there. Whether you thrill over the pictures coming back from the Hubble telescope or peer into the world seen only with powerful microscopes, God’s hand is everywhere. 

Let’s take a look at a few of the many examples of Science in the Bible. 

The ancients – especially those of other religions – believed the earth was supported on the back of a turtle, or on the back of Atlas of Greek mythology or other such nonsense.  But God’s Word teaches nothing of the kind. 

Job 26:7-8

“He stretches out the north over empty space;

He hangs the earth on nothing.

He binds up the water in His thick clouds,

Yet the clouds are not broken under it.”

For thousands of years before scientists discovered it, Scripture told us the earth hangs on nothing.  

Scientists have known for decades, since Edwin Hubble discovered this information in 1929, that the universe is continuing to expand. But most astronomers assumed the universewas surely expanding ever more slowly over time. But in 1998, with the Hubble telescope and its discoveries, we learned the universe is actually expanding ever faster!  But what force is pulling it outward?  There was no explanation.  Finally scientists decided to name it “Dark Energy”. They can’t see it, but they can see its effects!  More is still unknown about Dark Energy than what we know.

In fact, the vast majority of the universe is made up of Dark Energy and Dark Matter – neither of which we can see! You can Google it and learn about it.  The evidence is clearly there that most of what is in the universe is not visible. And we know that something is holding the vast universe together, though we can’t see it either.  Our great Creator inspired Paul to say this very thing 2,000 years ago:
 

Hebrews 11:3

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

We also know that “something” is holding the universe together. Scientists can’t quite explain exactly what that “something” is, however, for it is also invisible. 

Your Savior—Yes, Yeshua (Jesus) -- is the one who holds the creation together. Isn’t He powerful and amazing? Praise you, Yeshua! 

Colossians 1:17

“He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.”  (Holman version)

CJB says “He existed before all things, and HE holds everything together. 

Be sure to click on “Continue reading” to the right to read the other inspiring science of the Bible. And remember this is just a tiny portion of what is available. 

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“When you Enter”(Ki Tavo) and becoming His special treasure

In this week’s readings in synagogues and even among many Hebraic roots groups, many will be reading Deuteronomy 26:1- through 29:9; and also Isaiah 60:1-22.  Those who believe in Yeshua will also be reading Luke 23:26-56.

I thought this weeks’ reading was particularly interesting.  This week’s reading is called “Ki Tavo” – the Hebrew for “When you enter” from Deut. 26:1. The Israelites must have been ready to enter the Promised Land after 40 years of testing and trials in the rough wilderness, even though their Creator was with them in the shadowing cloud and warm fire by night.  It was tough.  This week’s reading focuses on what is our JOY and expectation – that WE TOO are about to cross over, to enter into the Promises. I hope this blog will inspire you rekindle the hope of when WE enter into all his promises fully.

Aren’t you ready?  Haven’t you had enough of this world’s ways, the brutality, the terrorism of Al-Qaeda and ISIL and all the aches and pains of this life?  I am. Aren’t you ready for the reign of Yeshua (Jesus) the King over all the earth, instead of the politics, lies and corruption of our elected or self-appointed leaders around the world?  I am. 

Last week’s reading gave the many instructions about how we are to treat the poor, elderly and needy who come into our lives.  This week is about looking ahead to what is about to happen and being prepared in our lives and hearts for this crossing over into the kingdom of God on earth. I’m not saying that’s about to happen tomorrow or in the next few years even, but it’s certainly getting closer and I am praying “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Right now, there’s a lot happening on earth that is not the will of God, for this is Satan’s world—for a short time longer.  But the time is coming soon when the 7th trumpet will sound and loud voices in heaven will proclaim at that time that “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ and HE shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). I can’t wait!!  Hallelujah!  As we prepare for the holydays in the Fall we will be rehearsing all of this, so be watching for blogs and sermons on all of this coming up. 

This week’s Torah portion “Ki Tavo” – “when you Enter”  -- reminds me of the fact that very name “Hebrew” comes from the Hebrew word “Ivri” – which comes from the root I-V-R in Hebrew which means “to cross over”. Abraham had to come to a new land and cross over the Jordan River (the Yarden, in Hebrew). The Israelites, in taking the new land, had to CROSS OVER the Yarden River (Jordan River) – Joshua 3:15-17. John, the Voice in the Wilderness immersed people in this same RIVER – THE CROSSING OVER river, if you will (Mark 1:4-5). Think about the significance of that: he baptized in the river that means “the Crossing Over”.

I’ll have an entire blog on this sometime soon. But for now, we are all spiritual Hebrews, spiritual Israel, if we have accepted Yeshua as our King and Savior.  We are all crossing over and have crossed over from this world’s ways into THE Way of our King.  We have crossed over from death into life. It’s about the theme of this reading: “When you enter”, Ki Tavo – and all it means.

When we cross over to the NEW and living Way, there has to be an inward change. This 6th month of Elul is the time of deep repentance, seeking after our God with fasting and prayer and a renewed commitment to really let Him change us, from the inside out. Thus we are circumcised in our hearts.  Conversion is an “inside job”, if you will.

When we accept Yeshua, our Abba in heaven applies and pays the ultimate price for you to become His special treasure. Yes, YOU. If you’re like me, we can often feel like we are a total failure spiritually as there are so many areas of our lives where we still need to change and overcome. So many areas where we still fall short of the mark. But in spite of all that, you have been bought with a price, and you are no longer your own.  The price paid for you:  the life of the Word of God, who was God, and was with God, and became flesh (John 1:1-3, 14), so he could pay your penalty for you and live again for you!  Though you fail, he does not. More on that later.

When you pay a lot for something that becomes a treasured possession to you.  You will guard it, keep it, protect it, and cherish it. The one true God paid the highest price for YOU. God in heaven sees YOU as his cherished possession, who has crossed over (IVR – Ivri – Hebrew) from this world to His Way.  That’s all in the reading for this sabbath. In our crossing over, we have proclaimed our commitment to live HIS way, follow His teachings, laws and commandments (Deut 26:15-17).

Be sure to click on “Continue reading” – to the right to learn more about our spiritual crossing over and living with the confidence and hope of being His special treasure. 

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6th Month

The deep meaning of the Hebrew 6th month of Elul that we’re in right now.

 

We are currently well into the month of Elul, the 6th month of the Hebrew calendar.  Why do I bring this up?

Most of you who read our blogs and hear our sermons realize we also practice what Yeshua (Jesus) and Paul and the early believers practiced:  they kept God’s 7th day Sabbath and God’s holydays. So even in the New Testament we read of the Passover (Pesach), of Pentecost (Shavuot) – the birthday of the new covenant ekklesia and we know that the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) will be kept during Christ’s millennial reign (Zechariah 14:16-19). 

The 7th month of the Hebrew month is called Tishri. It often begins around our mid-late September (which has whispers of “7th” in its very name).  The Hebrew 7th month is the month when the final 4 Biblical holydays or festivals are all kept in rapid succession.  It’s a time of union and worship to our great God and Savior.

Traditionally, the month before all that -- the 6th Hebrew month Elul -- is a time of deep repentance and for preparing ourselves for these coming holy days. If you wish to read WHY it is the time of repentance and turning, BE SURE to hear my short sermon on this very topic given in August 2013Just type “ELUL” into the search bar and the audio sermon and notes will pop up for you.  Or control-click on this link:

http://www.lightontherock.org/index.php/component/preachit/message/elul-vital-lessons-before-the-fall-holydays?Itemid=

It would be a great topic to review this sabbath or next, and be sure you’re ready for the Fall holydays and for all they represent. Learn what happened in the past that made this 6th month period of time so important for seeking fervently after God.  Learn of its connection to preparing for the “Day of the Lord”. Learn about Haggai 1, written during the 6th month. Hear the connection between this month we’re in now with the temple past and future; with Moses’ 2nd trip up Mt Sinai and what happened when he came down the 2nd time—at around the time of the 6th month.  And there’s much more!

The Hebrews call it a time of “Teshuvah” – or repentance.  In Hebrew, teshuvah has the meaning of turning; both turning from sin but also turning TO our Master. It’s a time to forgive others. Now is the time more than ever to confess our sins to our Maker and ask forgiveness and power to overcome, even as we accept the sacrifice of our Master who took all our sins on himself. 

Don’t MISS this meaningful 6th month – the month of Elul in the Hebrew calendar. 

Then in a few short weeks, we’ll be into the 7th month – starting with the new moon (no moon visible in Biblical definitions of “new moon”).  And before you know it, we’re keeping the Day of Atonement and then the Feast of Tabernacles and then the 8th Day feast. 

This website has many sermons about the Fall holydays. On the Home page – see “Messages and Transcripts SERIES”, then click on “Annual Holydays and Feasts of YHVH”.  I hope you’ll avail yourself of the many sermons we have archived in here ready for you to feed on and enjoy. 

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Does Scripture require women to wear a VEIL or other head covering? 1 Cor. 11:2-16

In many Christian and Hebraic Roots and Messianic groups, women worship in church services with their heads veiled or covered. Certainly we know Islamic women veil themselves, and in some cases all you can see are the eyes of the woman. What does scripture say about women wearing a veil for spiritual times? The Bible does discuss having a “covering”, but is a veil, hat, or some other form of man-made covering required?  And if so, for what purpose? If not, then why is a covering mentioned?

Always first pray for understanding and light whenever you look to God’s Word for guidance.  Guidance should always be from God’s word - not just someone’s opinion.

Here’s the main text used by both sides to shore up their teaching.  Key: the context of the early verses of 1 Cor. 11 is about submission to God and to one another. The head covering, whatever that is, is to show you are obediently under submission to God and to those He has placed over us. We are ALL under God and we are all to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21).Wives are told in Eph 5:22-24 to submit to their own husband as to Christ.Husbands are to give of themselves and love their wife as Christ does the church (Eph 5:25-28).  As you’ll see, this matter of submission has everything to do with a woman’s head covering.

The head of the wife/woman is the man/husband (v.3). The Greek word translated “woman” and “man” here are the same Greek words translated elsewhere as “wife” and “husband”. 

Let’s look at the text of scripture and we’ll comment a bit on it later.

1 Corinthians 11:2-12

“Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.

5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.

6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.

10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.

Let me talk about submission for a minute, then back to the point of head covering.  Even in marriage, two separate individuals are to become one – to work as a perfect team, as partners.  Paul makes very clear in verses 11-12 that men need women and vice versa. We’re not independent of each other.  Pastors are not to lord it over the flock but serve as overseers (1 Peter 5:2-4).  The younger are to submit to the older (1 Peter 5:5), and Peter goes on to say, “in fact, all of you be submissive to one another, in all humility”. So anything I say after this must be with the understanding that we are all to be humble to each other and submit to one another.

So the man isnot to “lord it over” his wife, though in times past I used to. My wife is part of me and I am part of her. I listen to her and many times I change the direction I was going in because of her wise counsel.  I’d be stupid not to, when a wiser view at times is shown.  She likewise submits to my lead many times in a week. Two minds are better than one.  If I never listened to my wife, why would she be needed? Only a stupid man would insist his wife say nothing and always just “submit”. But having said that, scripture is also clear that the husband is the head of the home, under Christ, who is under God the Father (verse 3). And of course Christ is really the head of all of us – men or women. And all of us also bow the knee to God the Father as Supreme Head of all.  It’s just that women also have their husband as another head besides Christ.

More on this in a minute. It will come to bear on this topic.

Click Continue Reading to the right here – to finish this blog and to learn what is clearly stated is the head covering for women. Also whether men should wear a prayer shawl or head covering.

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