The Feast of Purim



The Feast of Purim

The story of Purim is found in the Book of Esther, neatly tucked away between Nehemiah and Job. Purim celebrates the courage and faith displayed by Mordecai (from the tribe of Benjamin) and Queen Esther (they were cousins). It recognizes God’s continued faithfulness and promise of Jewish preservation. What makes the Book of Esther so unique is that the name of God is not mentioned even once throughout the entire story. While there are no O.T. references for the Book of Esther, there is one possible N.T. reference which demands a critical eye. This is found in John 5:1 “After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem”.  Some scholars say this verse can refer to Purim which would point to Yeshua having indeed celebrated this feast. How interesting, that this feast in John 5 is unnamed. Perhaps this is to keep in line with the fact that God is unnamed in the Book of Esther itself.
In spite of much scholarly criticism, we believe that the Book of Esther is a part of God’s inspired Word. There is historical data to authenticate this event, most of which centers around the information on Xerxes. Historical writings refer to his large harem in Shushan, his irrational temper and his drinking parties. On the flip side, there is no evidence from any other outside source to contradict this story.   


The Fall Feasts of Israel

When God gave the Mosaic Law to Israel, He was very generous. Among the many commandments, He also gave the Jews many holidays; along with the weekly Sabbath, there were many feasts to commemorate and celebrate. These were set or appointed times, what the Hebrew calls Moedim, selected times when the individual would stop all his works to rest and even rejoice.


Rejoicing on the Birth Day of the Church! Happy Feast of Shavuot!

Shavuot 2016 Torah and wheat
By: J.Isaac Gabizon

What does a Jewish feast (Shavuot/Pentecost) have to do with the congregation of God, the Church? A lot! On the eve of Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 we will have the privilege to add yet one more birthday candle to the more than 2000 that have, these many years, been illuminating the new and true Temple of God, the Church, which is Yeshua’s Body.

Birth Pangs of Fantastic Fortune

It’s true that birthdays can be harrowing and even deadly for some; the baker was killed on Pharaoh’s birthday (Gen. 40:20-23) and John the Baptist had his life taken on Herod’s birthday (Matt.14:6-11). But birthdays can also be beautiful events as seen when God rescued Israel from her bondage and then birthed and fashioned a nation for His purposes. Then fourteen hundred years later, God sent the Messiah who by the Spirit begat a people; a creation birthed by design. Eve was fashioned from the rib of Adam. Likewise, through the remnant of Israel, and through the New Covenant, God grafted the nations into the place of blessing, calling the Jewish/Gentile Church into existence. And what a miraculous entity this is; a birth to truly celebrate! We the Church are not only called His bride but we are Messiah’s own Body, tied together by the strongest eternal bonds possible.

This was a new institution of men, women, and children, transformed by the now permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit, germinated for the express purpose of teaching the world that it needed a Savior, and by the power now vested in it, it was to set the example of unconditional love and forgiveness. It was the birth of a dynamic organization driven by love and molded by the miracles of a daily transformation that it was to undergo.


The Spring Feasts of Israel



What is the major difference between the feasts mentioned in Column 1 and Column 2?

If you answered that Column 1’s feasts take place in the Spring, while Column 2’s feasts take place in the Fall you would be correct. But there is something else!

If you have figured out that Column 1’s feasts have already been fulfilled, while Column 2’s feasts are still waiting for their prophetic fulfillment, then you are an eschatology buff.

This year, the first Feast of Israel, Passover, will be observed April 10-17. Here is something remarkable concerning the correlation between the passage in the Hebrew Scripture and its fulfillment in the Messiah.


At Least to One Jew


By Jacques Isaac Gabizon


In Montreal, there are about 100,000 Jews, and we are often confronted by this question: “Why should we go to the Jew first? Isn’t 
Romans 1:16 purely historical?” The underlying argument is that we are perhaps being too exclusive in our outreach and way too sympathetic and partisan to the Jew first. I often ask our brothers and sisters in the faith who object to this approach if they have had opportunity to witness to at least one Jewish person. Lo and behold, most of them confess that they do know perhaps one, two, or more Jewish people, but they cannot confirm that they have ever approached them with the gospel. So I encourage them, and arguing from Romans 1:16, I point out that they ought very well to include the Jews within all the people groups who need to hear the Word. They must not themselves be so tendentious. In light of the great commission given by Yeshua, all nations were to be reached with the gospel, barring none.


A New Hope Mapped Out

You don’t need to understand Hebrew

to read the writing on this wall…

(A map of the world indicating the status of Israel’s foreign relations, as presented to the Knesset by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 25, 2016. This map is a copy of which was made available to The Times of Israel, July 27. 2016.)


So many things are changing these days, and quickly, too. Fast food menus like those coming from McDonald’s are catering to a new breed of health buffs who need to conform to the latest nutritional suggestions. Now they offer butter and unbleached flour. They change up the menu and excite the consumer with even more options, offering hope through change. The food industry isn’t alone in its make-overs. On the other side of the coin and with a more global yet gloomy picture, we see political changes, economic collapses, and climate changes to name just a few, which cause a fretful anticipation of the uncontrollable unknown.

With that in mind it should not be so surprising to hear Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu give a rosy picture of Israel in relationship to the nations of the world at his foreign press conference speech at the start of 2016. Here Netanyahu gave a short synopsis of the world’s changed attitude with respect to Israel. “In 1975, Israel basically had diplomatic relations with two sets of countries – the countries of North America (the United States and Canada, of course), and of course the countries of Western Europe. Today, we have relations with the countries of Asia…, of Central and Eastern Europe, and there is something very big that’s taken place. We have now very close relations with China, India, Japan, Russia, just about every country in Africa, and increasingly with the Arab countries. We have growing and expanding relations with many of the Arab countries in the Middle East.”


Our God is an Awesome God


Imagine for a moment, that you are planning to go see a 3-D movie. You have heard so much about it, all the special effects and pop-ups that have made this movie a must-see. However, once you come to the cinema, you choose to watch the film without the 3-D glasses.  Much of the dazzling effects will be missed and you will leave the theatre disappointed, cross and cross-eyed!   Similarly, we as believers stand to lose out from seeing the marvelous and awesome wonders of God when we forget to see Him through the wonder of His love. This is so vital, since all the wonders that the Lord does for us and through us cannot be fully appropriated and appreciated unless we understand His wonder-filled love that forms the root of His every work. Missing out on that may leave us dry and once again disappointed. 


Preserving God’s Grace


Mel  Gibson’s movie, The Passion, depicting the life of the Messiah,   sparked irate controversies as to whether it was anti-Semitic in nature. Gibson used “artistic license” to reinterpret many scenes from the Gospels, thus stirring resentment in those who guard the literal interpretation of these events as sacred. The use of artistic license though, does not always  spark high criticisms.  William Shakespeare’s historical  plays, for example, use artistic license and grossly distort the historical facts of the times, but because of their highly esteemed literary value, they have been hailed as great works throughout the centuries.


When it comes to Bible translation, we cannot afford the liberties that such a license promotes. The Word of God is inerrant, divinely inspired and meant to be understood and interpreted according to the specific chosen Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words found in its texts. We have paid a high price because of those who have used this license to interpret the Scriptures in an allegorical (non-literal) fashion. Consequently, we find ourselves struggling to decide such things as when the Messiah will return, if indeed He will return at all to the earth, or when the Rapture will occur, if indeed it will occur at all. Another area of doctrine adversely affected by allegory is Israel’s position in and outside the Body of Messiah. Is she still chosen or has she been replaced? To whom do God’s covenantal blessings of the Old Testament belong, and is there any future for national Israel?


The Trees that are Slow to Grow Bear the Best Fruit – Molière


How patient should we be? To what extent is godly patience practiced? How many chances should we give to someone who knowingly has bad intentions and wants to harm us? Very often, we act hastily at the first hint of an offense, and we are quick to condemn. Is our patience contained in a shallow vase that needs only a few drops more to overflowing which then pulls the trigger of condemnation? To bring truth even closer to the surface, we need to question the extent to which partiality plays in our rush to rebuke one and not the other. Our quick sentencing of others shows that we are not much better than they are.

What then, should we do when we are confronted with an abuse that makes our hair stand? We turn to the Word of God to find both answer and example; the example of perfect patience, one that is without partiality. This divine attribute is fully developed and exposed in the life of Messiah Yeshua. Our Messiah was  in  fact,  confronted  face  to  face  with  such  an  individual  –  an  individual  who    followed  Him throughout all His ministry, perpetrating a crime that would be remembered as one of the worst ones in the annals of  human history. The offender in question here is Judas Iscariot, who sells the Son of God for what was at the time, the price of a dead slave; 30 pieces of silver.


The Ten Signs at the Cross

10 Signs at the Cross article

The sanctified signature of the Creator surfaced once again with His autograph of love, a relentless appeal for all men to come to salvation.  And this call persists, despite the mistreatments and insults on the person of the Messiah. Oxymoronically, Yeshua’s attempts to bring those  to a  saving knowledge increased as His  own suffering increased. As Yeshua was dying on the cross a series of miracles occurred in the city of Jerusalem. Even at the time of His greatest suffering and in death itself, His pursuit and purpose did not lose foresight, and these signs at the crucifixion prove it.