Friday, November 03, 2006


November 3, 2006

Well, we finally have a computer that works. If any of you have Skype and want to contact us, our new Skype name is: ephraimitereturn. We have lost all the addresses from our previous Skype connections, so if you don’t mind, please send your address again. Thanks.

This past week a number thoughts, about our restored identity as Ephraimites/
Israelites have occurred to me. In last week’s letter I wrote about teaching children. One of the things that YHVH meant by the injunction “to teach” children, I believe, was to share with them about their ancestry. The great magnitude of this topic is clear, as it is tied to the history of YHVH’s chosen people.

In today’s Hellenistic world of humanism, we tend to focus on our individual entity, choosing that which is right in our own eyes. This Greek philosophy of life has led this generation to the ultimate state of no values and no true identity. It ignores any absolutes regarding divine law and order. It perpetuates the selfish, self-centered life style to the point of complete blindness to the operation of the principle of cause-and-effect, or reaping and sowing, and hence exempts the individual from any accountability.

The apostle Paul, writing to the Believers in Rome, makes note of the following: “For this reason Elohim gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain Elohim in their knowledge, Elohim gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality…” (Romans 1:26-29).

As most of you know, Jerusalem is faced with one of its most challenging decisions in modern history, and that is whether to allow or forbid a homosexual display in a form of a procession to make its way down its streets. In face of this possibility, the ultra-orthodox community has already taken matters into its own hands, and for a whole week now has been demonstrating its preview responses should the parade dare to march in “their” city. Already policemen have been injured in riots, which have taken place in religious neighborhoods. Why is all this taking place?

When a person does not have a clear idea of his identity, where he has come from, nor what is his destiny, he is lost and prone to search in all the wrong places. This becomes extremely dangerous for children, as they are presented with a life style of breached boundaries, no guidelines, sexual promiscuity, violence, low moral standards, and thus when they reach puberty they think it is the norm. Is this connected to the loss of identity or roots? What about us, as the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?

Through the Prophet Jeremiah YHVH says: "I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself: 'You have chastised me, and I was chastised, like an untrained bull; Restore me, and I will return, for You are YHVH my Elohim. Surely, after my turning, I repented; and after I was instructed, I struck myself on the thigh; I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated, because I bore the reproach of my youth.'” (Jeremiah 31:18-19).

If Ephraim is still lost to his ancestral identity, how will this recognition of guilt for the sin of youth, his repentance and return to his Elohim, ever come to pass? There are hundreds of prophecies in scriptures that pertain to Ephraim/Israel, the lost tribes, and their restoration, but if they do not know who they are, some of those prophecies will never be fulfilled. However, has the Word of YHVH ever failed? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

“Not a word failed of any good thing which YHVH had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass” (Joshua 21:45), and I might add all still will come to pass.

YHVH has sent His Spirit to blow from the four corners of the earth to bring the whole House of Israel out from their graves and cause them to stand up a mighty army in these days. Judah is to be the bow and Ephraim the arrow, and together they are to be a weapon in the hand of the Almighty (ref. Zech 9:13-14). Those sons of Zion are to come against the sons of Greece. But if the sons of Zion are still acting and behaving like the sons of Greece, whether by ignorance or willfully, how can they become a weapon against the Hellenistic influences of our day? Let us pray that the sons of Zion will again return to their identity as YHVH’s firstborn, and: “ Set up signposts, make landmarks; set [their] heart toward the highway, the way in which [they] went. Turn back, O virgin of Israel, turn back to these your cities. How long will you go about, O you backsliding daughter?” (Jeremiah 31: 21-22) (Jeremiah 31: 3-4).

If we, the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, do not know who we are as their seed in this generation, none of the above scriptures, or for that matter no prophecy that pertains to all Israel, will be of any consequence. To all of you who have the faith of your father Abraham (ref Rom 4:16), let no one take your identity away from you, it is your birthmark and your future hope!


Friday, September 08, 2006


Before continuing the testimony of the trip, I feel an urgency to pass on to you some information. Last week a French couple that has been coming to the Tuesday evening meetings, asked me if I would take them up north to view the damage that was done during the war. A few days later we traveled, with another couple, to northern Israel. On the way we stopped at an (Israeli) Arab gas station. We were all aghast at what they were watching on television. It was an anti Israel program aired on an Arab station, which showed the supposed crimes that the Israeli/American military has been committing in many Arab countries. The main emphasis was on the death of women and children. I turned to look at the young Muslim woman standing behind the counter, watching us, the hatred in her eyes towards us was hauntingly evident.

The further we drove north the more we felt as though a dark cloud had descended upon our country. When we arrived in Nahariya, a city on the coast that was hit by more than 800 Katyusha and Kassam rockets, we were invited to the Mayor’s office where we heard stories of miracles that had taken place, but which, sadly, were not acknowledged as such. We were given a map to areas of the city that were hit the hardest. One family took us into their twice-hit home. The upper stories were completely ruined; the roof was gone and the house severely damaged. Only seven houses took direct hits but over a thousand sustained damage. However, in spite of all those rockets no one was killed. We left that city and drove all along the northern border. It was sad to see that many of the beautiful forests sustained damage from fires set off by the missiles coming in from Lebanon.

When Rimona and I returned from our overseas trip, not surprisingly, we found that the mood in the country was not the same as when we left. The general consensus here is that Israel lost this war. We never did get back our kidnapped soldiers, but what is more disconcerting is that it was only during the war that Israel discovered miles and miles of underground tunnels several stories deep where the Hizbullah terrorists had been building bombs, storing rockets and engaging the Israeli army. Israel’s famous intelligence service apparently was not aware of this, up until this latest campaign. Now I know why our son said that the fighting in Lebanon was like fighting ghosts. The Hizbullah could just pop up out of the ground, shoot their missiles and go back underground without being detected. One main entrance to a network of tunnels was built within 200 meters of a UNIFIL outpost. It is amazing that this could be done right under our noses, as well.

When Israel pulled out (or fled) Lebanon six years back, it was noted that Hizbullah, Syria and Hamas immediately began to make plans for the next phases of the Jihad against Israel. One of those strategies was to dig underground. We have already seen the effects of this tactic in the Gaza Strip, whose terrorists were constantly baffling Israel by sudden pop up attacks through tunnels that were miles-long. Should have it been any surprise when it was discovered that Hizbullah has done the same thing in southern Lebanon? My question is, therefore, how many have or are being dug in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), to be used in their future war effort? It is already known that there are terrorist cells even in our own Israeli Arab cities.

As we have seen in the Torah, war is not a blessing but a curse. Since our defeat in Lebanon, there is much being uncovered in the upper echelons of our government and other central agencies and services. Pride, arrogance (especially in the military) and corruption are rampant here. Are these leaders (heads) just showing the face of the nation (the body) itself? Pride comes before the fall (ref. Proverbs 16:18). Are Islam and its sword a warning from the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? “The curse causeless does not alight” (ref. Proverbs 26:2).

In a professional soccer game, this past week, a European coach branded Israel’s national team as representatives of a nation of “murders and killers”. We know that he was referring to the war on terror, but we also took note that we have murdered more unborn babies in this country than the number of Jews who have perished in the Holocaust. Two weeks ago Rimona was sitting in the waiting room of a clinic, when a mother of three children, and obviously pregnant with the fourth, was talking to a friend about “wanting to get rid of it” (her own words). Rimona spoke to her in no uncertain terms, saying that abortion was murder. The woman’s response was, “I know, yet it is my choice for my own reasons.”

As the redeemed of YHVH, where do we stand today in relationship to what is happening in this land? This scripture comes to mind:

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). But what if we do not?

Seek for the peace of Jerusalem,


Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Proverbs 26:2 states: “Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, so a curse without cause shall not alight.” The blessings and the curses that are recorded in YHVH’s Torah form an integral part of His statutes, ordinances, and laws that govern humanity. They are as active as nature’s forces and are operative, whether we are aware of them or not. This is why iniquity and sin have their boundaries and the fruit they produce cause transgressors-turned-victims to suffer the consequences of the curses. YHVH gave us the Torah for our instructions, so that we could live within His boundaries of righteousness. The blessings and the curses are one of His ways of teaching us to live righteously. How? Here is an illustration: When I was in Special Education we used what was called “behavior modification” methods to help our students learn that they simply could not do what was right in their own eyes. In the classroom, just as in the family and in society at large, there are standards of acceptable behavior. So we helped our students learn and change through positive (blessings) and negative (punishments) feedback. Paul the apostle put it simply, saying that one would reap what ones sows (ref Galatians 6:7-8), which is another means of explaining the laws of cause and effect.

One of the ways YHVH used to chasten His nations of Israel and Judah was to raise up a king, or kings (national leaders), who very often originated from the East. I know that nowadays it is not ‘in vogue’ (or politically correct) to point out to Israel and Judah that unless they repent and turn away from their gods of humanism and all their beastly/fleshly behavior, the consequence may come again from the East. But nevertheless, one cannot help but wonder if this is why we are hearing the sound of saber rattling from the leader of Iran. Yet YHVH is merciful, and many times the results of our behavior are slow to appear; that is, if we can read the signs.

Hence it is YHVH, the sovereign over all nations, who is involved in the assembling of the kings of the East (Islam) who are gathering in order to execute His purposes. Many of us have been pointing to the fact that Israel’s leaders, along with those of the other nations, have been dividing up our land in order to hand portions of it to the Islamic entity for the sake of peace. However, is this the real reason why our Elohim is giving our land over to such an enemy? Could it be that our unrighteous and rebellious hearts are the reason that He has raised up this kind of leadership in our nations and is stirring up the nations surrounding Israel? But at the same time YHVH has also promised that if we would repent and turn back to Him to walk in His righteousness, He “will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways” (Deuteronomy 28:7). But if (YHVH forbid) we are found deserving of the curse, then just the opposite will happen (ref. Deut. 28:25).

Leviticus 18 records a long list of sexual sins and also mentions the sin of sacrificing children to Molech. At the moment our nations are steeped in these abominations, having no fear of the consequences. YHVH’s people, on the other hand, are cautioned very severely regarding these kinds of activities: “You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you” (Leviticus 18: 26-28 emphasis added).

Many scriptures relating to the restoration of YHVH’s kingdom to the whole house of Israel are coming to pass in our generation, but there is one thing that can stop or slow up these prophetic fulfillments, and that is if His redeemed remnant will not respond to His will: “For this is the will of Elohim, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know Elohim; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because YHVH is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but to holiness” (1 Thessalonians. 4: 3-7).

We are all familiar with the story of Balaam and Balak. Balak, the king of Moab, summoned Balaam the prophet to curse Israel, but because YHVH would not allow it the ‘prophet’ did not succeed in his mission. YHVH had no reason to curse Jacob, so the prophet told his would-be dispatcher that he could only command a blessing upon that nation. “Behold, I have received a command to bless; YHVH has blessed, and I cannot reverse it” (Numbers 23:20). Balaam then informed Balak of the reason why he was unable to do his bidding: "He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. YHVH, his Elohim is with him, and the shout of a King is among them… For there is no sorcery against Jacob, nor any divination against Israel; It now must be said of Jacob and of Israel, 'Oh, what Elohim has done’” (Numbers 23:21-23). But was that the end of the story? While the nation remained in Moab for a while, Balak and his princes found out the reason that Israel’s Elohim was blessing them, and so they devised a way that would actually bring a curse upon Jacob. “So they vex YHVH’s nation with their wiles, wherewith they beguiled Israel in the matter of Peor, and Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian” (Numbers 25:18). The enemy opened the door to temptation and Israel was drawn into sexual perversion and the worship of the god of Moab (Baal of Peor) and thus walked into YHVH’s consequences. This resulted in a plague that broke out in their midst and killed twenty-four thousand (see v.9).

In this way Moab’s solution to the ‘blessing problem’ was to get the nation to rebel by committing sexual sins, and since YHVH could not go back on His word the resultant curse was soon made apparent. Defeating YHVH’s people, therefore, was made possible by enticing them to rebel against the Torah of their Elohim. In fact, the only defeat that the covenant people will ever suffer will be the result of their own actions, and that is disobedience to the commandments, laws, and ordinances of the Elohim of Torah. Messiah’s coming to establish the new covenant, which includes the writing of the Torah on the hearts of the recipients, does not mean that it gets inscribed there automatically or willy-nilly. If we continue to disobey the leading of the Spirit of Holiness and walk in rebellion to His righteousness in Messiah Yeshua, there will be consequences! Yeshua, along with the apostles, has not strayed away from the fundamental teachings of Torah. We will reap what we sow. If we sow to the flesh (power of sin) we will reap its consequences, but if we sow to the Spirit we will reap the benefits. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Messiah Yeshua, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit… For to be carnally minded is death [the curse], but to be spiritually minded is life and peace [the blessing]... For if you live according to the flesh you will die [the curse]; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live [the blessing]” (Romans 8:1; 6; 13). “Do not be deceived, Elohim is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption [the curse], but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life [the blessing]” (Galatians 6:7-8).


Monday, May 22, 2006


Yesterday morning on my walk around the settlement, my thoughts were stirred by an old adage, “wake up and smell the roses”. Following these thoughts others began to pile in behind. I pray that YHVH will bring to my remembrance some of what I perceived to be a warning from the Spirit.

There is no doubt that we are heading into very difficult days, perhaps even the days that are called “Jacob’s troubles”. But what came to my mind regarding the proverbial roses, as I have some real ones in my garden, was that the rose flower does not stay in bloom long before the petals start to drop off and the stem has to be cut so that another can grow. The fragrance, therefore, is also very short lived. In my opinion, we have entered a season in which it is too late to smell the roses and what is about to awaken all Israel (both houses) are the thorns of “Jacob’s troubles”.

The main body of believers all over the world has been put to sleep by half-truths through what is called the dispensational doctrines. They have been led to believe that the Jewish people/nation constitutes the two sticks of Ezekiel 37 that are to be joined in order to become one stick/nation. Thus, looking at the first stick that Ezekiel was asked to take in his hand, they are mistaking it for the (future) union of the two. "As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: 'For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.' Then take another stick and write on it, 'For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions'” (Ezekiel 37:16).

If we do not believe or comprehend that there is a second stick, that of “Joseph - the whole house of Israel”, in where lies the multiplicity of YHVH’s blessings to the forefathers (the “fullness of the nations”), we will be doing a great disservice to a whole lot of people who will be left in the dark as to “Jacob’s troubles”. Why? Because these troubles are going to fall on all the Israelites out in the nations, not only on the present day State of Israel and the Jews of the Diaspora.

Why are these troubles going to befall Jacob? Why is there an outcry in the nations, “Awake O Israel put off your slumber”? Why does the prophet Malachi demand to "remember the Torah of Moses My servant, and the statutes and judgments which I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel” (Mal 4:4)?

As I mentioned in previous letters, Moses gave us the answers to all these questions when he prophesied to the tribes, our forefathers, before they entered the land. He told them that they would not remain in the land very long, and that YHVH would scatter them amongst the nations. But in the latter days, when they find themselves in distress (great troubles), they would repent and return to YHVH and listen to His voice (ref. Deut: 4). YHVH gave us, His people, the Torah (His voice) and within those loving instructions He assigned the blessings and the curses and explained very clearly the reasons behind each of them respectively. The Almighty One intends to use “Jacob’s troubles” as correctional judgments for all Israel.

Thankfully YHVH is slow to anger (ref Psa 103: 8-9), so He will tolerate iniquity in His people until that cup is full. "But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of YHVH your Elohim, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (Deut 28:15). Please read Deuteronomy 28: 16-68.

There is a belief that YHVH did away with the punishment for sin when Yeshua died. If that were the case then we can remove the scriptures that speak of the curses that follow sin. But is that the case? As I see it, those curses are punishments for missing the mark of Torah. However, when we repent “the blood of Yeshua cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7) thus breaking the curse that were attached to the sin.

When I look out of my living room window I see the two mountains, of blessing and curse. The Mount of Curse is higher and much larger than that of the Mount of Blessing, just as there are more verses about the curse than the blessing. Do not think that it is the devil executing the curses. It is very clear that YHVH already put these things in His book, as consequences for disobedience. But if His people from both houses of Israel will repent "and return to YHVH your Elohim and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, [than] YHVH your Elohim will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where YHVH your Elohim has scattered you” (Deut. 30:2-3). He also said that if we would repent He would put these curses on our enemies (ref. Deut. 30:7). And so, if the second stick of “all Israel” remains asleep or in the dark, who will be held responsible when the times of Jacob’s troubles fall upon them? I believe that we are already in the beginning stages of YHVH’s righteous judgments upon His people and that it is too late to smell the sweet fragrance of His blessings, thus we are beginning to feel the sting of the thorns.

“The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed. The thorn and thistle shall grow on their altars; they shall say to the mountains, ‘Cover us!’ And to the hills, ‘Fall on us.’ O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah… You have plowed wickedness; You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, because you trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men. Therefore tumults shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be plundered… When it is My desire, I will chasten them. Peoples shall be gathered against them when I bind them for their two transgressions. Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek YHVH, till He comes and rains righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:8-9;13-14;12).


Friday, May 12, 2006


This has been an interesting week in that the topic of miracles came up several times in conversations. In each of those instances sentiments like “if only the Spirit would heal the sick or raise the dead as a witness to the Jews...” were expressed. Indeed, in the writings of Paul we find the apostle saying that the Jews do require a sign (ref 1 Cor. 1:22). Yeshua, for His part, left two signs of His Messiahship, “the sign of Jonah” (ref. Matt. 12:39-40), and the sign that the temple would be destroyed and raised back in three days (meaning His body, ref. Mark 14:58). In addition, Yeshua performed numerous miracles during His earthly ministry. But overall did all these miracles/signs have a lasting impact on the Jewish nation? What kind of a sign will the Jews of today respond to?

As I pondered this I recalled some feedbacks from Israeli Jews, when I had mentioned to them that there are people who are discovering their identity as the “lost tribes of Israel/Ephraim” and are also starting to adapt a Torah life style. The responses were always very emotional and the words the same every time: “The Mashiach is coming, the Mashiach is coming!” In Judaism it is a given that the lost tribes must return before Messiah comes. Included in this belief is also the concept that the true Messiah will be responsible for restoring the lost ones to their patriarchal roots.

As we all know, the one phenomenon that is quickly making its way through the Christian world today is interest in the Hebraic roots of Christianity and a love for the land and the Jewish people. Many Gentile believers are responding in an unprecedented way to this present move of YHVH’s Spirit. They are beginning to receive revelation that they are of the lost tribes, and as a result they also study the scriptures in a new light. Each individual has his own particular testimony, but all point to the one message of the latter day prophecies that speak about the House of Judah and the House of Israel/Ephraim being joined together into one nation.

The House of Judah (which has a remnant of all 12 tribes in it) has never lost its identity, and now, because of the Word of Elohim and His faithfulness, it has been restored to being a nation once again. But where are the multitudes promised to the other house? The prophet Ezekiel says that they are in their graves; they are dry dead bones. But when YHVH breathes His Spirit into them they will live again and come up out of those hidden places in the earth, and putting on flesh they will stand on their feet as a mighty army (ref Eze 37:1-10). The only people who have had YHVH’s Spirit breathed into them are those who have heard and believed the Good News of the New Covenant. Thus, through the faith that they have from their father Abraham, they have been resurrected from a grave of “not my people” and “sin and death” to life in Messiah. But that is not the only prophetic destiny for these people. They also are to become a royal priesthood and a holy nation, and to be joined to the “stick/nation of Judah” thus forming a one united nation (ref. Eze. 37: 19-22).

Today these scriptures are being fulfilled, and the House of Joseph/Ephraim (with its lost and now found tribesmen) is standing before Judah with this incredible testimony of life from the dead. What other sign would Judah need that would be greater than an entire nation being raised from their graves? It is therefore vital for the members of the House of Joseph/Ephraim to be this living testimony to Judah. It not only shows the Jews that the Elohim of Israel is faithful to keep His covenant and Word, but it is also a statement as to Messiah’s identity. Let us not be ashamed of who we are because it is the Gospel and the hope of Israel. It is the sign of the power of Elohim to raise the dry dead bones of the lost Israelites and bring them out of their graves, back to their identity and eventually to the land that was promised to their forefathers. More over, this restoration and redemption of all Israel will be YHVH’s testimony/sign to all the nations that He is the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, a faithful covenant keeping Elohim. It will be life from dead for the entire creation (Rom. 8:19; Rom 11:15)!


Friday, April 28, 2006


As we know, Moshe ministered to Israel mainly during the time spent in the wilderness. YHVH had made it known that this was a period in which His people were to be taught and learn obedience to His commandments, statutes and ordinances, but not without the Almighty’s grace. The Children of Israel did not lack anything; food, water, or shelter, and neither did their clothes and shoes wear out during the forty-year journey. In the course of the sojourn in the dessert they were to be a testimony and a witness to the surrounding nations of the One who had redeemed them and brought them out of the bondage of Egypt. However, in spite of the grace, their hearts remained hard and their necks stiff towards their Elohim.

Therefore, shortly before entering the land, Moshe delivered a very disturbing message to the people. He revealed to them, that YHVH had not yet given them a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear (ref. Deut. 29:4); and then predicted that they would break covenant with Elohim once in the land that He was about to give them. Consequently they were not going to live long in the land, but be cast out and scattered amongst the peoples. But in spite of this harsh forecast, he did not leave them without hope. In the latter days, Moshe added, they would return to YHVH their Elohim and listen to His voice (ref. Deut. 4:25-30).

Of all the curses upon Israel’s disobedience, the severest is to be living outside the land. To be exiled amongst the other nations is like being back in the wilderness again, which the Bible calls the “wilderness of the peoples”. As we know from history, Moshe’s predictions came to pass, and in 722 BC the Northern Kingdom of the House of Israel was taken by the Assyrians to the northern regions of Assyria and later, in 556 BC, their brethren, the House of Judah, met the same fate in the Babylonian exile.

In the days of the prophet Ezekiel (590-560 BC) the elders of the Northern Kingdom approached Ezekiel, who was amongst them on a divine mission, and enquired if they could come back to the land. YHVH refused to answer them, other than to remind them of the abominations of their fathers, and admonishing them to forsake their ancestral ways. It was bad enough that they had rebelled in the wilderness, but once entering the land they had committed even worse offences (see Eze. 20:27-31). Now, in the “galut” (diaspora or exile), they were enquiring when they could return to the land.

Thankfully YHVH informed them that even though they had wanted to be like the other nations, serving wood and stone and playing the harlot, He would not allow them to carry on living in this manner: “Surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will be king over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you… I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am YHVH” (Ezekiel 20: 34-38).

Although this seemed like good news to those elders, it was not to be that generation that would return. But is it good news for the generation that will return? “With an outstretched hand and fury poured out” does not sound like much fun. Those elders of the House of Israel who were listening to Ezekiel must have been very disappointed. But because they were in rebellion against the Almighty they did not know nor understand what the prophets had spoken to them about their destiny, and that unfortunately is much the same case today. At that time YHVH’s plan for them to become multitudes, and even many nations, in accordance with the covenant that He had made with their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was just in the beginning stages.

Now, almost 3,000 years later, it is evident that YHVH has kept His covenant and multiplied the seed of Israel like the sand of the sea. And although most of the Ephraimites are still in the “wilderness of the peoples”, there are signs that we could be living in the day of the restoration and return of the whole House of Israel. One of those signs is that this rebellious house would remember the Torah of Moshe, which was their instruction while in the “wilderness” after emerging from the house of bondage, and how much more so for their time in the “wilderness of the people”. "Remember the Torah of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments…before the coming great and terrible day of YHVH” (Malachi 4:4-5). Another sign that is in accordance with the “new covenant” was that, YHVH would write His instructions on the circumcised heart of the believing - resurrected Israelite. What Moshe said to our forefathers about YHVH not giving them a heart to understand, was now going to change with the “new covenant”. Therefore those who have received the grace to believe into this new covenant have no excuse for living a Torah-less life style.

It is interesting to note that during the time of the rejection and dispersion from the land, the House of Judah declared to the House of Israel: “Get far away from YHVH; this land has been given to us as a possession” (Eze 11:15). But let us hear what YHVH says about this: "Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone. Therefore say, 'Thus says YHVH Elohim: "I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel’" (Eze 11:16-17).

However, in order for this to come to pass there is an obligation that must be met. YHVH is not going to bring us back in the same condition that our forefathers were in when they were booted out. Repentance is going to be forced upon us until we smite our thigh for the sin of our youth; that is, the sin of our forefathers that we are still living in today even as believers in the “new covenant”, under which repentance is mandatory. Thus it is written about the House of Israel:
“There is hope in your future, says YHVH... I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself: 'You have chastised me, and I was chastised, Like an untrained bull; Restore me, and I will return, For You are YHVH my Elohim. Surely, after my turning, I repented; and after I was instructed (in Torah), I struck myself on the thigh; I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated, Because I bore the reproach of my youth'” (Jeremiah 31:17-19).

Be blessed as you count the seven weeks. Remember it was during this time that Yeshua was teaching His disciples about the Kingdom of His Father (ref Acts 1:3).


Wednesday, April 12, 2006


April 12, 2006

Passover! An exciting time of the year, especially this year, as the 14th of the first month (Aviv), YHVH's Passover, occurs again in the middle of the week, just as it did on the week of Yeshua's execution. The Biblical feast days are usually referred to as “mo’adim” (plural of “mo’ed), meaning a fixed, or appointed time of YHVH.

What is so important about these fixed appointments and their time and place, and are they relevant for today’s redeemed Israelite community? In Colossians 2:16-17 Shaul says: “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a mere shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Messiah." Many use this mistranslated scripture portion to disqualify the feasts of YHVH. However the literal translation of these verses is: “Let no one be your judge in regards to food, drink, feasts, new moon or Sabbaths, but the body of Messiah, for these are shadows of things yet to come.” Thus, these Torah observances are prophetic, and by keeping them we are proclaiming something that is yet to be revealed in YHVH’s plan. For this reason the Body of Messiah is "to judge" and discern these matters, as the verse points out. To those who would argue that the Torah laws were nailed to the cross, and have all been fulfilled by Yeshua, we would respond that the apostle wrote this after the death of the Messiah. In other words, yes, they are shadows… of things yet to come, and therefore are prophetic in nature!

Let us walk with Yeshua the Lamb, starting Friday, the ninth of the month of Aviv (Nissan), all the way through the Feast of Unleavened Bread, culminating with the Waving of the Omer. Each day will be much more meaningful as we ponder the mo’ed ahead of us, focusing on Yeshua’s last Passover. Being the lamb of Elohim, Yeshua would have had to fulfill all the requirements of this mo’ed. In addition, He also had to fulfill the prophetic words that had been written about Him, and those that He prophesied about Himself. Here are some of the relevant scripture texts, and looking at a Hebrew calendar, as you read, will help.

"Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (Matt. 5:17-18).

" Then He said to them, 'O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Messiah to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?' So beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures (Tanach) the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:25-27)".

" Then I said, `Behold, I have come----In the volume of the book it is written of Me----To do Your will, O YHVH'" (Heb.10:7).

"Then Yeshua said to them, 'all of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: `I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered'”: (Zech 13:7)…

" ‘Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? "How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?’ In that hour Yeshua said to the multitudes, ‘Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled” (Matt. 26:31, 53-56).


The Sign of Jonah:

“Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, 'teacher, we want to see a sign from You'. But He answered and said to them, 'an evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth'” (Matt:12:38-40).

"'A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.’ And He left them and departed” (Matt.16:4)

“And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, ‘this is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet’” (Luke 11:29).

The Sign of the Temple

"So the Jews answered and said to Him, 'what sign do You show to us, since You do these things? 'Yeshua answered and said to them, 'destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up'. Then the Jews said, 'it has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?' But He was speaking of the temple of His body. (John 2:18-21).

Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Yeshua to put Him to death but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward and said, "This fellow said: `I am able to destroy the temple of YHVH and to build it in three days'" (Matt. 26:59-61; Mark 14:58-62).
(Were these last two really false witnesses? Did not Yeshua say that He would destroy the temple? Read John 2:18-21 again.)

"And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying: 'you who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross '"(Matt. 27:39-40; Mark 15:29-30).

Because Yeshua told the Priests and the people that ??these?? were signs of His being the Messiah, the former wanted to make sure that no one would try and steal the body and then proclaim to everyone that what this prophet-teacher said has indeed been fulfilled. So, to ensure that nothing would happen to the body, they placed soldier-guards around the tomb, and sealed the stone that covered the entrance. This, however, backfired on them, in that these soldiers became the first witnesses to the fulfillment of the signs. “Now while they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, 'tell them, `his disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.' "And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will appease him and make you secure." So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day” (Matt. 28:11-15).

"After His resurrection, the disciples also recalled what Yeshua had said about the destruction of the “temple” and about raising it in three days" (John 2:19-22).


“And YHVH spoke to Moses, saying, 'speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: `The feasts of YHVH, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of YHVH in all your dwellings'” (Lev. 23:1-3). Each feast day, regardless of the day of the week it happens to occur on, is patterned after the Shabbat and is called a Shabbaton. This is why Yeshua had to be taken off the cross and buried before the evening of the coming in of the “Shabbat”. “Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day [the 14th] that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day [the 15th] ) the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away (John 19:31; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54). The 15th was and still is the Feast of Matzot - unleavened bread. It is a Shabbat-like day (a Shabbton).

“These are the feasts of YHVH, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. On the fourteenth day of the first month between the evenings [the entire twenty four hour period of the 14th] is YHVH’s Passover” (Lev.23: 4-5). Please note that the 14th is not spoken of as a rest day or a holy convocation (see John 19:31). It was the day on which they were busy sacrificing and cutting up the lambs; from evening to evening, a day of preparation for the Shabbaton that was to follow (on the 15th which was the first day of the Feast of Matzot). “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to YHVH; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day [the 15th of the Month of Aviv] you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. But you shall offer an offering made by fire to YHVH for seven days. The seventh day [the 21st of the month of Aviv, April 26th this year] shall be a holy convocation [a Shabbat-like day]; you shall do no customary work on it" (Lev. 23:6-8; ref. Deut. 16:1-3). Within the week of the Feast of Matzot it is possible to have three Shabbats; the fifteenth, which could fall on any day of the week, the regular seventh day of the week, and the seventh day feast which again can fall on any day of the week.

“And YHVH spoke to Moses, saying, ‘speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before YHVH, to be accepted on your behalf'”. (Lev. 23:10-11) This literally says: “for your acceptance, or that you may be accepted”. In other words, you and I can only go before YHVH if this wave offering qualifies us. “On the day after the Sabbath (the weekly Shabbat that falls between the two Shabbatons) the first day of the week [the 18th of Aviv, which in the Hebrew letters makes the word “life”), the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to YHVH.” (Lev. 23: 9-12). Yeshua was raised on this day and presented Himself before the Father, this is why He told Miryam of Magdala not to touch Him. for He had not yet been to the Father. He was that first fruit wave offering that you and I may be accepted. “And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed” (Lev. 23:15). (Not forgetting to count the Sabbath of the 21st of Aviv).


"Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: `On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. `And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. `Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight [between the evenings]'" (Ex. 12:3-6).

Yeshua the Lamb,

“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night" (Luke 2:7-8). The Lamb was born in a stable, in a feed troth, amongst other animals in the place. Shepherds pasturing sheep heard the message of the angles. "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." (Luke 2:12).

“The next day John saw Yeshua coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

"The place in the Scripture which he read was this: 'He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its sheerer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, and who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth'"(Acts 8:32-33)

“But with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1Pet.1:19-20).

“And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth'” (Rev. 5:6-10).

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb'" (Rev. 7:9-17).

“They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: 'great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested'"(Rev. 15:3-4).

Passover Lamb’s Journey

“Now it came to pass, when Yeshua had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan" (Matt. 19:1; Mark 10:1; John 1:28). ”Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Yeshua was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: 'behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again'" (Mark 10:33). Please note the pronoun being used, it is as if the Son of God 'aspect' of Yeshua is speaking about the Son of Man 'aspect'.

“Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging.
And when he heard that it was Yeshua of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, 'Yeshua, Son of David, have mercy on me!'" (Mark 10:46; Luke 18:35; 19:1 Matt. 20:29; Luke 19:28). Interestingly YHVH used a blind man to declare that Yeshua was the Messiah Son of David.

“Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Yeshua sent two disciples, saying to them, 'go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me'” (Matt. 21:1-2; Luke 19:28-29).

“Then, six days before the Passover [the 9th of Aviv], Yeshua came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Miryam took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Yeshua, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Yeshua, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray Him, said, 'why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?' This he said not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. But Yeshua said, 'let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always'" (John 12:1-8).

Tonight (Erev Shabbat), when you sit to have your meal, think about what had been taking place on this very night so many years ago. Maybe find some perfume to scent the air…(fragrance of Messiah).

“The next day [Shabbat the tenth of Aviv], a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Yeshua was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: 'Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the YHVH! The King of Israel!' Then Yeshua, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: 'Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey's colt'" (John 12:12-16).

The Jewish feast of Unleavened Bread was and still is celebrated on the 15th. This year that day happens to fall on Thursday, April 20th . If we count six days before the 15th of Aviv, we arrive at Friday the 9th (April 14th ), this was the day on which Yeshua came up to Beit-Onya (Bethany), and had an Erev Shabbat meal with El’azar (Lazarus), Martha, and Miryam. John tells us that the following day, which would have been Shabbat the tenth of Aviv, Yeshua rode the colt of an Ass into Jerusalem. Sorry it was not Palm Sunday, but Palm Saturday that year. It on this same day that the priests carried the lambs for the Passover sacrifices into the temple as well. The lambs were examined for four days, and if no blemish or defect could be found, they qualified for the sacrifice, and were killed on the 14th. Yeshua went up on the tenth. and for four days he was also questioned and examined until no fault could be found in Him. He was the perfect sacrifice. He celebrated the Passover meal the night before the rest of the nation celebrated it, as He knew He would not be around for the occasion. “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Yeshua knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end" (John 13:1).
“When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, 'with fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God'" (Luke 22:14-16). He was then crucified on the 14th , which is Wednesday, the middle of the week. “Then He shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate" (Daniel 9:27). On the day of preparation, Yeshua was put into the grave, just before the Shabbaton of the 15th , the eve of Thursday, (Please keep in mind that the night comes first and then the day). He was in the grave that night (1st night), all day Thursday (1st day the 15th); the night of Friday (2nd night) all day Friday (2nd day the 16th); Saturday night (3rd night) and all day Saturday (3rd day the 17th). Then sometime after the Shabbat went out Yeshua rose from the dead. He was exactly 3 days and 3 nights in the grave. The religious leaders were looking for a reason to enounce him as a liar. Indeed, if He would not have stayed in that grave for three nights and three days they would have proven their point beyond a shadow of a doubt, and Yeshua could not have been the Messiah of Israel. The Good Friday and Easter Sunday celebrations only come to the aid of those who would declare Yeshua a liar. The sign of Jonah is Yeshua’s answer to an evil and wicked generation.

Let us be as those who have understanding and join Yeshua’s disciples and remember all that has been written. “Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Yeshua had said" (John 2:22)


"Great and marvelous are Your works, YHVH Elohim Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O YHVH, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested"(Rev. 15:3-4).

Friday, April 07, 2006


April 7, 2006
For those of you who are celebrating Passover with our brother, the People of Judah, I would like to share again the following letter. I think it quite significant that it was at this time that YHVH declared Israel to be His firstborn nation; the only nation that would ever have this status before Him. Actually very little mention is made of the importance of the death of Egypt’s firstborn and the fact that YHVH established Israel as His. Israel’s birth as a nation came as a result of the death of a lamb and its blood having been smeared on a doorpost of the homes, but also at the expense of another nation losing its firstborn sons. I hope this year we will consider the importance of our unity as YHVH’s firstborn nation and what it means to be called an “Israelite”.
It was over 3,800 years ago when the Elohim of Jacob sent His family down into Egypt to make them into a single nation. Speaking to His servant Jacob, He said: “I am YHVH, the Elohim of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation [goy] there’” (Genesis 46:3). One of the Hebrew words for “nation” is “goy”. It is first used in the Tanach in the Covenant that YHVH made with our forefather Abraham, “I will make you a great nation [goy]; I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2). One man, one God, one Covenant, one national identity; this was at the heart of YHVH’s plan for the redemption of the creation. The Elohim of Abraham set apart a man, and swore by His own name that his seed/sperm would become a great and holy (set-apart) nation.

When Jacob and his band of seventy souls arrived in Egypt, he found another family member already down there - Joseph. As we can see from the story recorded in Genesis, Joseph and his progeny had lost their identity and connection with their family of origin, and thus in a sense were a prophetic type of the second family (the so called Gent
iles, the company of nations) of the house of Jacob. Perhaps this is why Jacob had to adopt Joseph’s sons (ref. Gen 48:5), even though they were of the same bloodline. The adoption was significant for the restoration of the governmental order and unity of the clan. If they were to become a nation there in Egypt, they had to have their own land, and so since Joseph was in a position to do so, he gave them the land of Goshen, where they multiplied profusely. The Creator blessed them with fruitfulness, as they dwelt in one of the most fertile areas of the land of Ham.

However, eventually Jacob’s family became slaves to their Egyptian overlords. And while in that state, they lost their vision of being a nation, a family and a people with a purpose and a Divine call. This is portrayed quite vividly in the scene of the two Hebrew slaves who (much like today’s ‘two houses’) were fighting one another much to their own demise. The seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was now characterized by individualism. This was only natural, since they were living under extreme conditions where self-preservation became their means of survival. So where was this great nation that was promised to Abraham? His seed, now turned slaves, were cursing the day they were born on. They had become nothing more than dead dry bones in the desert sands of Egypt. So helpless were they that they could not even respond to Moses, when he came to them preaching the good news of their deliverance (ref. Exodus 6:9)!

The Passover story is replete with pestilence, famine and one disaster following another. But when gross darkness covered the land, there was still light in the tents of the Hebrews (ref. Ex.10:23), as the anointing of YHVH’s covenant word (which “is a light”, ref. Ps. 119:105) was still upon them to become a great nation. How was this going to be made possible? It certainly was not going to happen by the nation’s own strength. This was going to take a miracle, a Divine intervention. YHVH, therefore, dispatched a man with a message: “Let My people go”. Moses was faithful to bring that word to the ruler of the slaves, but YHVH hardened the heart of Pharaoh, just to make sure that His people would know that their deliverance was not going to come by the way or the authority of man. Had Pharaoh given his permission, these Hebrews would have been forever indebted to their slave owner. They would have never been free and could never have taken up their divinely ordained position as the head of all the nations. In this manner, they would have been legally bound to Egypt.

YHVH had another plan to restore these slaves to freedom and to their national identity. He told His servant Moses to have each family take a lamb: "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: `On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats…. Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb….then you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning…. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt ” (Exodus 12:3-5; 21-22; 13).

The moment the elders applied the blood and struck the lintels and the doorposts of the Hebrews’ homes with it, the latter were all sealed into their deliverance, freedom and destiny, but even beyond that - their individualism had just ceased to exist. They were now united behind the one sacrifice, totally dependent upon the powerful right arm of the Almighty to bring them out. “Let My people go!” YHVH had already announced to all the rulers of Egypt who these people belonged to. These were a people who did not belong to themselves, they were and still are today “My people, [“ami” -singular] says YHVH”. But now, through the blood of the lamb they were set apart to enter into the next phase of His plan. “’And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel" (Exodus 19:6).

As we, Ephraim and Judah, YHVH’s two families, the two nations, gather together to honor Him during this year’s Passover, let us leave our individualism and lift the cup of unity. Remember that we were all once slaves to sin and death and bound to the principalities and powers of this world’s (kosmos) dominion. It behooves us to, “purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Messiah our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:7-8). May we walk together through the Door that is splattered with the blood of the Lamb, out of the houses of our bondage and into the liberty of the new corporate life of the “One New Man”, the Royal Priesthood and Holy Nation Israel, YHVH’s firstborn!

May you all be blessed during this Passover and Feast of Matzot (unleavened bread) with a sense of national unity! May the eyes of our hearts be opened anew to the fact that we are “My people Israel” in this generation.


“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there YHVH commanded the blessing--Life forevermore” (Ps. 133).

Friday, March 31, 2006


We are deeply grieved over the departure, yesterday, of a very dear brother from the German community of Bet El. Gerhard was one of the elders and very respected in the town of Zichron Yaacov (which is where the Bet El kibbutz is located), as well as by thousands of other Israelis who have come to visit this Christian community and hear a testimony of the Father’s faithfulness. Those of you who visited Bet El most likely have met Gerhard, as he did the conducting of tour groups through the factory, sharing the testimony of how the Father brought a group of German Christians to Israel some 40 years ago. Gerhard was also the one whom YHVH used to open the door for others, who were not directly affiliated with this community, to come and serve Judah in a very practical way. We grieve with those who knew and loved him, and we will miss him greatly. I think if he were here to speak he would quote the following scripture:

“This is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it”.

This is one scripture, among many others, of course, that we need to take in daily as we walk through trials and individual tribulations. Just like the weather in its extremes, it seems our lives are also subject to great and unbelievable blessings, but then sudden changes bring difficulties that we had not had to face in the past. Sometimes I feel as if I have just gotten into a boat, going with the Master on a journey that will see the lame walk, the blind see, and the dead raised. Excitement fills my soul as I wait to get to the other side, where the multitudes will be waiting to clutch on to Yeshua’s garments or perchance to have Him touch them with a healing touch. There is such a wonderful feeling of pride to be His disciple, to stand near Him while He ministers to the people, or to take the bread that He has blessed and to be able to give it to a hungry crowd.

For me to be with Yeshua in the boat, as we journey to the next experience, is the ultimate of my excitement and expectation. However, right in the midst of this heavenly voyage a storm rises with such magnitude that my heart fails within me, and I feel as if I’m about to go down with the ship. I cry out to my Heavenly Father to rescue me, but no answer comes. I grab the handle of the rudder and attempt to steer, but to no avail. Perhaps I can steady things with the oars, I reason, but I get thrown down with a large wave that collapses upon the boat. Anger arises within me to the point that I shout a rebuke against the devil, binding the strongman and casting him out. But the storm continues. Finally, at my weakest point, I look and see Yeshua resting peaceably in the very same vessel. But, do I awaken my beloved before it is time?

These past couple of weeks we have been on such a journey, greatly blessed by our visitors who came to stay with us, and by traveling with them around the country. We had experiences where we were able to see YHVH fulfilling restoration scriptures and bringing us into new relationships that truly were divine appointments, with hopes for future involvements. But in the midst of all this were the unexpected experiences that brought us before our Redeemer with a plea for deliverance. Most of us (including me) tend to ask: “Why”? “Why must Gerhard die at such an important time as this?”

I just got off the phone with our orthodox friend Nir, from the settlement of Har Bracha, whom I called to inform about the time of the funeral, as he too was very close to Gerhard. Afterwards he asked me if I had heard the news on the radio, to which I replied that I hadn’t. His report was one of those “stings” that I had made reference to in the previous week’s letter. Last night a couple picked up a hitchhiker here in Samaria (just east of us), who turned out to be a terrorist dressed up like an orthodox Jew. He blew himself up in their car killing four people (and by the way, today the Israeli news media seems to be totally silent about this affair… after all the deceased were “only” settlers). A little later I called Boaz (Chris Dreyer) with whom we stayed on Tuesday night at his and Rina’s house in kibbutz Kerem Shalom, to also let him know about the funeral. When he answered he asked me the same question that Nir did: “did you hear the news?” When I said which news, he elaborated: “The bird flu hit our kibbutz last night; 22,000 birds will have to be destroyed.”

I know by now that it is our Creator who orchestrates our circumstances before we even know what they will be. However, it is how we interpret those experiences, which will either bring on victory, or will allow the enemy to step in and interject thoughts that are not from our Elohim. Concerning such situations James the Apostle wrote: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4). This is much more easily read than applied. But why does our loving Heavenly Father create these storms?

Perhaps part of the answer lies in the fact that we are His children. “For whom YHVH loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, Elohim deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see YHVH” (Heb 12: 6-14).

“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of Elohim, you may receive the promise: For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry” (Heb. 10:35-37).


Friday, March 17, 2006


This past week we celebrated Purim and read the story of Esther. But this year was different from others in that it seemed that the Spirit of Holiness was not messing around anymore, but wanted us to “get our act together”; that is “to hang” our Haman on Yeshua’s gallows and finish with these spirits once and for all. In light of this, I was asking what my Haman was and the Ruach came back rather quickly and suddenly with one word: “disobedience”. That led to a number of other insights that I would like to share with you.

Since Haman had ten sons, they too were to be incorporated into the “deal”. And if disobedience is the father, who are the sons? Since YHVH’s Spirit is working sanctification and purification in my spirit and soul, I knew it was no problem for Him to reveal areas that I needed to repent of. But beyond repentance, I needed to learn to be obedient and practice the repentant heart, so that His righteousness may be established in my innermost being. No sooner did the Spirit whisper that answer to my question, than the Father began to create my daily circumstances in order to bring to light my programmed patterns of behavior that would reveal Haman and sons. A scriptural directive that He brought to my remembrance was: “be faithful/obedient in the little things”. In other words, YHVH wants to guide us even in what would appear to be insignificant matters. Sometimes we pray and pray to seek His will in major decisions, while not listening to His directives in the small daily matters, especially those that “tap” into some of our heart’s conditions.

One of the many situations I had to face this past week was a money matter. I was concerned, or fearful, that our expenditures might put us into debt and therefore decided to run to the bank. One of Haman’s sons, called “fear”, was governing this state of affairs, even though at that point it was at the level of “mere” concern. In addition to taking care of the finances, I also needed to attend to other matters. In order to make the best use of my time I devised a strategy that would, so I thought, help me accomplish my tasks efficiently.

Driving through town, confident of my ideas and well-organized plans, I was suddenly “interrupted” by a still small thought: “pull in here and park”. There it was, near my bank, a free parking area but one that is usually full. So, taking a quick glance at it I assumed that there would be no room, and continued on my way to another appointment. That small act of assumption leading to disobedience, in that split moment, opened the door to another of Haman’s sons, “confusion”. From then on all my decisions were going to cost me time and energy, and additionally, "concern", that was there at the outset, mushroomed into "fear" that I wouldn’t make it in time back to the bank. I eventually parked in a paid parking lot and even though I had a parking pass, "confusion" blocked my mind and I failed to display it. I then proceeded to go to the office where I had to take care of some business. After about half an hour I remembered that I hadn’t put the ticket in the window. However “fear” and “doubt” spoke to me that if I were to leave my spot someone else would take my turn. Eventually I took a chance and run out, only to find a ticket with a fine attached to my window. Fortunately when I returned from the parking lot, the person ahead of me had not come out yet. Finally it was my turn, but to my dismay I did not have one of the forms that were required for finishing the process, even though I had enquired several weeks beforehand as to the needed paperwork. “Frustration” and “anger” were now holding hands and doing their dance, to be followed by “bitterness” and “criticism” which joined in the celebration. But if that were not enough, “self condemnation” and “unforgiveness” had to have their expression as well. I was not doing well in “casting down all thoughts and imaginations that were exalting themselves above the knowledge” of His Holy presence in me. Haman’s sons were partying inside my mind tossing junk all over the place, although on the outside I appeared to be “holding my cool”.

In last week’s article mention was made of separating the holy from the profane. Haman and his sons are profane entities that can work in our hearts and minds if we succumb to their desires to manifest their nature in and through us. Like Haman, these spiritual culprits are out to steal, kill and destroy our peace, joy and righteousness. The Ruach Hakodesh, on the other hand, has already restored us to the garden of YHVH’s delight ("Eden") and is enabling us to reach up and partake of the Tree of Life (Yeshua) who is always full of the fruit of the Spirit. Once we partake of that fruit we also become “trees of righteousness the planting of YHVH, so that He may be glorified” in us (ref. Isa 61:3).

Yeshua showed us what the profane/disobedient heart looks like. It is the heart that has the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil: "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:20-23). But the fruit of the Tree of Life is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law,” (Gal 5: 22-23).

YHVH is gathering the “trees of righteousness” to build a temple in the land, but it will take obedience of faith to become a part of this latter day restoration.

"Even those from afar shall come and build in the temple of YHVH. Then you shall know that YHVH of hosts has sent Me to you. And this shall come to pass if you diligently obey the voice of YHVH your Elohim” (Zech 6:15). “Do you not know that you are the temple of Elohim and that the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of Elohim, Elohim will destroy him. For the temple of Elohim is holy, which temple you are” (Cor. 3:16-17). “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Spirit of Holiness who is in you, whom you have from Elohim, and you are not your own?” (1 Cor 6:19).


Friday, March 10, 2006


Genuine love goes a long way in restoring relationships. And this of course is also true about the relationship of Ephraim and Judah. A few weeks ago I received a letter with just such an account, to which was also added a touch of “divine irony”. I have omitted the names of the Messianic couple (mentioned below) that has been living in Israel for many years, and the name of the Ephraimite fellowship and its leaders who extended love and blessings to the said couple. In addition, the following also incorporates a very sound teaching, much of which was actually demonstrated and put into action, as you will see, in the Ephraimite-Judahite encounter.

"They [the Messianic couple] found us [the Ephraimite Messianic fellowship] on the Internet after praying where the Father wanted them to go. Out of many other messianic groups the Father directed them to us. We had not posted our information on the Internet. The funny thing is, the MJAA (Messianic Jewish Alliance of America) posted us and did not know that we were affiliated with the MIA (Messianic Israel Alliance)! The couple loved this and was totally thrilled, as they knew God had directed their path to us.

We could see that this couple was exhausted and we knew they had turned their renewing visa time into a ministering time for the church…but it was obvious that they just had not had a break. He shared on the trip to our house some of the persecution stories like having his tires slashed 11 times in 3 months…etc. They chose our place for a Shabbat messianic fellowship and a place of rest before continuing to minister to the churches during the week. Knowing this background we welcomed them warmly and made them feel like this was their home.

We really wanted to minister to them, but allowed them the freedom to express what God had placed on their hearts for us first. He taught on the Tabernacle and we all loved his insights and gleanings. After we had a midrash and that was where the ministering for them took place…. God had His hand on these people!!! We prayed for them and shared some insights to bless them, to strengthen them and give them hope.

Some of the points covered were: One of them brought up the fact that he did not know who the two trees represented in his teaching. When we shared scriptures from Zech 4 and Rev re: two trees / two witness of Messiah/ Two houses of Israel, his wife agreed and he was interested in looking into the House of Israel and the House of Judah as the two olive trees and the two witnesses of the Messiah. This led us through other scriptures and illuminations about the two houses.

They mentioned all the ministry and prayer they do with the congregation and other projects they have in Israel. Very impressive, but [yet] we saw two very depleted people. They have passion for God and His people but lacked "fire". We wanted to share and impart some key scriptures that keep us from draining our oil and keep oil restored in the lives of others as well.

We quoted from the scriptures, the difference between a false and true prophet and priest:
Ezekiel 22:26 "Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them." Ezekiel 44: 23-24 "And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean… They shall keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed meetings, and they shall hallow My Sabbaths."

We also shared on the Mikvah, generational curses and the washing process.

We found that if we taught people this [type of material] that there were less prayer needs, and as they came to understand and learn God’s ways, they had fewer problems in their lives and experienced blessings, not curses. As the people were learning the difference between clean and unclean, holy and unholy they could choose life …not death. When they chose life they got blessings not curses. This alleviated so much stress in our lives and set the people free. No longer were they dependent on the Pastor, but sought eagerly after the Father’s heart for their lives. People started to change here in the fellowship and a peace came over the people like we have never seen before. We no longer had to teach the people, as they all know and are learning the ways of God as they are now understanding the difference between clean and unclean, holy and unholy.

The people here also know who they are. They are part of Israel. We are no longer Gentiles (pagan, confused and without God). We know we are a royal priesthood and a holy Nation before YHVH and we are learning through progressive revelation how to walk in a redeemed lifestyle and walk in our inheritance, with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…in Yeshua’s footsteps as taught by Moses (John 5:46-47).

We know the Jews are trying to hold the land. We also know there are too few in number. We told this Jewish couple that they need Joseph to come home. As the people are selling God’s land, Joseph’s rightful property, Joseph is preparing to come home. Joseph is being formed in the wilderness and all TWELVE tribes will come into the Land as a mighty army.

We need to teach the people who they are and teach them how to walk in God’s ways choosing to walk in clean/holy ways, and then we can keep the land…. If not taught properly, the land will spew us out as no unclean people can "keep" the land. They will just be visitors in the land…coming in and going out…never staying. The enemy will always be at your doorstep and harassing you…you have that now. The enemy is only in your camp to let us know we need to fix something in us. Once we come into Godly order in our own lives, the enemy moves on to infect another camp. The secret is we need to teach our people "God’s truth". That is the job of the true priest and prophet of the Messiah.

The second message was 2 Chronicles 30:9 "If you return to YHVH, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him."

Understanding this passage we started to really see that what we were doing here in our home and by teaching others (the difference between clean and unclean/holy and unholy) was going to have an effect in the land of Israel today. Not only would we be set free but our brothers and families who were held by their captors would also be set free and come back to YHVH and the land.

This was so huge to us. We told this lovely couple that what we are doing here today in…., is helping them. By our actions it was bringing freedom in their land.

There were many more things discussed but by the time we finished they were very touched. I think they were very humbled by our hospitality and gifts of midrash and love. We ministered to a needy people and hopefully the fruit will produce a wealth in the land a hundred fold.

At the end of the day, our Ephraimite friend took this couple back to their lodging. The Ephraimite gave the Judahite a hug good-bye. In return, the Judahite hugged the Ephraimite back very long and hard. The Ephraimite said, "We love you," and the Judahite acknowledged that but could not look at the Ephraimite as he had tears in his eyes.

It is sooooo good for brothers to come together (Psalm 133), and we look forward to blessing more from Judah. It was a very special Sabbath - one we will always remember. It's amazing how much the Parsha studies match where we are...the study last week was Y'thro teaching Moses this very thing...

End quote.

We want to extend our gratitude to the brothers and sisters for what they have demonstrated, as well as for allowing us to share their experience and teaching.


Friday, March 03, 2006


I’m sure that most of you have heard about the controversy that arose over the Danish cartoon of Mohammed, and the riots that are still in progress in Moslem communities throughout the world. Taking his cues from this conflagration, someone decided to scribble degrading words against Islam’s prophet on the outside walls of a mosque, most likely with the hope that it would start an Arab uprising in Israel and against Jews all over the world.

The little town where this took place happens to lie just below us, and is about a half mile north east of our town. The village of Nabi Elias (“Prophet Elijah”) is known for its friendliness, with the road connecting us to other Israeli towns (settlements), to the northeast, passing right through it. But two days ago a shot rang out and a resident of one of the Israeli communities was seriously wounded in the neck. Another was killed in a drive by shooting further into Samaria. Was there a connection between the graffiti and the cost of a life?

Due to the circumstances that Islam has launched the world into, much is being written about Islam, the Arab world, and the Koran. There is one factor that controls this religion and unites its devotees, and that is Pride which demands honor, respect, and compliance – Karameh is the Arabic term. This concept is at the center of its worldview and the prime cause and motivator of actions, both individual and corporate. A word or deed that is construed as an offense to Karameh, will be met by retaliation and revenge. There was no question in anyone’s mind that after those words were scribbled, it would be only a matter of time before something would happen. Pride never forgives nor forgets and is never satisfied. In yesterday’s paper, an Israeli military officer said that we should expect the Palestinians to return to the days of the stone throwing. “Stone throwing,” means war not strictly with adults, but also with a child of any age who can pick up a stone and hurl it. In the Gaza Strip, for example, our soldiers were psychologically challenged because they had to deal day after day with young children throwing stones while their older brothers were standing behind them with weapons. Almost everyone knew that this method would win the war for the Palestinians. Thus we have given in time after time to these little Palestinian “Davids”. Hamas has used its little ones, trained by their mothers to hate, to step out with sticks and stones and stand in front of Israeli tanks and soldiers. Some, who year after year have cultivated this brave attitude, are now strapping explosives belts and sacrificing themselves to Islam’s god of Karameh.

The spirit of pride will not be satisfied until all of its objectives are completed, and that is the elimination of anything that stands in its way. Pride has no value on life, it will “steal, kill and destroy”, it also has no political or religious bounds, nor does it take age into account, it has one objective and that is to satisfy ITS SELF. This is the picture of the Anti-Messiah’s rule on earth, not only in our generation, but ever since Man ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Satan was in that tree, and it was the fruit of his nature of pride that Man received into the soil of his heart. We are all victims of this sinister plan. However, Elohim, the Creator, has a full proof plan to destroy the works of Satan. He began this work when He made a covenant with a very old man called Abraham and intervened in the dead and barren womb of his elderly wife Sarah. Elohim did it again in two other wombs of barren women. And so, when the time came for the conception of His only begotten Son, in the womb of a virgin, the Creator, who had already demonstrated His ability to bring life out of death, had no problem accomplishing it.

Thus the words that Elohim spoke to Satan in the beginning (Genesis 3:15): “and I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed; He [the seed of woman] shall crush your head, and you will bruise his heel” (the name “Jacob” comes from the word heel), are fulfilled. For out of a virgin woman from the seed Jacob came YHVH’s only begotten Son to redeem the House of Jacob and to set up His heavenly Father’s Kingdom in that house. His rule and dominion here on earth will crush the head of pride in the hearts of men and thus end Satan’s rule on earth.

Satan is being allowed to express himself fully at this time, but only to be destroyed once and for all. Therefore "Elohim resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of Elohim, that He may honor you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5-6). “But the humble shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psalm 37:11).


Friday, February 24, 2006


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February 24, 2006

We want to thank all who have responded with prayers and condolences in the last couple of weeks in the aftermath of my mother's death. It was also at this time of year, back in 2000, that two very close friends (believers) and former residents of our town, a mother and her pregnant daughter, were killed in a car accident in Ireland and then buried here in Alfe Menashe. Now with the passing over of my mother, I was reminded of an article that I had written back then. The following is a modification of that letter.

Thus, again, our sorrow and grief have been mingled with joy and excitement, a state so typical of the “mixed” human condition here on earth. All the same, we must return to the work that each of us has been given while we remain on this side of YHVH's eternal plan, and that is to be a part of the manifestation and restoration of His kingdom to one nation - Israel. It was for this task that Messiah came, as was foretold by the angel Gabriel: "He [Yeshua] will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and YHVH Elohim will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Ya’acov forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:32-33). We, being a part of that remnant, must pay close attention to the word of YHVH through His holy prophets from of old, as it is written that “the heavens must retain Him [Messiah] until the restoration of all things spoken through the mouth of [these] holy prophets” (Acts 3:21).

Those of you who have visited Israel during this season of the year, are most likely familiar with the beautiful blossoms of the almond tree. On the hills of Samaria especially there are thousands of olive trees, among which are scattered these lovely almond trees. The white and pink blossoms of the almond trees' slender branches, juxtaposed with the somber silvery green of the olive trees and their gnarled trunks, form a delightful and memorable sight. The delicate and graceful “shkey’diya” standing among the olive trees is much like a young bride surrounded by a crowd of stately sages.

The word for almond in Hebrew is “sha’ked”, the root verb of which is “to watch diligently”. This is well illustrated in Jeremiah 1:11-12 which reads: “Moreover the word of YHVH came to me, saying, ‘Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah), what do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a branch of an almond tree’. Then YHVH said to me, ‘you have seen well, for I am watching [persistently and with diligence] over My word to perform it.’" The olive tree, on the other hand, is the known symbol of the House of Jacob (ref. Jer. 11:16).

This relationship of olive and almond can also be seen in the Menorah, as the cups that hold the olive oil are shaped in the form of the flower of the almond tree. Thus, when lit, the pressed oil in the basin of the “flower” lights up the Holy Place. The olive oil for the Menorah came from the first fruit of the tree, and some claim that only the first drop of oil from each of those olives could be used for that lamp.

The almond tree is the first to demonstrate the budding of life at the end of winter, even before springtime. At the same time, its blossoms are the sign for the husbandman to prune the olive trees, and so, at this time of year the branches are seen lying on the ground around the olive tree ready to be gathered and burned. It is worth noting that the branches that get pruned are the ones in the interior of the tree, those hidden from sunlight; those that are sapping the tree of its life-giving energy, and while producing little fruit they also prevent the tree from breathing. The branches that are left will then bear larger and juicier olives. Added to the beautiful sight of the olive trees and the flowering almond trees are the carpets of violet and yellow flowers, interspersed with the red (poppy-like) anemones.

Our hearts are grieved over the many things that are taking place in the land of our inheritance, but yet YHVH will remain faithful to watch (almond = sha’ked - to be diligent) over His Word and promises to Israel, the olive tree. We find that our hearts are experiencing the same sort of feelings that Yeshua had as He wept over Jerusalem, or like those of Paul recorded in Romans 9:2-4: “I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Messiah for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh… who are Israelites.”

King David erected a tent, as a temporary covering until the time of the construction of the Temple, and brought into it the Ark of the Covenant. On that day he composed a prayer, excerpts of which I would like to quote, with the remnant of the seed of Israel in mind: “O, give thanks to YHVH, Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! O seed of Yisrael His servant, you children of Ya’acov, His chosen ones! He is YHVH our Elohim; His judgments are in all the earth… Remember His covenant forever, the word that He commanded, for a thousand generations; The covenant which He made with Avraham, and His oath to Yitzchak, and confirmed it to Ya’acov for a statute, to Yisrael for an everlasting covenant, saying, ‘To you I will give the land of Canaan as the allotment of your inheritance'" (1 Chronicles 16:8-9; 13-18).

We, in this generation, are still far from the thousandth generation of our forefathers’ seed. It therefore behooves us to pay heed to David’s word, exhorting us to remember the land. The greater Son of David (Yeshua) is not interested in uniting Church and Synagogue; this is not what He is diligent in performing. Ezekiel tells us that He is interested in uniting two trees, two houses, two kingdoms, two nations and a people, to their Elohim, to each other, and to their land (Ezekiel 37). The Messiah came to restore the government of His Father to Israel, His firstborn nation. He will perform it and bring it to pass, but He will also prune the olive tree of Israel. “You will say then, ‘branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.' Well said, because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear, for if YHVH did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of YHVH” (Romans 11:19-22).

Please pray and ask what you might do to help in restoring the relationship between the two houses, as you can be like those almond trees blossoming in early spring amongst the olive trees on the hills of Samaria.

Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity (Psa. 133)