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.

Read more…



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. Read more…



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. Read more…



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. Read more…



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! Read more…



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. Read more…



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. Read more…



At Least to One Jew

at-least-to-one-jew-2

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.

Read more…



A New Hope Mapped Out

You don’t need to understand Hebrew

to read the writing on this wall…

netanyahu-map-as-presented-to-the-knesset-from-times-of-israel-july-27-2016
(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.” Read more…



Preserving God’s Grace

Shofar

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.

HOW MUCH HAS THIS LICENSE COST US?

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? Read more…



^