Salvation in Samaria

This passage is what I consider to be the most powerful message of Shavuot.

We know that Jesus celebrated each of the feasts of God in Leviticus 23, since He was under the Law. The gospels tell us what He was doing during and teaching one of those years, at the time of the feast of Shavuot.

On that occasion, He taught and trained the disciples about of the work of the ekklesia (church) that was to be born. It is extraordinary that He gave the teaching in what was considered then to be a foreign territory to the Jewish people. Surely, this was to prepare the disciples for the worldwide work of the new institution to come.

The teaching is found in the fourth chapter of John when Yeshua was in Samaria. What was Jesus doing in Samaria at Shavuot? He was leaving Judea to go to Galilee, but Jews would not usually go through Samaria. Religious Jews would take the longer route through Perea to the east because they despised the Samaritans, who also despised the Jews. These groups were always at odds with each other.


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The Triumphant Son

 

As the Spirit comes onto Yeshua, something wonderful happens. The Messiah and the Rouach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) are united with the Bat Qol, the voice from heaven.

We read in Mark 1:11 these beautiful words,

“You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

This is huge!

First, notice who is present: we have Yeshua, the Spirit, and the Father from heaven. Their presence is a fulfilled prophecy from one of the clearest passages in the Hebrew Scriptures speaking of the nature of God.

The three we see are mentioned in one other verse which speaks of the inauguration of the work of the Messiah in Isaiah 48:16:

“Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit have sent Me.”

Most rabbinical commentators see this verse as describing the prophet himself being sent by the Lord and His Spirit. But Isaiah’s anointing already happened back in chapter 6, and this prophet did not and never could, as a man, save Israel.

Isaiah 48 falls right in the section dealing with the Servant of God, between chapters 40 and 53 of Isaiah. Here we have the Lord God, His Spirit, and the One who is sent, the Messiah. Five chapters later, in Isaiah 53, the One who is sent dies for Israel and the world, and is then resurrected.


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The Coming Holy Spirit

 

“I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:8

This verse brings an eruption of countless of references from the Hebrew Scriptures, like a blast of truth from the past.

To begin with, John the Baptist mentions the Holy Spirit who the Jewish people of the time knew as the Shekinah Glory. They were expecting the Shekinah at the time of the Messianic era with the Messiah’s coming.

The word Shekinah comes from the word mishkan meaning to dwell. It is the same root as the word for Tabernacle or Temple. This was the place where God dwelt. Some 500 years after the Holy Spirit departed from the first Temple, John the Baptist prophesied that He was coming back, but not to dwell in a building made with hands but rather living inside the person. It would start with Yeshua and then continue on in all those individuals who believe in Yeshua.


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I am Coming!

 

Let us open the Gospel of Mark and see how the Ruach HaKodesh brings us to that moment of the Messiah’s first coming.

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the Prophet: Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.” The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’ ” Mark 1:1-3

After declaring that the coming of the Messiah is likened to a new beginning, like the dawn of a new era, Mark brings us to two crucial passages from the Hebrew Scriptures which also speak of a new beginning in the history of messianic prophecies.


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NATO is Growing

We have often spoken of those rumors of wars around us, and they are roaring louder and louder. Without sounding as too much of an alarmist, it would seem that western countries are increasingly setting themselves up for a major conflict with the East, with Russia at its head.

Two weeks ago, two neutral countries, Sweden which has been neutral for 200 years and Finland, both spoke of intending on applying for membership to NATO, which has become the archenemy of Russia.

In return, Russia has warned there will be consequences should they join NATO, whose mandate is that an attack on one of its allies is like an attack on all. Russia sees this as a threat to its security. Let’s not forget that Russia said they will use nuclear weapons if they feel their security is jeopardized.


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The Uniqueness of Mark’s Gospel

The Historical Present

How does Mark compare with the other gospels and why do we need a fourth gospel? What is so exceptional about this one?

This is when we encounter a sad problem. Since about 90% of the material in Mark is found in Matthew and Luke, this book has not been considered as relevant. Furthermore, while throughout history we can find many collections of thoughts that were written down about this book, it is only in the Middle Ages when commentaries on this book began appearing.  

For many hundreds of years and even up to today, people must have questioned why they should read Mark when there is so little unique information given. Instead, they may choose to only read the fuller accounts. That would be a great mistake!


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God’s Land, Israel

Last week the modern state of Israel celebrated her 74th year of Independence, Yom Ha’atzmaut. Israel’s re-birth date, confirms for us, year after year, Ezekiel’s incredible prophecy, a prophecy we are now actually living through, that is, the re-establishment of this country.

While Israel is surrounded by so many enemies which in unison overtly declare their hatred and their desire to have the people of this land wiped out of existence, and while foes even within the land itself are today becoming louder in their hatred, this country is still here because of God’s desire and will.

Israel’s presence at this very time, is fruit of a prophecy that Yeshua gave 2000 years ago. In Mark 13:28 He spoke these words:

 

Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.


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The Tapestry of Messiah in Leviticus: An Overview of His Presence

In many ways, Isaiah 53 could be seen nailed at the entrance to the Tabernacle of God.

Let us open our Bible to the first chapter of Leviticus. The whole text is like a tapestry of great teaching about Yeshua. Our English word for text is from the Latin texere, meaning to weave, and Leviticus is a great canvas of beautiful colors and textures portraying the Messiah is so well. 

The importance of the words in Leviticus is further emphasized when you consider that it is in this book where the Lord speaks the most. God is the direct speaker on almost every page in this book.

Even Moses is depicted differently here in Leviticus. He is far from being that vibrant and argumentative type we have seen in the other books of the Torah. Why are things different here? Because the subject matters of sin, salvation, holiness and eternity form the pillars of this book and therefore because this is so close to the heart of God, the Lord takes the lead as Speaker.


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Psalm 83: Eternal Hatred

 

By Jacques Isaac Gabizon

 

Tonight begins Holocaust Remembrance Day, a solemn time when Jews worldwide will stop and reflect on the atrocities that faced them over the centuries and in particular, during the last campaign which attempted to wipe out the Jewish gloabal population. This took place during World War 2 which ran from 1939 to 1945. While this affront against the Jewish people was perpetrated by a vicious madman, Adolph Hitler, this anti-Semitism, the perpetual hate toward Israel and the Jewish people extend way back to biblical times.
Many prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures accuse the various Arab states of perpetually hating Israel and the Jewish people. This hatred began with Ishmael and has been seething ever since. A passage that summarizes this sentiment is Psalm 83. Yet, as this article will show, the perpetual hatred is met with God’s eternal love, offering protection to His people and redemption to anyone who will hear.

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Our Protection: He Shall Passover

 

That night, tradition has it that as the destroyer passed through the land of Egypt, when he came to a home and saw the blood upon the lintel and doorpost, he would pass over the home. This is where the name for this feast, Passover, is believed to have originated, the passing over of the Jewish homes by the destroying angel.  

In fact the whole thing make sense. It is not the Lord who passes over. He is standing strong with the believer protecting him from judgment.

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