Friday, May 20, 2011


In Dr. James D. Tabor's book, "Restoring Abrahamic Faith", the author poses the question: "Was Jesus the Nazarene the Messiah?" Within the context of this section, he restates the question as follows: "Did Jesus fulfill what all the Prophets declare the Davidic King will accomplish? The answer to that question is clearly 'no'"; end of quote. He then sites the prophecies that the "Davidic" King should fulfill, concluding, "When a descendent of David appears in the world, re-gathers the Tribes of Israel, disarms the nations of the world, restores the Temple with the Presence of YHVH, and sets up a world-wide government in which the TORAH is taught to all nations—surely all can agree that such a one is the long awaited Messiah ben [son of] David"; end of quote.

This observation is not any different from that of the disciples (before they were filled with the Spirit), who also believed that that was the reason for Yeshua's coming. Hence they were extremely disappointed when He died and the prophecies pertaining to the Davidic Kingdom were not fulfilled. Therefore, after His resurrection, while standing on the Mount of Olives, they asked Yeshua again: "Is it at this time that you are going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6) Up until that point the words of the prophets, as well as the angel Gabriel's words to Yeshua's mother on that issue, remained unfulfilled.

Notwithstanding, after Yeshua's last Passover Seder, He said something to His disciples which disclosed the secret of how the Father intended to accomplish and fulfill all that has been spoken through the mouths of His prophets of old, especially those relating to Messiah ben David.

John the disciple wrote down Yeshua's words, which are recorded in chapters 14 through 17 of his gospel. Yeshua explained to the disciples, in no uncertain terms, that He was going to prepare a place for them in His Father's house, and that He would then return and bring them to Himself, so that they would also be where He would be (ref verses 2-3). Yeshua then added: "And where I go you know, and the way you know." (John 14:4). Following these words Thomas raised the question: "Master, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" (John 14:5). It may be stated that Yeshua's answer to this question has become Christianity's theme scripture, but if taken out of context one will miss the reason as to why He responded the way He did: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me; if you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him" (John 14:6-7). This answer also stirred Philip to ask a question. It seems that Yeshua made comments that caused His listeners to wonder what He was actually talking about. Yeshua knew His disciples well and what they were thinking, as they still had in mind that they were following an earthly king who had come to set up what they understood to be the Davidic Kingdom.

Yeshua's answer to Philip's question will set the stage for understanding the coming of YHVH's Spirit and His/Yeshua's "Davidic" reign: "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works'" (John 14:9-10). The raising of Lazarus, for example, was "the work" of Yeshua, but was the work of His Father in response to Yeshua's prayer (ref. John 11:41).

If there was one thing that Yeshua was trying to get across to His followers, it was that His Father was in Him and He was in the Father (ref. John 10:38, 20; 17:21,23). The Father's life and His Spirit were in His Son, thus in essence they were one (ref. John 10:30). John, who seemed to have been the closest to Yeshua's heart, understood this relationship between YHVH and His Son. Yeshua making this fact even clearer in His prayer after the Seder: "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one" (John 17:21-23).

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Paul the apostle in writing to us today, says that "our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12). Then he adds that YHVH has already disarmed them through the crucifixion/sacrifice of His Son: "Having disarmed principalities and powers, He [Elohim] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it" [Yeshua's death]" (Colossians 2:15). For had those rulers of this age known that they would be stripped of their powers, they would not have crucified the Master of glory (see 1 Corinthians 2:8). But on the other hand, the scriptures tell us that: "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in Elohim for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah" (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). John then adds that the: "purpose the Son of Elohim was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8). What are those works, strongholds, fortresses and high places that we are to tare down and where are they?

The apostles commentaries tell us that once we were sons of disobedience as were the rest and that we lived under the power and influence of the nature of another kingdom (ref. Ephesians 2:1-3). During that time our soul, especially our mind, memories, and emotions had taken on the characteristics and expressions of that realm. Those traits were seen in what Paul describes as the "works of the flesh". John described them as "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1 John 2:16). Peter writes "lay aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking" (1 Peter 2:1)…and 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance" (1 Peter 1:14).

Our spiritual task masters e.i. the demonic forces, through the means of thought, word and deed, built in us fortresses, and strongholds of the nature of Sin. Paul describes some of those as: "unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of Elohim, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful" (Romans 1:29-31)… "adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of Elohim" (Galatians 5:19-21). Yeshua also mentions some of the above when describing the heart of man (ref. Mark 7:21-22). However, not only Yeshua came to eradicate these but He has made it possible for us to also tare down and obliterate them from within our own lives. For Elohim is now in us, by the Spirit to will and to do for His good pleasure (ref. Philippians 2:13), which is to destroy the works of Satan and to tare down his kingdom.

"Therefore put to death your members [the embodiment of sin] which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of Elohim is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him" (Colossians 3:5-10).
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them, for it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light" (Ephesians 5:11-13).

"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yeshua the Messiah, His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us" (1 John 1:7-10).

YHVH's feast of Pesach is right around the corner. It is wonderful to celebrate the traditions of this feast day i.e. the Exodus of thousands of years ago, which was a mere shadow of that which YHVH brought into the light through Yeshua. I hope we will keep in mind what our great Deliverer accomplished for us through His Son. Spiritually speaking He put to death the "Sinner Man", and judicially dealt a death blow to Satan's rights to humanity. However, the reality of these facts are still being worked out through a remnant of His first fruit, first born company. I pray that the beginning of this new year which leads us to the Feast of Pesach will be filled with the light of revelation knowledge and understanding of this great deliverance and exodus out of the realm of "sin and death".

"Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:14-15).

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" (Ephesians 3:20).
"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling" (Philipians 2:12). Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of Elohim" (2 Corinthians 7:1).

Friday, May 06, 2011

SHA'KED (almond)

February 12, 2010
Again, we are in the season of the blossoming of the almond tree. Because we have had an exceptionally warm winter, we noticed, already in mid January that some of the almond trees in Jerusalem were in bloom. Thus, although a little earlier than normal this year, the blooming of the almond tree does start, as a rule, in Jerusalem and from there spreads to Samaria and to the rest of the country. We are all familiar with the prophetic usage of this tree, and the meaning of its name.

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, '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.'"We have written in the past about the relationship between the olive tree, which represents "the house of Jacob", and the almond trees, that are especially prolific here in Samaria (and also in Judean hills), strewn among the many olive groves. The almond trees' pink and white spotlights-splashes burst forth and glow, highlighting and testifying to the olive trees that YHVH is diligently watching over His Word to perform it. What a wonderful ray of hope YHVH gives to us annually, which also heralds the beginning of the year just ahead and His feast days! What comes to mind is the clarion call: "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of YHVH, to the house of the Elohim of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the Torah, and the word of YHVH from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:3)! How appropriate that the almond blossoms are first seen in Jerusalem and then spread to Judea and Samaria, reminding us of Yeshua's answer to His disciples, when they asked Him about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel: "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Now, after two thousands years the good news of the hope of Israel has been, and still is being witnessed to in all nations. As evidence of this fact, we are seeing the hearts of the children of the forefathers turning back to their true identity, as they remember the Torah of Moses and the prophets. They are being witnesses, like the "sha'ked", to the faithfulness of the covenant keeping Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

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 aching, as did Yeshua's when He wept over Jerusalem, or like Paul's, whose pain he expressed with the following: “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” (Romans 9:2-4).

With the situation again brewing on the Lebanese border, and with Iran making its claims of nuclear capabilities, and now almost daily attempts by radical Palestinian groups or individuals to attack Israeli citizens and soldiers, we as YHVH's watchmen must be alert to what He is doing in the midst of these intensifying conditions. Primarily, He is looking to make sure that the spiritual enemy is defeated and overcome in our own lives and relationships. Yeshua came to destroy the works of the enemy, so may we be about His business and bring down every high tower (thought) that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim (ref. 2Corithians 10:3-4). As we clear the spiritual atmosphere around us, we will be able to peer with greater clarity into the earthly realm, as well as into YHVH's intents and purposes while He establishes His kingdom on earth, as it is in Heaven.