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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Something to ponder . . .

What if you woke up TODAY with only that for which you gave thanks YESTERDAY ?

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

So which day is it, anyway ?

Mining the Truth . . .
So which day is it, anyway ?

Every religion has it’s own set of set-apart days and special commemorations and celebrations. Whether it be Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity or any one of the other approximately 15 major world religions, along with the hundreds and hundreds of variations and sects, they all have one thing in common – special days. One debate that has rolled on for centuries is the discussion concerning the ‘Biblical Sabbath’ . Judaism and some Christian/Protestant denominations declare the Biblical Sabbath to be the day referred to as Saturday, usually beginning at point on Friday evening to a corresponding point on Saturday evening. Catholicism and the majority of Christian/Protestant groups declare the day referred to as Sunday as the Sabbath. So which day is it, anyway ?
There is a concept we like to refer to as ‘implied authority’. It simply means if Joe (no offence Joe) decides to start a group – Joe’s Group – and people want to be a part of Joe’s Group , Joe has the ‘implied authority’ to set rules and guidelines and the right of expectation for those rules and guidelines to be followed by prospective members. If we carry that concept over to the Bible and view the Bible as the ‘Guide Book for God’s Group’, recognizing God as the One Who started His group, it only follows He has the ‘implied authority’ to set the guidelines for His group and has the right of expectation for members of His group to follow those guidelines as outlined in ‘His Guide Book’ – the Bible.
The word ‘Sabbath’ in the English (Shabbat in Hebrew) appears over 150 times in the King James Version of the Bible and comes from the Hebrew root word of the same basic spelling which means to ‘cease, desist or rest’. The first time the word ‘Sabbath’ is used in the Bible is Exodus 16:23-ff. The first time the root word appears in the Bible is Genesis 2:3 where it reads “ Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested (shabbat) from all His work which God had created and made.” Didn’t Isaiah mention something about ‘God declaring the end out of the beginning’? (Isaiah 46:10) Genesis would qualify as ‘the beginning’, wouldn’t it ? From that point on, every time the word ‘Sabbath’ is used is in reference to the 7th day, or a day or event based on the principles of that day of the week – the 7th day.
Exodus 20:8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
(number 4 of the Ten Commandments . . . you know, that document we want to hang around everywhere . . .) Did you know as far back as we can go in recorded history ( which I guess is as far back as we can go ) the day we refer to as Saturday has always been the 7th day ? You can check that out with the US Naval Observatory. Have you ever noticed how most calendars show Sunday as the first day of the week and Saturday as the seventh . . . even secular calendars ?
Now here’s a neat little bit of information. The Hebrew word ‘Sabbath’ is basically comprised of three Hebrew letters – Shin v ( ‘sh’ sound ), bayt b (‘b’ sound), and tav t ( ‘t’ sound ). Interestingly, the shin represents Shaddai – God Almighty, bayt is the word for ‘house’, and tav is ‘the mark’. Literally, the word Shabbat can be defined as ‘the mark on the house of the Almighty’. The House of The Almighty – the group God started.
Shalom – J & R

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, THE WORD GOES OUT . . .

One of the first postings we placed on Facebook was a slightly different version of the following article . We tweaked it every so slightly for the newspaper audience, but the changes were slight. The editor of the Danville paper refused to print the article citing it as political in nature and not appropriate for the ‘Religion Page’ of the Danville paper. Under the circumstances of recent developments locally, we felt it imperative to re-post this article. Once they refused to print the article, we decided to re-post this on our blog and Facebook. We replied to them our disappointment with the editor’s refusal. We cannot share the editor’s remarks to us, based on privacy issues, but, upon, request, will share with you our response to the paper. Shalom –

The Last Straw
Lev. 18:21 “And you shall not give of your seed to serve a ruler; you shall not profane my holy name; I am YAHWEH your God.” 22 “And a man shall not lie with a man as with a woman, for it is a detestable thing before the LORD.”
Gen. 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors or disesteems you I will curse . . .”
Romans 1:25-28 “ . . . because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”
Eze 24:13 Your filth is infamous. Since I have tried to purge you and you would not let yourself be purged of your filth, so now you will never be purged of your filth until I have sated my anger on you. 14 I, Yahweh, have spoken; this will happen; I shall act and not relent; I shall show no pity, no compassion. You will be judged as your conduct and actions deserve — declares the Lord Yahweh.” ‘
Gen. 15:16 “ . . . for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”
As we were talking about things in the news, these are some passages that came to mind in light of all that is in the news concerning the homosexual movement.
Allow us to preface with this statement. We are not bashing homosexuals. We are not declaring people who live a homosexual lifestyle to be evil, wicked or detestable in their character. Every person has the right to make their own choices. And we will fight for a person’s right to make their own choices, even if we do not agree with the decision. But choices come with consequences. The Bible states this is how God sees the practice – the choice – of homosexuality, not necessarily the practitioner.
There are at least these three things that GOD will not tolerate for long – shedding of innocent blood, a leadership stance against Israel, and sanctioned support of homosexuality. There is a connection here we need to explore for the sake of our understanding of what is to come.
When the leadership of a group speaks to or over that group, it invokes a sort of ‘covering’ or blessing over that group – and that covering can be positive or negative depending on what was spoken.
President Barak Obama, by his very name, literally carries the ‘blessing of the high place’ or ‘bama’, which is not a good thing ( explanation to follow) . When he and/or his administration put forth statements, actions and orders – some of which are contrary to the very nature of GOD – it has the potential to literally produce a dark covering or false blessing if you will, over the population of the nation, the ‘subjects’ of this leader, and can lead the population into a state of sin unless they openly, spiritually stand against that ‘covering’.
A word of explanation . . . There are two words in the Hebrew ( and Arabic ) that are homonyms . . . they sound alike, spelled similarly, with differing definitions . The Hebrew (and Arabic) word for ‘blessing’ would be transliterated into the English with the spelling ‘k’- barak. The Hebrew word (and Arabic) for ‘lightning’ sounds the same but would be spelled with a with English equivalent letter ‘q’ – Baraq. Perhaps some of you have heard of the ‘Bema seat of Christ’ – the exalted throne of Messiah Yeshua. The counterfeit of ‘Bema’ is ‘bama’ – the idolatrous high places ( cultic platforms, either structural or ideological ) mentioned over 100 times with much disdain in the Scriptures. Barak O’Bama’s name – as he spells it (with a k instead of the q) – literally translates ‘blessing of the high place’. Do you remember the news reports of the current President carrying tiny carved images of hindu and buddhist idols, ‘blessed’ by the priests of those religions prior to his election that he might win that election? Barak stated he was a Christian. But by his open acceptance and statement of thanks and open acceptance of the blessings of and upon these idols (and of the priests that gave and blessed them) he was stating otherwise. It was done in daylight, in plain view (shown on TV), not under the cover of darkness, for all to see. Sadly, few saw what was openly being played out and shown.
So we currently have a leader that is regularly placing the people of this nation under a false blessing or ‘dark covering’ contrary to the very nature and Word of the God of the Bible, as evidenced by the President’s stance, open acceptance and promotion of homosexuality. By his ( the highest office in the land ) open declaration and acceptance on behalf of this nation’s peoples, the door and acceptance for this practice has been flung completely wide open, evidenced by the ramping up of the move in that direction by our leadership, courts and now every aspect of our society, our communties and even some of our churches. It is no longer being flirted with around the edges of our society but is now going full bore to being fully integrated and embraced as an acceptable lifestyle in our society. Translation ? …. a false blessing. I fear we are so near to “the fullness of the sin of the Amorite”…… it truly is ‘a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living GOD’.
The opening passages of this article show the connection in the thoughts of God between ‘the shedding of innocent blood’ and homosexuality. Both are detestable in His sight. There is also an overriding theme in Scripture concerning God’s reaction to those that would stand against the ‘place where He has put His Name forever’ and the people of that Place, namely Israel in general and Jerusalem in specific. We see in Paul’s writing to the congregation in Rome that due to the rebellion of the people, God ‘turned them over’ to their homosexual propensities. ( we didn’t write that, Paul did ) The increase in open support of homosexuality is a strong indication, based on Scripture, of where we are as a nation and what we can expect. Not only is it a detestable practice in God’s eyes, but it is also that which HE gives a people over to when they refuse to accept His Truth and His ways, when they dishonor Him by esteeming Him lightly.
It is no coincidence that as we continue to take a posture – as a nation, as communities and as denominations – against Israel and her people; as we continue to give our seed over to the god of convenience and expedience through abortion; as we condone, sanction, and even enforce the homosexual lifestyle, we see a rise in homosexuality in this nation. It becomes a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’. One thing you can be sure of. God will not tolerate this much longer.
What must we do as His people, sojourning in this place ? Pray for mercy. Stand for the truth of His Word. Speak the truth of His Word, in love, firmly with compassion, uncompromised and undiluted. And when we have done all to stand, then stand. Be like Nehemiah, for when he had finished speaking and doing all that God had instructed him, he lifted his hands to the heavens and cried aloud – ‘ God, remember me, for I have done as you commanded. Remember me in the time of Your judgment and recompense.’
May Abba bless, keep and extend Mercy in the days to come –
Shalom –

 

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

A 2nd Exodus ?

A 2nd Exodus

“Now all these things happened to them as an example, and they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11
In the first 12 verses of chapter 10 of 1 Corinthians Paul speaks to the ‘church’ concerning the Exodus through the wilderness as an example to us of what is to come. Is Paul implying a similar event in the future that will impact God’s people ? A 2nd Exodus, if you will ? Let’s see what the Word says .
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the child of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17
Hopefully we all understand the only Scripture existing in the day this was written was that which we call the ‘Old Testament’ – the Torah, the Prophets and the other writings , (because what we call the New Testament had not been written down yet). If these were the only existing Scriptures, do they support, in any way, what Paul is speaking to the congregation at Corinth, and, by extension, to us today ?
Let’s go to the Prophet Jeremiah. He speaks of a second exodus that will so exceed the first one that they will no longer speak of the first exodus….. “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that it shall no longer be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 15 But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north , and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. 16 Behold, I will send for many 1 fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks
. . . . . . 19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles ( the nations ) shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.””
KJG Jeremiah 16:14-21

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The 1 LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel (Abraham’s seed) out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land. KJG Jeremiah 23:7-8
So we see in Jer. 16 & 23 It talks of a time in the future that the seed of Israel will no longer talk of the first exodus. Let’s see if this has happened yet. Have you ever been to a traditional Passover Seder (service)? The whole service is a recounting and looking back to the first time the LORD brought them out of Egypt. At the Seder they will read the whole account in Exodus of the hardships, plagues, all they had to go through, and their deliverance from their land of bondage. It is the most significant event in the history of Israel. They repeat this recounting every year at Passover. So we see that the second exodus, spoken of in Jer. 16 and 23, has obviously not taken place yet (even though some of Israel is back in the land at the present day), since they continue to talk about the first exodus even to this day.

 

But you might say “ this is speaking to Israel and the Jews and I’m part of the New Testament Church. How can this apply to me ?” Well, let’s go back to Paul, the teacher sent to the Gentiles (nations).
In Paul’s letter to the congregation at Ephesus, he makes a very familiar statement in verse 8 – “for we are saved by grace through faith”. Surprisingly, in virtually the same breath, he relates that if we are ‘covered by the blood of Messiah, we are a part of the citizenship of Israel and therefore heirs to the covenant of promise’. In Galatians 3:29 Paul makes this declaration – “And if you be in Messiah, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
(Abraham – the ancestor of the seed of Israel). In addition, Paul reminds the congregation at Rome those of the nations are grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel and not the other way around.
We said all that to say this. When the Prophet Jeremiah speaks of a future ‘bringing out’ and that it applies to ‘the people of Israel’, we must understand every born-again, blood-bought believer is part of that group and this future event applies to them.
The Scriptures declare that a matter will be established on the word of two or more honest witnesses. Jeremiah is one. Let’s go to the Prophets Hosea and Ezekiel for two more witnesses. Ezekiel 20:32-38, Ezekiel 37 along with Hosea 2:14-23 reference the same future event. Please notice Hosea 2:23 is the same wording as in Romans chapter 9. Verse 14 of Hosea 2 speaks of ‘the valley of Achor’ as a ‘door of hope’. Achor is a Hebrew word for trouble or tribulation. At the end of the valley of tribulation is the Door to the Light of the Kingdom.
There is a future event coming upon the earth, preceded by ‘before-shocks’ rather than after-shocks ( Yeshua calls them birth-pangs), some of which having been going on for centuries.
In Matthew 24, Luke 17 and Mark 13 Yeshua (Jesus) speaks of a future event of great destruction the likes of which man has not seen or will ever see again . . . the same event spoken of by Jeremiah, Hosea, Ezekiel, Joel, Paul, Peter and others. It is a second ‘bringing out’ of God’s people from all the places where they have been scattered . . . and then the end will come (Matt. 24).
This is the event of which Paul admonishes and warns the congregation at Corinth . . . and the Congregation of today . . . this event is coming. And the birth-pangs leading up to this event are not to be underestimated in their severity. The time of the plagues in Egypt was the birth-pangs of that day bringing about the birth of the congregation of Israel. The first exodus – the time in the wilderness – purified and prepared the people for the Promised Land. There were 42 camping places in their time in the wilderness. The future birth-pangs will precede the re-gathering of the Congregation of Israel – every born-again believer – and the second exodus will be the ‘bringing out’ and bringing into the wilderness for a time of purification and preparation before stepping into the Land and the Kingdom. And this will take place over a period ‘a time, times and half a time’ – 42 months. At the first Passover (the beginning of the Exodus) they were told to ‘go into their houses, shut the doors and stay until the destroyer had passed over’( Ex.12:22-23). In the time to come we are told in Isaiah 26:20-21 to “go into your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.” Is this a coincidence ?
So how does this event connect to the ‘rapture’? The ‘rapture’ (harpazo – a sudden, forceful snatching away or snatching out) will take place. When ? Exactly when God determines. We won’t take time to get into that debate here. Let it suffice to affirm the Scriptures do tell us there will be this ‘snatching out’. What the Scripture does not confirm is the Congregation of God’s people being snatched out before anything bad happens. It’s just not there. The Word does tell us to persevere (to hang on) and He will keep us during the time of testing ( Rev. 3:10); to pray to have the spiritual foundation for the emotional and mental stress of what will be taking place around us ( Luke 21:36); and pray that your time of fleeing the destruction is not in the winter or on the Sabbath ( Matt. 24:20). And what Paul says to the congregation at Corinth just confirms that fact. “Now all these things happened to them as an example, and they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.”

Ezekiel 20:34 “And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. 36 Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. 37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:”

So is there a wilderness time for God’s people? If so, then we need to be aware and prepared and in prayer that we will be spiritually, emotionally and physically ready.

3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. 4 They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams. 5 One will say, ‘I belong to the LORD’; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’ and will take the name ‘Israel’. Isaiah 44:3-5

“For on my holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel – declares Yahweh – is where the whole House of Israel will worship me.” Ezekiel 20:40

Shalom – R & J

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Torah Tidbit Numbers 8:1 – 12:16

When you set up . . . Numbers 8:1 – 12:16

    The following is a quick outline of the passages in the current study portion along with Zechariah 2:10 – 4:7.

Numbers 8:1        The Seven Lamps
Numbers 8:5        Consecration and Service of the Levites
Numbers 9:1        The Passover at Sinai
Numbers 9:15        The Cloud and the Fire
Numbers 10:1         The Silver Trumpets
Numbers 10:11     Departure from Sinai
Numbers 11:1         Complaining in the Desert
Numbers 11:16     The Seventy Elders
Numbers 11:31     The Quail
Numbers 12:1        Aaron and Miriam’s jealousy over Moses

    At this point in History this group of Jacobian refugees and their ‘egyptian tag-alongs’ have been in the desert for a year. They have seen and endured much. They have also complained and murmured much. God has shown Himself mighty and powerful with tremendous miracles and acts of His Sovereignty over all creation. He has shown Himself to be provisional, merciful and, at times, righteously indignant and downright angry. His Hand is evident everywhere you look and yet the people fall down and throw a temper tantrum and the first sign of a challenge.
And it makes one wonder . . . will we be the same way when God Almighty brings His people out the second time ?  Those that are part of the 2nd exodus, will they (we) have learned and retained anything from the first time of testing in the wilderness or will we make the same mistakes again, to our own detriment ? 
    In Paul’s first letter to the congregation at Corinth he speaks of this same concept. Paul is talking to the ‘church’. He is not speaking just to the Jews or the ethnic Israeli’s only, but to this mixed multitude of believers in Messiah Yeshua from potentially every culture and background . . . all brought together by the drawing and convicting/convincing power of the Ruach – the Holy Spirit. In the 10th chapter of his letter to these Corinthians, he reminds the ‘church’ the events of the time in the wilderness were recorded and preserved for the benefit and admonition of those that would come later, ‘on whom the end of the ages has come.’ If this applied to them almost 2,000 years ago, how much more should it apply and be taken to heart by us today ?
      2 Peter 3:9-10 – “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the ‘Day of the Lord’ will come . . .”
    When reading about the silver trumpets and God’s admonition and promise there is hope – expectation . . . expectation of ultimate deliverance and rest.
Numbers 10:9 “And when you go to war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the LORD your God, and be saved from your enemies.”
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, ( and blow the shofar ) that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
    Everyday we walk out the door, we step into a battle with the forces that hope to defeat us. But their hope is not our Hope and their rock is not our Rock.
So today, on this Sabbath, may we declare aloud  without apology – YHWH is our God, and besides Him there is no other, and on this Solid Rock I stand.
B’Shem Yeshua HaMashiach – in the Name of Yeshua my Messiah –
        Shabbat Shalom – J & R

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The 50th Day . . .

The Fiftieth Day

‘ . . . and on the day after the Sabbath you shall count for yourself seven complete Sabbaths . . . and on the fiftieth day, the day after the seventh Sabbath . . .’ The above is a quick paraphrase of Leviticus 23:15-16. The wording there is pretty clear in the Hebrew. The fiftieth day will fall on the day after the seventh Sabbath.
Pentecost or Shavuot usually falls somewhere around the first of June. Other than the weekly Sabbaths, there are no other Sabbaths this time of year. Therefore for the Feast of Shavuot to fall on the 50th day, it will always be on the first day of the week ( Sunday) following the seventh of the seven Sabbaths. That puts us having back-to-back Sabbaths; a little bit of a challenge, but then,
Israel did not have crockpots and they survived the ordeal.
Even in the Gospels, when it references the ‘first day of the week’, the greek literally says ‘ the first of the sabbaths’. E.W.Bollinger, in the late 1800’s understood this to be a direct reference to the passages in Leviticus concerning the keeping of the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot. Somehow though, this understanding got lost in the shuffle to us in the church.
When the women, and later the men (we are almost always behind the curve) went to the tomb, they had already begun their counting down towards the Feast of Weeks. They just did not realize at that point that Yeshua was the ‘raysheet o’mair’ – the First Sheaf – the Firstfruits of the Resurrection from which they were counting down. Counting down to what ? The second half of the promise of the Father. “
Acts 2: 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.
16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'( Joel 2:28-32).
Is it the birthday of the church ? It is that and more. It is the birthing of the physical picture of the eternal kingdom and the giving of what we come to know as the ‘New Testament’, but we call it the Torah.. For the first time in all history God enters into a covenant with a a nation, a people and takes them to Himself to be their God.
Chag Sameach! Happy Birthday ! Where’s the cake ?

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

It’s a Birthday . . .

It’s a Birthday – Where’s the Cake ?

“ . . . and when the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place . . .”
This Sunday, June 8th, according to a Biblical reckoning of time, is that day, ‘The day of Pentecost’, or, according to Leviticus 23:16, Exodus 34:22 and Numbers 28:26, ‘The Feast of Weeks’ – Shavuot. ( literally, ‘Weeks’). The partial verse quoted in the opening is from The Acts of the Apostles chapter 2, starting with verse 1. It is the day crowned as the ‘Birth of the Church’. We concur, that the day in history known as Shavuot is the ‘Birthday of the Church’, but did you know it occurred long before the day recorded in Acts chapter 2 ? How do we know that factoid ? Before we answer that question, let’s ponder and examine a little.
Have you ever noticed how curious it is that we can read the Bible over and over and suddenly catch something ( or not ) that’s always been there ? For example, the day on which the crucifixion took place was the day on the eve of a Sabbath. Our traditional teaching is this was the day we call Friday since the Sabbath is obviously on the day we call Saturday, hence ‘good Friday’. But the Scripture is clear this was not the regular weekly Sabbath but a particularly High Sabbath ( John 19:31). That ‘high day’ ? Passover. And as a side note, for those of us that are not great at math, there is no possible way to start on Friday afternoon and conclude on Sunday morning and accumulate ‘three days and three nights’ ( Matthew 12:40).
So what’s the point ? The point is this – sometimes the answers are right there on the page but due to a multitude of possible reasons we unwittingly or unknowingly misinterpret what’s on the page.
So back to the ‘factoid’ referring to the Pentecost and the birthday of the ‘church’. Ah, but first, here’s a quick question that has always bugged me. If this was the first Pentecost, how did they know what to call it ? Obviously this was not the first one. The first ‘Pentecost’, for the purposes of our discussion, took place in Exodus 19, 20 and following, at the giving of the Ten Commandments.
So what does that have to do with the birthday of the ‘church’ ? The word ‘church’ in the Apostolic Writings is the greek word ‘ekklesia’ which defined is ‘a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into a public place for a common purpose, an assembly’. We see this group and their assemblies all through the Gospels and the rest of the Apostolic Writings. But they existed long before that. Acts 7:37-38 speaks of ‘that man Moses who was with the church in the wilderness’. Pentecost – Shavuot – is the birthday of the ekklesia – it is just older than you thought. Shalom – J & R

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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