1,2,3,4,7? (Rainbows, Flags, and Planets) Pt. 2

A pomegranate bloom in the shape of a six-pointed start, a Star of David

I want you to see the unity of G-D through the unity of G-D’s Creation.

For if there be a G-D, HIS signature must surely be on all that HE has made, and there must be evidence that HE indeed, and no-one or nothing else, is responsible.

Now that we have identified the number of ‘7’ as being the number of the G-D of the Bible and have seen its appearance in the planet Saturn, the Sabbath day, the rainbow, and the true wedding ring finger, let us look at another significant place we see the number ‘7’ appear in the Bible…

The Menorah

“You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece. And six branches shall come out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side.” (Exodus 25:31-32)

The Golden Menorah is one of the primary items G-D instructed the People of Israel to place inside the Temple, the Place of G-D’s Glorious Abiding Presence in Jerusalem. The menorah was a lamp stand made of one piece of gold with six branches coming out of the main, center body which itself had a branch coming out of the top. A prime usage of the number ‘7’ within the Temple, the Menorah served as a source of light within the Temple Sanctuary.

This made for a total of seven branches, with seven fires lit in the lamps of each branch – seven lights…

Here again, we see Divine instruction involving the number ‘7.’ Fascinatingly, the branch which came directly out of the middle of the main, center body of the menorah also happens to be the 4th branch, counting from the furthermost right branch (In Hebrew, the language and culture of the Bible, you count and read from the right to the left). All of the other branches appear in symmetrical pairs all centering around this 4th branch, which has no symmetrical pair-partner branch.

The Menorah of G-D’s Temple is also the Emblem of the modern State of Israel.

The Human Menorah

I recently discovered that if you look at the anatomy of the human body, you can quickly recognize these ‘menorah’ patterns. Just as the Menorah has a main body with seven branches, so the human torso is a main body with seven ‘branches.’ The outer four are paired as our arms and legs. The inner three are ‘branches’ which relate directly to the reproduction of life, the ‘passing of the fire, the flame, the light.’ The center, 4th ‘branch’ is where the actual new life emerges from the body, for both the male and female body. I find this incredibly fascinating and non-coincidental!

Not only the human torso, but also the head of the body demonstrates this ‘menorah’ pattern. There are seven openings to the head. Three pairs of openings are found centering around one single opening. The ears, eyes, and nostrils, center around the mouth. Fascinatingly, the Bible says in Proverbs 18:21,

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

And in James 2:6a,

“And the tongue is a fire…”

So too, ‘fire’ can proceed out of the mouth, the 4th ‘branch’ of the ‘menorah,’ either to bring life, or to cause destruction and death.

I sketched some pictures to illustrate what I’m trying to convey…

Not only do you see two main ‘menorah’ patterns in the anatomy of the human body and head, but you also can see direct correlation between the two. If you compare the pairs between the two patterns, starting from the outer pairs and working your way to the inner pairs, you can find some really amazing correlations. The arms correlate to the ears. In the Bible, emphasis is put on your actions, represented by the arms and hands, matching with what you hear G-D instructing you to do, represented by the ears. The legs correspond to the eyes, for the blind struggle to walk. The next pair requires deeper contemplation…

The center 4th ‘branch’ of each ‘menorah’ pattern is more obvious in how they correlate. These are the parts of the body which engage in the most intimate interaction possible between human beings, which in them contain the ability to produce ‘fire’ unto great destruction and death, or unto whole new life (more ‘menorahs’).

To conclude this section about the human ‘menorah,’ I want to show how each ‘menorah’ pattern gives the shape of a triangle, the symmetrical top ends of the ‘menorah’ meeting at a single point at the bottom of the ‘menorah.’ These two ‘menorah’ patterns give us two triangle shapes which are inverted from each other, which, as noted above, looks like a ‘tent’ or ‘tipi.’ The Bible teaches that the human body is like a ‘tent’ for the human soul. Not only that, but if you overlap these inverted triangles over each other, you receive a Star of David.

Therefore, the human body itself is in this way the shape of the Star of David.

The Star of David

As was said before, the Star of David appears when you overlap two inverted triangles over each other. The strongest shape you can possibly make is with three lines and it’s a triangle. I learned from Rabbi Daniel Lapin that the weakest arrangement you can make with three lines looks like what I sketched below. If you take the invert of this arrangement of lines and overlap it over the other, you will create the Nazi swastika. Therefore, it can be said that the opposite of the Nazi swastika is the Star of David.

MagenVsSwas
The Star of David is the opposite of the Swastika

The same hexagon shape which is found in the center of the Star of David is the same exact hexagon shape we find on the North Pole of the planet, “Saturn,” the seventh major celestial body of our solar system and the first one which has a ring around it. We have seen how the symbols of the ring, number 7, and Star of David represent Covenant between mankind and the G-D of the Universe.

Awesomely, there is a Bible verse where this Covenant is directly expressed by G-D

“Thus says the L-RD,
Who gives the sun for a light by day,
The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(The L-RD of Hosts is HIS name):

“If those ordinances depart
From before ME, says the L-RD,
Then the seed of Israel shall also cease
From being a nation before ME forever.” –Jeremiah 31:35-36

In this verse, we read that G-D makes the celestial bodies a sign of the Covenant between HIMSELF and Israel. How clearly is this seen in the seventh celestial body, which is the first with a ring around it and bears the same hexagonal shape that the Flag the modern State of Israel has? Do you think Jeremiah knew in the sixth century BCE, or any Jew until the Space Age for that matter, that the planet Saturn shared the same symbols of covenant and mark as the Jewish People and Nation?

Circumcision

Another sign of the Covenant we see G-D give HIS People is that of circumcision. In circumcision, the foreskin is removed off of the 4th, center ‘branch’ of the human ‘menorah,’ as we discussed above. What is left is a circular mark on the skin, like a ring, which remains as a sign of the Covenant between G-D and man.

But this is not the only kind of circumcision the Bible describes…

There is also the circumcision of the lips, as Moses says,

“Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh heed me?” –Exodus 6:30b

Perfectly, the lips are also the 4th, center ‘branch’ of the ‘menorah’ of the human head, as can also be seen above in my sketches.

What is the other circumcision we see in the Bible?

“Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.” –Deuteronomy 10:16

The heart is the other circumcision we see in the Bible. But where do we see a ‘menorah’ pattern in either the Bible or in Creation, where the heart is the 4th, center ‘branch’ of the ‘menorah,’ as in the circumcision of the flesh and of the lips?

Oddly enough, in Eastern religion, there are seven “energy centers” of human consciousness. Each of these “energy centers” correspond with one of the seven colors of the rainbow (which we mentioned before) and are also associated with certain symbols. Weirdly, the 4th, middle “energy center” happens to be the heart and its symbol is exactly that of a Star of David

Symbol for fourth “energy center,” which is green and has a six-pointed star, like the Star of David

Whether you believe in these “energy centers” or not, the Biblical allusions and correlations are so strikingly similar and would speak more of a corruption of the truth, rather than just a plain, flat-out lie conceived out of nowhere.

To go on further, we see that the color of the rainbow which lies at the center, ‘4’ position and corresponds to the heart is the color green. It is interesting that we generally associate the color green with the concept of life. We find this in the Bible too,

Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.” –Proverbs 4:23

Is it any coincidence that the planet which we call the “Green Planet,” the planet that produces and sustains life of many kinds, is also at the center, ‘4’ position of the major celestial bodies counting, beginning at the Sun?

On an additional note, most scientists believe that the Moon was produced as the result of a planetary-mass object colliding with the Earth and causing a separation between the Earth and what eventually became the Moon. If true, this created the conditions in which life was able to be sustained on Earth. I beg you to ponder the similarities between this separation and that afforded by the circumcision of the flesh, lips, and heart.

Now that we have discussed how even the anatomy of our bodies testifies to the covenantal faithfulness of G-D and the signs of the Covenants HE has made with Israel and mankind, we can see also how truly we are created in the image of G-D. Our bodies and spirits are so intimately tied up with G-D and HIS Creation so that there is no separating us from G-D.

G-D is One, and we are truly one with HIM…

Now, hold tight.

There are more connections to be made…

1,2,3,4,7? (Rainbows, Flags, and Planets) Pt. 1

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
A pomegranate bloom in the shape of a six-pointed star, a Star of David.

 

It is very exciting for me to write this blog post. I believe it is a very timely post and it’s something I’ve been studying for a while, only to finally arrive at a place in which I’m able to articulate what it is that I want to share.

 

To begin, I must say this:

I love science.

 

Now what is science anyways? According to one definition in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, it is, “the state of knowing :  knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding.”1 I love to learn things, to know how things are interconnected, and not be ignorant or have a misunderstanding concerning things,

 

Especially important things.

 

Now what could be more important than things pertaining to who we are, why we are here, why we exist, where we came from, and the like. Existential questions. These questions I find to be the most interesting and most meaningful to me. To find the answers to these questions, the science of them, is one of the most compelling journeys one could ever embark on.

 

This is the journey I’d like to invite you to come on with me.

 

I’m so grateful to have been raised in a home with parents who placed utmost importance on pursuing the answer to the questions of our existence. In addition to this, I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to earn an Associate in Science degree from college, where I studied biology, chemistry, and calculus. Combining these backgrounds has caused me to be challenged to reconcile what I learned from revealed religion compared to what I learned from the physical universe surrounding us.

 

Without any overly fancy,  scientific words, this is what I’d like to discuss with you through this article. 

 

What may have originally inspired the research that this article contains was a video shared with me over the Internet. In this video, some conspiracy theorists were postulating that because there are Jewish symbols used in Freemasonry, certainly Freemasonry has infiltrated Judaism and certain Jewish practices should be avoided or even condemned.

The Seventh Celestial Body

One “evidence” this video put forth was that because there is a hexagon shape seen on the north pole  of the planet, Saturn, then the hexagonal Star of David must certainly be an ancient symbol used for the worship of Saturn.

Hexagon shape on North Pole of planet Saturn2

 

1753-004-4D3D8CC1
 Hexagonal Star of David on Flag of Israel

At first, this argument can sound kind of compelling, until you decide to use the brain which the good L-RD gave you…

Who do we think created the planet Saturn? Satan? I mean sure, yeah, “Satan” and “Saturn” sound similar but… “In the beginning G-D created the heavens and the earth.” If G-D created all of the planets, did HE create every one but Saturn (and maybe all of the dinosaur bones too)? I realized quickly how ridiculous the argument was which this video made.

However, I did find it quite fascinating that this shape exists in both the images of the planet Saturn and the Star of David…

If G-D did create the planets, why would HE put a hexagon, the same shape seen in the Star of David, on the planet Saturn, of all planets?

What can we say about the planet Saturn?

Interestingly, Saturn is the last planet we can see with our naked eye from the surface of the Earth. This would’ve been true for the ancients, as well. It is also, if counting the Sun, the seventh major celestial body in our solar system. This may account for why the first day of the week came to be called, “Sunday,” after the first celestial body, and the last, the seventh day, came to be known as, “Saturday (Saturn-day).

Saturn is the 7th major celestial body and the Sun is the 1st,  the Earth being the 4th in our solar system.

What else do we know about the planet Saturn?

It is the first planet from the Sun to have a prominent ring system around it.

A ring. 

The seventh and last that can be seen with the naked eye.

A Jewish symbol.

Fascinatingly, these “coincidences” are not very coincidental. In Jewish, biblical symbolism, rings and the number, 7, are very significant.

In fact, they appear in nearly every physical, covenantal sign G-D gave mankind, according to the Bible.

The Seventh Day, The Sabbath

One example, which was already hinted at, of a sign of the Covenant in the Bible, between G-D and HIS People, is called, the “Shabbat (Sabbath day).” The Sabbath day is the seventh day of the week, what is now called, “Saturday,” named after the seventh celestial body which bears the hexagon shape, like the Star of David.

Is it possible there is a covenantal connection between the signs of the covenant and the Star of David? We will return to this later…

The Sabbath day is the seventh day and also the last day of every week. It repeats in a cycle, like a circle, a ring, every week forever. It is also the fourth of the Ten Commandments. Interestingly, the numbers, ‘4,’ and, ‘7,’ are symmetrically situated only in a sequence of 10 objects…

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

It doesn’t work like this in any other sequence of numbers…

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9

The symmetrical number opposite ‘4’ in a sequence of 10 things is, ‘7,’ which leads us to the seventh of the Ten Commandments,

You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14).”

The commandment to keep the Sabbath day is symmetrical with the commandment not to commit adultery.

This makes sense if the Sabbath day is a sign of G-D’s covenant, because to violate that sign is as if to commit adultery against G-D, like the breaking of a marriage Covenant between a man and a woman.

The Wedding Ring

If we have Signs of Covenants between G-D and mankind, do we have signs in a marriage covenant between a man and his wife?

Yes, absolutely! We call it a wedding ring, and it goes on one of our fingers.

I recently asked the question of why it goes on our “ring” finger. What traditionally makes us put it on that finger, in particular?

There are several unsatisfactorial explanations, but I note for the present what Jewish sources state,

that the index, or pointing, finger is the true “ring finger.” 3

Why might this be so?

Hold up your hands…

What you may see when you do this is that, just like the Ten Commandments, there are ten fingers with the index fingers occupying both the ‘4’ and ‘7’ positions.

A sign of the covenant made between a man and his wife in marriage, like the sign of the Sabbath between G-D and man. A ring corresponding to the number seven which represents a never-ending cycle, eternity, which represents G-D’s never-ending faithfulness to those in Covenant with HIM.

On a sidenote, I also find it intriguing that the end of the thumb is situated directly across from where the ring sets on the index finger, making it an ideal location for ADHD people like me to touch and spin the ring around the finger with your thumb, also as a reminder of the covenant…

The Rainbow

Another example is the rainbow. G-D made a covenant with mankind, promising not to destroy the earth with a flood ever again, designating the rainbow as a sign, a seal of this covenant. In the rainbow, we can see that there are seven distinct bands of color that are visible to the human eye, colloquilly  referred to in the computer age as ROYGBIV (r-ed, o-range, y-ellow, g-reen, b-lue, i-ndigo, v-iolet).

Despite this, it is interesting that the LGBT movement of recent times has insisted on using a rainbow as its own standard, except that the colors of their rainbow intentionally only number six. Whereas the number seven represents completeness and covenant faithfulness in the Bible, the number six conversely represents incompleteness and unfaithfulness.

Also, contrary to popular belief concerning certain redheads and their pots of gold, there is no actual end to a rainbow. On the contrary, rainbows in nature are complete circles, complete rings, like wedding rings, without end or beginning.

The Number, “7”

At this point, we have the planets, the days of the week, the ring finger, and the rainbow, with each testifying to this concept of a circle and the number ‘7’ being used as signs from G-D of covenant faithfulness.

We can understand why a circle represents covenant, but why the number 7?

Perhaps the best way I can answer this right now is to show the most significant usage of the number 7 in revealed religion…

In the Bible, we are told that there are Seven Spirits of G-D. In Isaiah 11, they are listed as follows: The Spirit of the L-RD, the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel, the Spirit of Might, the Spirit of Knowledge, and the Spirit of the Fear of the L-RD.

The Bible tells us that these are the Seven Spirits, or Winds (as the word also translates), of G-D which are sent through all the earth from G-D. The Bible also tells us all Seven of these Spirits shall rest upon one human, namely, the Messiah.

If seven is the number of Spirits of G-D that the Bible relates, then we can say that the number ‘7’ represents the G-D of the Bible, and not any other god. By our examination of the significant, “coincidental” role the number ‘7’ plays in the Universe that we can observe, we can also see that the “signature number” of the real G-D of the Universe would also be seven.

Therefore, this is evidence that the G-D of the Bible is indeed the real G-D of the Universe…

We’ve just begun.

To be continued…

 

Sources

1 https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/science

2 https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia21327/hail-the-hexagon

3 http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/481776/jewish/The-Marriage-Ring.htm

 

21 Who Knew…

isis

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Messiah. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Yeshua HaMashiach my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Messiah and be found in Him… that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection,

and the fellowship of His sufferings,

being conformed to His death, 

if,

by any means,

I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

-Sha’ul, Philippians 3:7-9a, 10-11

140409_isis

The Blessed 21

This last week, my family celebrated my 21st birthday (according to the solar calendar, although my birthday is Nissan 10, according to the biblical calendar). A few days before my birthday, I learned of a video in which the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) filmed their murder of men accused of being spies for the United States. They were slaughtered like animals and their bodies were hung, some lifeless, from meat hooks. It was heart-rending to hear of such cruelty perpetrated by evil men…

I was reminded of the 21 followers of Yeshua who were martyred in 2015

They were kidnapped by ISIS and led to a beachfront where they boldly refused to deny Yeshua and to follow Islam, embracing their own beheading, for the sake of Messiah

Just before they yielded up their spirits, many of them were attested as crying out,

“Lord Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ)!”

.

.

.

When I think about these brothers, whom I’m not even worthy to call my brothers, these verses from the Bible come to my mind…

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been

beheaded for their witness to Yeshua

and for the word of G-D, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Messiah for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 

Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of G-D and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years (Revelation of Yeshua HaMashiach 20:4-6).”

It doesn’t get much clearer than this: those beheaded for their witness to Yeshua and for the word of G-D will attain to the first resurrection and will reign with Messiah for a thousand years.

These 21 followers of Yeshua who were beheaded on that beachfront in 2015 are

“blessed and holy.”

I was shocked to hear recently from an Orthodox Jewish rabbi in Israel, who doesn’t believe in the Apostolic Writings (traditionally called, “the New Testament”), who believes that Messiah will reign on earth as the King of Israel for a thousand years. I didn’t know both followers of Yeshua and Orthodox Jews agree on this particular point, but apparently we do!

What Really Matters

I wonder what these 21 followers of Yeshua were thinking just before they were martyred…

Do you suppose they were thinking about how much money they had made in their life?

Do you suppose they were thinking about how big their house was?

How many possessions they had accumulated?

What their financial net worth was?

Which job they were going to choose or where they were going to attend school?

Or even, who they had chosen to marry, or who they were planning to marry?

Were they thinking about if they had made enough friends in their life or about what their relationship was with each of their family members?

Were they thinking about their children?

It’s all merely speculation,

but

I don’t think so.

Why?

Because when you’re looking death squarely in the face, I don’t believe you’re thinking about things which are lost to you in the moment and completely outside of your control.

I believe these 21 men were preparing to meet their CREATOR and, with the hope of G-D fixed firmly within their hearts through Messiah Yeshua,

enter into eternity.

I believe this is what all of us should be doing,

all of the time.

Eternal Life

What kind of weight does our house, our money, our material possessions, or our superficial relationships with people hold up against our eternal destiny and the eternal destiny of others?

How can you compare the very extremely finite to the infinite, in worth or in weight?

Or do we really believe in Eternal Life?

“Yeshua spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “FATHER, the hour has come. Glorify YOUR Son, that YOUR Son also may glorify YOU, as YOU have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as YOU have given Him…” -John 17:1-2

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of G-D is eternal life in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.” -Romans 6:23

 

You see, workers will talk about work and they will accomplish their work, criminals will talk about crime and they will commit their crimes, but do those who talk about Eternal Life

really live for eternity?

Or are they living for this life, what they can obtain or achieve for this life?

How does this incredibly short, pain-filled life compare with the glorious Eternal Life which the FATHER desires to give us?

In case eternity is just too vast for us to comprehend or to fathom and we get lost in something too abstract for us to even consider, let’s look at an example…

Compare the twenty to maybe forty years of life of the 21 men who were beheaded for the sake of Messiah to the 1,000 years that they will reign with Messiah in the Messianic Kingdom of Israel. Is there any substantial comparison to be made between the two, in terms of the length of time?

How much more eternity!

Do we believe in the Bible when it says those beheaded for the testimony of Yeshua will be resurrected and reign with Messiah for 1,000 years?

I believe we are given this 1,000 year reign of Messiah as a bridge over the gap of understanding between our present, finite state and eternity.

I fear that even with this example, many of us who claim to believe in Eternal Life will not try to honestly ask ourselves what we truly are living for

So why do many, if not most, people live for this life?

Is it possible that many of us have chosen to live like animals, living instinctively, only just to survive and find comfort in the moment, choosing to be ignorant of the spiritual realities of this world?

Pure materialism?

Perhaps this is why Yeshua said in Luke 12:22-37…

Then He [Yeshua] said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and G-D feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then G-D so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will HE clothe you, O you of little faith?

And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your FATHER knows that you need these things. But seek the Kingdom of G-D, and all these things shall be added to you.

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your FATHER’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them…”

The problem is that many of us are living in the world of “Limited Good,” where fear and disbelief cripple us to live as though there are not enough resources in the world for us and we have to struggle in order to survive.

Many have subscribed to the world’s system and have bowed their knees to the Kingdoms of this world, which really are greedy, corrupt, and oppressive to all of their subjects, “under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19),” instead of remembering that the time is soon coming when “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our LORD and of HIS Messiah, and HE shall reign forever and ever (Revelation 11:15b)!”

We have forgotten that we serve the G-D of Unlimited Good, who loves us so much as to give us “all things we need,” Eternal Life and whose “good pleasure it is to give us the Kingdom” that is to come!! HE is the G-D who fed Elijah through the ravens, the G-D who fed all of Israel in the wilderness with manna, and the G-D who raised Yeshua from the dead, unto Eternal Life. There is nothing that can stop HIM from providing for those who love HIM, and HE has promised to provide!

“HE who did not spare HIS own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall HE not with Him also freely give us all things?” -Romans 8:32

By living simply for this life, what we eat, what we drink, what clothes we wear, what house we live in, and so on, instead of living for Eternal Life, we are declaring to G-D that we don’t believe that HE is the G-D who loves us and certainly we would rather serve ourselves than serve HIM,

choosing death over life.

Certainly, I have not already attained or have already been perfected in the truths which I have now shared. I acknowledge my own sin and my own deficiency before G-D. In addition, I know that if I don’t examine my own life in light of these truths, then I will never live them or walk them out. My hope is to help you to also examine your own life so that we can seek to walk this road together and to truly be…

Joined With Jacob.

Because the King is coming to rule over the House of Jacob and only those counted worthy will see His day…

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 

He who loves his life will lose it,

and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 

If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me;

and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me,

him My FATHER will honor (Yochanan 12:24-26).

The Holy

Now, I would like to honor my 21 brethren who gave their lives for the sake of Messiah, by typing out each of their names, individually…

Milad Makeen Zaky

Abanub Ayad Atiya

Maged Soliman Shehata

Youssef Shukry Younan

Kirollos Boshra Fawzy

Bishoy Astafanous Kamel

Samuel Astafanous Kamel

Malak Ibrahim Sinyout

Tawadros Youssef Tawadros

Gerges Milad Sinyout

Mina Fayez Aziz

Hany Abdel Mesih Salib

Samuel Alham Wilson

Ezzat Boshra Naseef

Luka Nagaty Anis

Gaber Mounir Adly

Esam Badir Samir

Malak Farag Abrahim

Sameh Salah Farouk

Gerges Samir Megally

Mathew Ayairga

May these brothers’ memory be for a blessing to us all, for these are they who truly gained Messiah and were found in Him…

who knew Him,

the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, and who will one day soon know

the power of His resurrection.

 

 

 

 

B”H

 

Pictures taken from:

First – http://www.christianpost.com/news/coptic-patriarch-calls-21-beheaded-christians-martyrs-for-the-faith-pope-francis-says-their-blood-confesses-christ-134165/

Second – https://www.persecution.com/public/newsroom.aspx?story_ID=%3d373535

 

Lemon Cake, Faith Debates, and the Resurrection of a State

Christianity: Should I Embrace or Reject It?

It shocked me a couple of weeks ago to hear that there was going to be a debate with this exact title at a high school auditorium in a small town near where I live.

The debate was set between two camps, on one side a psychologist, and on the other, a Christian apologist.

When I heard about such a rare occurrence in my “neighborhood,” I was immediately intrigued and wanted to go hear such a discussion. It just so happened that I was going to be in the area anyways, so it worked out and I was able to attend this peculiar event.

I was only perhaps slightly late when I arrived. I had to walk directly in front of the debater, who was at the time speaking, in order to find a seat in an auditorium which was now filled with over 100 curious minds.

The debate was on.

I had only to sit their and listen with a mind open and inquisitive as to who had the better arguments.

You might be surprised to hear this,

but

I thought that the psychologist debating against embracing Christianity

had the better arguments of the two.

Please, allow me to explain…

Point #1 – Afterlife

The psychologist plead how she struggles morally with the idea of an afterlife where some people are blissfully happy in heaven while others are dreadfully tormented in hell for eternity. She argued eloquently that this does not reflect the G-D of justice and love. To this the Christian apologist argued that there are many forms of Christianity, including those who believe in Annihilationism (the eventual, total annihilation of the soul for the guilty and deserving). However, he failed to explain why he believes that the traditional, mainstream Christian view of heaven and hell is not incompatible with true love and justice.

Point #2 – Substitution Atonement

The psychologist mentioned how deplorable an idea of justice is the concept of substitution atonement, where G-D’s wrath is appeased by the condemnation of an innocent for the acquittal of the truly guilty. To this the Christian apologist replied that G-D is the Judge and Lawmaker so HE can see fit to do just as pleases when it comes to justice. However true this may be, he failed to address why the universal conscious of those created in G-D’s image is intuitively repulsed by this notion of justice.

Point #3 – Incarnation of an Infinite G-D

The Christian apologist made a point about the relationship of G-D to us as humans. He said that the relationship of G-D to man is understood as an infinite difference between us. During the debate, it was said how our relationship to G-D is analogized by that of an ant’s relationship to us. Just as an ant can’t explain the life of a human, neither can a human understand the life of G-D, higher by an infinite degree. This argument would’ve been strong except that immediately after, he seemingly contradicted himself when he proclaimed that this infinite G-D became a human in order to suffer and die, without explaining how this could even possibly be.

By failing to explain this, he was essentially arguing that it should be accepted without question that it is theoretically possible for a human to transform himself into an ant, remaining fully man and yet

fully ant.

Ant-Man.

Point #4 – The Resurrection of Jesus

The most belabored point of the debate was concerning the resurrection of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ). The Christian apologist argued that primarily because the resurrection of Jesus happened as fact, we should all embrace Christianity. He gave multiple reasons why we can be sure that the resurrection did in fact happen. One of those reasons he gave was because of the intensity of devotion and resolve of those who would’ve witnessed Yeshua’s resurrection, even unto persecution and death. To this the psychologist made the excellent point (which I thought of even before her) about the intensity and devotion of the jihadists, who wage war, kill, and die in the name of Islam, being a reflection of the truthfulness of their holy texts and their prophet’s vision. If we were to say that the apostle’s devotion reflects the truthfulness of the resurrection, then we should also readily admit that the devotion of the jihadists reflects the truthfulness of their religion.

The next flat point (and probably even lie) told by the Christian apologist was that “nearly all scholars” affirm that the resurrection of Jesus did take place. Without taking into account the likelihood of personal bias and subjectivity of scholars anywhere, it is most probably false that “nearly all scholars” know the resurrection took place. If that were true, then why wouldn’t nearly all scholars who know the resurrection took place also be Christians? Are “nearly all scholars” Christians? The Christian apologist used author Bart D. Ehrman as an example of one such scholar. During the question-and-answer time, one man asked the Christian apologist the brilliant question: If Bart D. Ehrman can’t deny the resurrection, then why isn’t he too a Christian? To which the Christian apologist replied, with apparent shame, the validity of such a question.

It was a very sad and hard debate to attend, myself being a follower of Yeshua…

However,

I was very excited for the question-and-answer time, and to have the opportunity to give some input!

The Last Question

During the Q&A time, everyone had the opportunity to go up and ask either the psychologist or the apologist a question. There were two lines, one in each aisle of the auditorium, one across the room from the other. From very early on in the debate, a question came to me and was burning in my heart until the moment I was able to ask it.

I contemplated asking each debater a question, but the question that burned in my heart was really for the psychologist. I wanted to ask her this question, no matter what happened. I felt like it was such an important question that I wanted to save it for the end of the debate, but the time came and I didn’t want to wait any longer because I may have missed my opportunity to begin with.

So I went up and stood in line, waiting for my turn…

When it got down to just me and the person in the other line, it was announced by the moderator that we would be the last two questions of the night, closing the entire debate with our questions.

And I would be the last question…

At the start of the Q&A time, the psychologist said to those who were asking her questions, not to eat her lemon cake which was laying exposed next to where the questioners were standing, because she divulged that it was one of the best lemon cakes she had ever eaten.

So when I got up to ask the psychologist the last question of the entire debate, I said to her,

“So I have a really easy question for you.

It’s actually a simple yes-or-no question,

but…

Can I eat your lemon cake?”

Upon my saying this, many in the auditorium laughed and the psychologist made clear to me that she was intent on finishing that,

her lemon cake.

I didn’t blame her and I quickly brought the conversation back to make sure I got in my real question, and I said to her in front of over 100 people, something like as follows,

“First of all, I have really appreciated this debate. I think it is probable that if we were in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, we would not be able to have this kind of open forum discussion. Thank you both for your generosity to each other and your generosity to us, the audience. 

I myself grew up in the Assemblies of G-D, I spent time training to become a pastor in the Assemblies of G-D, I have read three books of Bart Ehrman’s, I appreciated the many mentions of his writings, and I have spent six months of the last two years in Israel.

I appreciated what you [the apologist] said about there being many different forms of Christianity.

I myself am a servant of the G-D of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the G-D who said to Moses at the burning bush, in Hebrew, “EHYEH ASHER EHYEH,” which translates to, “I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE,” not, “I am what man says I am.” I am a follower of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) and I believe He is the Son of G-D. Taking only what was said during this debate into consideration, I must say that I agree more with what was said by the psychologist than what was said by the apologist.

You see, I don’t live my life the way I do because I became absolutely convinced and free of all doubt that the resurrection of Jesus really did occur. None of us were there, so how could any of us truthfully say that we know with absolute certainty that this resurrection did or did not take place?

I live my life the way I do because of my own personal experience and life testimony.

None of us can say with certainty that the resurrection took place, only just what we believe concerning the resurrection of Jesus – what our faith is, about His resurrection.”

Somewhere around this time, the moderator cut me off, and asked me,

“Excuse me, sir, but do you have a question for the psychologist?”

I replied,

“My question is not concerning the resurrection of Jesus, but concerning another resurrection, 

 

 

the resurrection of the State of Israel in 1948…

The Prophets many times throughout the Bible foretold of a time when Israel would be restored and all of these prophecies are being fulfilled now, one after another, exactly as was written. It was foretold that after many years of ruins and desolations for the land of Israel, that the people of Israel would return to their homeland, and this is happening now, in our days.

What would you [the psychologist] say about this resurrection of the State of Israel?”

She replied by saying that the prophecies are subject to interpretation and are seen as confirming to those who believe in the Bible.

I almost replied to that by saying that the return of the Jewish people back to their homeland from the four corners of the earth after generations of being in exile, the restoration of the land after years of desolation, the restoration of the Hebrew language, the prosperity and blessing of the nation, the hatred demonstrated by the enemies of Israel, and many, many more prophecies in the Bible are not subject to interpretation, but are all literally happening right before our eyes, exactly as the Bible predicted it.

Unlike the resurrection of Jesus, which took place 2,000 years ago and none us were there to witness with our own eyes, the resurrection of the State of Israel is taking place right now, and we are all witnesses to exactly what the Bible said would happen more than 2,000 years ago.

The Fascinating Ending

After the debate was over, the psychologist came up to me (not the other way around) and said,

“It sounds like you have had a fascinating spiritual journey.”

HalleluYAH!!! I am still on a fascinating spiritual journey!

And please, would you join me on this spiritual journey to be

Joined With Jacob?

Because all the evidence that I’ve found while being on this “fascinating spiritual journey,” is that the TRUE and LIVING G-D of the Universe, the CREATOR and LOVER of all our souls, is

the G-D of Abraham,

Isaac, and

Jacob,

“EHYEH ASHER EHYEH.”

 

 

 

 

B”H

Stilts Like Moses

Me doing work while walking on stilts…

Learning to Walk

My Dad is a drywaller by trade, which essentially means I am a drywaller by mere fact of being his son. I love it! And I’m truly grateful for my Dad; he’s truly the hardest worker I know and I look up to him greatly because of that…

When doing drywall, it is very convenient to use stilts in order to reach higher up on a wall or up to a ceiling, all while being freely mobile. I remember when I was first learning how to walk on stilts; I remember it was very educative…

My Dad helped me put on my pair of stilts for the very first time, and I struggled to tighten the straps which locked my feet in place on their platforms. Once I was finally strapped in, I was ready to stand. Standing up wasn’t overly difficult, however, remaining balanced while first standing took a little bit of getting used to, since I was now several feet off the ground. Literally, several of my feet (two, to be exact) were now off the ground. Instead, they were on stilts.

And now the fun part began:

walking.

I remember being very grateful to have walls to hold on to and to put my weight on. This couldn’t last forever, though. I needed to learn how to walk on my own, without any crutch to help me. I remember trying to walk without the help of walls; I took itsy bitsy steps while my legs were in a tremor.

Not fun.

The thought that kept coming to my mind was, “Is this really worth it? Is it worth falling to the ground and breaking something (or who knows, dying?), just to get some work done?” I realized that I needed a healthy dose of confidence, but I misdiagnosed how much confidence I really needed to administer. Because of this, I started to strut all jolly dandy right up until my weight threw me head-first towards the floor…

Yep, that happened.

The good thing was, my Dad was right there to catch me, help me stand back up, and regain my balance. After I adjusted my prescription of confidence, I began to walk, and slowly I started getting the hang of it. Once my muscles had developed the coordination I needed, I quickly began to move easily and comfortably all around the house. It was a blast! I was now walking taller than ever and I was able to get so much more work done, in less time. And then it hit me…

I was learning to walk,

all over again.

This was not the first time I had done this. In fact, I had done this very same thing years ago when I was just a little tot.

From my first time walking on stilts, I learned some very valuable lessons…

Halakhah

When we were just beginning to walk, we needed to be gentle, taking only baby steps at first. Fascinatingly, in Jewish thought, the way in which one conducts every aspect of their life in accordance with the Torah of G-D (“Law, Instruction” of G-D) is called in Hebrew, “halakhah,” which means, “walk.” Perhaps this is where followers of Yeshua (Jesus) get the idea of talking about our “walk,” from the Bible.

Take the ‘I’ out of ‘Gentile’

This reminds me of a very critical passage which we read in Acts 15, where we read about what is called, “the Jerusalem Council.”

Here, in verse 1, we read…

“And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”

And a few verses later, in 5 and 6

“But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Law of Moses.”

“Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter…

So what was the issue? Certain men from Judea and some of the Pharisees who believed that Yeshua was the Messiah taught that salvation was impossible without being circumcised physically and that Gentiles should be forced to keep the Law of Moses, including physical circumcision, in order to be saved.

After much dispute, the Jerusalem council of elders and apostles, with the leadership of Ya’akov (James), came to this judgment in verses 19-21,

“… Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to G-D, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. For Moshe (Moses) has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

So what was the answer of the Jerusalem Council to this issue?

Gentleness.

You see, if you take the ‘I’ out of the word ‘Gentile,’ you get the word, ‘Gentle.’ The selfish, “I,” thing to do is to force everyone to walk on the same level that you are at, but the path of love and selflessness is to help others take the baby steps they need in order to be able to walk with G-D on their own. This is the example the Jerusalem Council gives us. The Gentiles, who were previously pagan idolators and far from G-D’s ways, were not forced to keep the whole Law of G-D given through Moshe all at once, but were given the necessary “baby steps” in order to be able to learn gradually and gently just how to “walk.” “For Moshe has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

 

In fact, the “baby steps” given by the Jerusalem Council to the Gentiles who were turning to G-D came directly from the Torah (Law, Instruction) of G-D in the first place! You can find them in Leviticus 17 and 18, in the Torah (Law, Instruction) of G-D. If these former pagans were still actively engaged in sexual immorality and idol worship, then they would not have been able to come, have fellowship, and learn the Torah of G-D in the synagogue every Sabbath in the first place!

These former Gentiles were expected to learn and start walking according to the Torah. Because you see, the goal never was to abandon the Torah of G-D given through Moshe. Yeshua Himself taught, in Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:17-19,

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah (Law) 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. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Yeshua fulfilled the Torah and we are supposed to “fulfill” it as well (Romans 2:27, Romans 13:8, Ya’akov (James) 2:8)! We are supposed to “come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of G-D, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiahthat we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Messiah— (Ephesians 4:13-15).”

Notice the phrasing, “come… to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah… children… grow up in all things…?”

Just like when we grow up, we have to learn how to walk! We have to start by taking baby steps, but we can’t walk like a baby forever! We need to grow up, we need to become an adult! We have to become like Messiah, in all things!

In 1 Yochanan (John) 2:6, we read,

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He [Yeshua] walked.

So how did Yeshua walk?

He lived a sinless life in keeping all of G-D’s commandments in the Torah of Moshe, perfectly!

It is impossible to walk just as Yeshua walked in all things and not be walking according to the Torah of Moshe! We too are supposed to “grow up” to a “perfect man,” like Yeshua!

So how do you “grow up,” anyways?

Well, in order to grow up, you have to eat! But that, too, you must begin gently, by drinking milk… We see that the shlichim (apostles) spoke of this in their letters…

First Letter to the Kehila (Community) at Corinth 3:1-3

“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Messiah. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?”

Hebrews 5:12-14

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of G-D; and you have come to need milk and not solid foodFor everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babeBut solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

We are told that we can’t drink milk forever, but we need to graduate to solid food, otherwise we won’t be what we are called to be and will be “unskilled in the word of righteousness,” walking quite unlike our Master, Yeshua

So what is considered milk?? In the very next verse, the author explains…

Hebrews 6:1-3

Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Messiah, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward G-D, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgmentAnd this we will do if G-D permits.

We are told that milk are the first principles of Messiah! Again, we are told to go on to perfection! “… to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah.” We need to move beyond discussing only repentance, faith toward G-D, baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection, and eternal judgment! We need to learn Torah! Otherwise, we’ll just be a bunch of babies and children running around, not walking like Yeshua.

Going on to perfection means walking like Yeshua walked, and Yeshua kept the Torah of Moshe, perfectly! Why? Because the two greatest commandments of the Torah and those upon which the whole Torah hang, are, “‘You shall love the LORD your G-D with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind… You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Mattityahu 22:37-40)…” You cannot separate these commandments from the Torah of Moshe, and you can’t separate the Torah of Moshe from these commandments (Deuteronomy 10:12-22)!

For Moshe has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

The difference between milk, which is generally easy to consume and pleasurable, and solid food, which can be challenging to chew and swallow, is contrasted quite starkly in these two passages…

We read in 2 Timothy 4:3,

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

We read that after Yeshua rose from the dead, He walked with the two on the road to Emmaus, “and beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27).”

And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He [Yeshua] talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us (Luke 24:32)?”

The thing about growing up is that there are risks to take and almost always growing pains. A lot of people don’t want to experience the pain associated with growing up. Many choose rather, that their ears are tickled by desirable doctrine, than that their hearts are set ablaze by the unquenchable Word of G-D.

Even tough there will be pain and risk, we need to have confidence and we need to “go onto perfection.” If we get overly-confident, or prideful, in walking, we can fall. And if we fall, we have the comfort that our FATHER can pick us back up again, as long as we are always striving to walk more like Yeshua, in the FATHER’s Torah of Love. This reminds me of what Rav Sha’ul (Paul) wrote in his first letter to the Kehila (Community) at Corinth

10:12

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall…”

And we see that it is written in Proverbs 24:16,

For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again,
But the wicked shall fall by calamity.

Just like the Gentiles who were turning to G-D in Acts 15, learning how to walk like Yeshua walked needs to start gently with baby steps and milk, but we have to go forward confidently, learning to walk in the Torah of Moshe until we reach perfection, to the stature of the fullness of Messiah. This is how we know we are abiding in Him. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My FATHER’s commandments and abide in HIS love (John 15:10).” Otherwise, we will be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine and unskilled in the word of righteousness, because we are still being a babe and carnal. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against G-D; for it is not subject to the Torah (Law) of G-D, nor indeed can be (Romans 8:7).” “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put MY Torah (Law) in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their G-D, and they shall be MY people (Jeremiah 31:33).”

 

So go and learn the Torah of Moses, my dear brothers and sisters! Because once you get walking in it, like Yeshua, you’re going to have a blast and be blessed as you realize in your heart how truly you are…

Joined With Jacob.

 

 

 

 

B”H

Trump: The Midwife

I believe Trump is the Midwife…

Why?

Because the Bible says so!

Let me explain…

 

First, while in the last couple days we have been hearing news about some women marching in support of killing more unborn babies, I find it very ironic, and non-coincidental at all, that just last week, millions of Jews and Torah-observant followers of Yeshua all around the world read the weekly Torah portion (read in an annual cycle) where the story of the two midwives is given to us. As Rabbi Jonathan Sachs has pointed out, the story of the midwives refusing Pharaoh’s order to kill babies is in history, “the first recorded instance of civil disobedience…”1 And now we have civil disobedience in this country for just the opposite purpose! What a twisted world some people live in, where what is good is called evil and what is evil is called good!

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” –Yesha’yahu 5:20

The Torah Portion

This Torah portion, called “Shemot,” is named after one of the Hebrew words in the opening line of the Torah portion translated into English as, “Names.” This is the first portion of the entire book of Exodus, which itself is also called, “Shemot,” in Hebrew. This book and this portion, which millions just read in unison last week, is called, “Names.” Therefore, we can imagine that names are an important thing to consider when reading through the book and specifically, this Torah portion.

Names

What’s fascinating is several times it appears that names are specifically not given to us. For example, we are not given either of Moses’ parents’, his sister’s, pharaoh’s, nor the daughter of Pharaoh’s name. If names are important, why aren’t we given the names of these important people? Whose names are we given? Surprisingly, we are given the two midwives’ names, Shifrah and Puah. Apparently, G-D wanted us to know these two midwives’ names…

“Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shifrah and the name of the other Puah…” –Shemot (Exodus) 1:15

So what are the meaning of these two midwives’ names? “Puah,” the second midwife’s name mentioned, possibly means, “Splendid.” “Shifrah,” the first midwife’s name mentioned, means, “to make beautiful,” but it is also related to the word, “Shofar,” the Hebrew word for “Trumpet,” or…

Trump.”2

Lo and behold, “Trump” is the midwife – Shifrah is the midwife!

 

Coincidence? I Think Not!

What are the odds that the Torah portion titled, “Names,” told us of the midwife whose name is related to “Shofar” in the same week that the man named, “Trump,” was inaugurated as the President of one of the most powerful nations in the world? Not only that, but within the beginning of this Torah portion we read the line, “Now there arose a new king (Shemot 1:8),” in the very same week that a new executive leader was placed on his “throne” in the Oval Office. What are the odds? Is that a coincidence with G-D?

What about the “coincidence” that Trump was inaugurated on the 70th year, 7th month, and 7th day of his life?3 Is it “coincidental” that this took place in the 5777th year of the Hebrew, biblical calendar? The Jewish Sages have long said that G-D created the Torah 2,000 years before the world, making this year the 7777th year of the Torah.4 What about the fact that Trump was inaugurated exactly 50 years, in the Jubilee (HaYovel) year, since Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) was reunified with the State of Israel? Exactly 100 years, 2 Jubilee years, before, the Balfour Declaration mandated for the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people?”

Last but not least, Trump is the 45th President of the United States and his inauguration was the 58th of any U.S. president. The number, “45,” is gematria (each Hebrew letter representing a specific number) for the name, “Lot.” The number, “58,” is gematria for the name, “Noah.”

And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” –Luke 17:26-30

The Last ‘Trump’

This all comes approximately 2,000 years after Yeshua HaMashiach, the Messiah of Israel, died, G-D resurrected him and exalted Him to the right hand of the Throne of G-D in Heaven. We are told in the Bible that “one day is as a thousand years” and that Yeshua’s reign as King of Israel will be for a thousand years – one “day.” This could be the beginning of the seventh “day” of rest, two “days” after the completion of the fourth “day,” when Yeshua made His first appearing (let him who has ears hear what the Spirit is saying). We were told by Yeshua’s shaliach (apostle),

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of G-D: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first (1 Thessalonians 14:6)…

and,

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (1 Corinthians 15:52).

Is it any coincidence we were told a “trump” will precede Yeshua’s return to reign on King David’s Throne in Yerushalayim over the House of Ya’akov (Jacob) and that the president before Yeshua’s anticipated, imminent coming is named, “Trump?”

Redemption Like Birth

The midwife, Shifrah, preceded the coming of Moshe (Moses), the leader of Israel who G-D used to redeem HIS people. In the Bible, redemption is always likened to the birth of a child. Pain, sorrow, and birth pangs always precede the joy of a newborn child.

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now (Romans 8:22),

and,

A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you (Yochanan 16:21-22).

 

And the midwife helps along the birthing process…

 

Whether Trump will be a righteous ruler or he will be evil like the Pharaoh of Egypt, I believe with all of my heart that G-D will use Trump as a ‘midwife‘ to usher in the Messiah and the soon-coming Redemption of G-D’s People, Israel!

 

What else could all of this mean?

 

“He [Yeshua] who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”

Amein. Even so, come, Master Yeshua!” –Revelation 22:20

 

 

References

1 http://www.jpost.com/Blogs/Spoken-Word-Torah/Shifra-and-Puah-Agitators-for-inner-freedom-367985

2 http://www.chabad.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/1260314/jewish/Shofar-Both-Midwife-and-Birth-Canal.htm

3 http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/60976-if-donald-trump-wins-he-will-be-70-years-7-months-and-7-days-old-on-his-first-full-day-in-office

4 http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-written-law-torah

My Testimony Pt. 4

Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 33:20-22

Look upon Zion, the City of our Appointed Feasts;
Your eyes will see Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), a quiet home,
A tabernacle that will not be taken down;
Not one of its stakes will ever be removed,
Nor will any of its cords be broken.
But there the majestic LORD will be for us
A place of broad rivers and streams,
In which no galley with oars will sail,
Nor majestic ships pass by
For the LORD is our Judge,
The LORD is our Lawgiver,
The LORD is our King;
HE will save us…

HaYovel

Later that Shabbat, Mary Sunshine came back to me with a lady at her side. The few words that this lady would share with me, would change my life forever. Her name was Carol, and she began to share with me about this opportunity to go to Israel. She told me about a group called, “HaYovel,” which brings Christians from all around the world to Israel to serve the Jewish people living there by providing volunteer labor in the vineyards of Judea and Samaria. As soon as she said the words, “Israel, Jewish people, serve, vineyards, Judea, Samaria,” my heart stopped and I recognized this was my destiny. This was everything that G-D had prepared me for. I was grateful that G-D closed the door for me to go with El Shaddai Ministries’ tour group and had opened up this incredible door. I infinitely much more preferred to go to Israel to serve and to be a blessing than to go to be served and blessed. For, “‘It is more blessed to give than to receive,” and the Master “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Carol told me that registration for that year’s trip was about to end and I needed to act quick. I wanted to with everything I had in me!

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Click this picture for a link to HaYovel’s website

Testing G-D’s Perfect Will

Immediately, in the next couple days, I had applied myself to go on a trip to Israel a month before the trip commenced! I called my Mom and told her that I thought G-D was taking me to Israel! She was excited, a little nervous, but she immediately said that if it was G-D’s will, everything would work out. It was a big question, because I still needed to apply, to get interviewed, to get approved, to notify my employer, my pastors, to get my Passport, to make sure I had enough money, and to get all my belongings in order. I knew I would have to move out of the place I was staying and quit my job if I was going to go.

Closed Door, Opened Door

My internship was going to be ending at exactly the time right before I would leave for Israel! I had the opportunity to renew my internship for a year and continue on my track to become a pastor, but at around the same exact time I learned about the opportunity to go to Israel with HaYovel, I learned that my door to become a pastor was closing. You see, the things that G-D was convicting me of so strongly and leading me in didn’t agree with the doctrines and positions of the denomination I was with. I was praying where G-D wanted me and if HE could use me in the denomination even though there wasn’t full agreement. After I had completed my first year of schooling, taken my final exam, and finished my first year of internship, all I had to do was pass one interview in order to receive my Certificate of Ministry, the first level of being a pastor. However, I was informed that I would not pass the interview due to my convictions. This was such a great blessing! At exactly the time G-D was closing one door, HE was opening up the door for me to go to Israel! HalleluYAH!!!

Perfect Provision

G-D showed me HIS will for me to go to Israel in other ways! I was able to give my two weeks notice to my employer and they were able to find a replacement for me. I applied to HaYovel, received an interview, and got approved to go on the trip in rapid time, even though I had just missed the deadline to apply! I checked my savings and I had almost exactly what I needed to pay for the whole trip! My pro-Israel aunt and uncle just so happened to be visiting my area at the same week that I found about the trip. I told them about the opportunity and they eagerly, graciously supported me in my venture to go to Israel, covering the rest of my needs! I applied to get my Passport and after four days, I had my Passport in hand! HalleluYAH!!! Every single need was quickly and perfectly being met!

The Flag

All I had to do now was pack up my things and move! My Mom came down to where I was living to help me pack my things up and clean my place. After we finished packing and cleaning, we left for my hometown, where I would leave my things with my parents while I left for Israel. When we had just first set out driving, a car passed us which had an Israeli flag waving from its top. Now, my Mom and I had never seen that before, and for that to happen just while I was getting ready to leave for Israel and for my Mom to see that was just another of many confirmations from G-D! HalleluYAH!!!

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The Jewish Boy

After my Mom helped me get all of my things together to leave for Israel, my family and I had one last dinner together. We planned to go to one certain restaurant, but it turned out that restaurant was unexpectedly closed. So, we decided to go somewhere else. As my Dad and I were pulling out of the parking lot to go to another restaurant, my Dad and I saw what looked like an 11 year-old boy standing all by himself at the intersection, wearing a kippah (Jewish hat) and tzitzit (four tassels on the garment). I had never in my entire life remembered seeing in person a Jewish boy wearing those things, and right then, for me and my Dad to see that right before I left for Israel, was just another confirmation from G-D! HalleluYAH!!! Time and space would not allow me to write of all the things that G-D did to confirm to me it was HIS will for me to go to Israel, but I have shared enough for now…

On Wings of Eagles

The time had come, and it was now time for me to step into G-D’s amazing, wonderful, gracious destiny for me to go to Israel! I boarded my flight first to Philadelphia, being further east in the United States than I had ever been before. From there, I took a plane straight to Israel. During my flight, I remember seeing a group of men get up while everyone was sleeping and the cabin was dimmed, cloaking themselves with their tallits (prayer shawls), wrapping their arms in tefillin (prayer phylacteries), and opening up their Hebrew prayer books to spend time speaking with G-D. Wow. What boldness! What zeal! What unashamed love of G-D! I had never seen anything like that before in my life! I was inspired by their devoutness and faithfulness to pray even though they were surrounded by people who may have disapproved. I’ll never forget that…

The Set Time

When I had landed in Israel, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect! Right after we had touched down, I remember lifting up my visor over my window and looking out the glass with great anticipation. What I saw was rather disappointing… It looked really smoggy. I mean, really smoggy. The air quality looked horrible and there was a brownish tinting to the air outside; I did not understand. When I was picked up by HaYovel staff and brought outside the airport, I saw there was a layer of dust caking everything outside. It turns out, there was a dust storm that had just swept through Israel prior to my arrival. It was such a rare phenomenon, that many who lived in Israel had apparently never even seen it before! What a pleasant gift for me and my first time in Israel! Apparently, it came from Syria and it was so bad up there that it stopped the fighting in Syria for a whole day! It really wasn’t that bothersome for us, and it was so unique that it was kind of fun and I came to appreciate it! Plus, it was my first time in Israel so I didn’t know what things were like without the dust! After all, as someone so perfectly discovered and shared, the Scriptures say,

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YOU will arise and have mercy on Zion;
For the time to favor her,
Yes, the set time, has come.
For YOUR servants take pleasure in her stones,
And show favor to her dust.” –Tehillim (Psalm) 102:13-14

This passage from Scripture couldn’t be any truer. It is to you that I testify with full conviction and authority: the set time for the LORD to have mercy on Zion and to favor her has now come.

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Every one of these prophecies I have seen and witnessed beginning to come to pass in Israel with my own eyes:

“You shall yet plant vines on the mountains of Samaria;
The planters shall plant and eat them as ordinary food.
For there shall be a day
When the watchmen (Notzrim; “Christians”) will cry on Mount Ephraim,
‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
To the LORD our G-D.’” –Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 31:5-6

“Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
And the sons of the foreigner
Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.” –Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 61:5

But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to MY people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt.” –Yechezk’el (Ezekiel) 36:8-10

“For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language,
That they all may call on the name of the LORD,
To serve HIM with one accord.” –Tz’efanyah (Zephaniah) 3:9

For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their G-D and David their king. They shall fear the LORD and HIS goodness in the latter days.” –Hoshea 3:4-5

“Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD,
“When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
The mountains shall drip with sweet wine,
And all the hills shall flow with it.
I will bring back the captives of MY people Israel;
They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them;
They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.
I will plant them in their land,
And no longer shall they be pulled up
From the land I have given them,”
Says the LORD your G-D.” –Amos 9:13-15

“For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will also gather all nations,
And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
And I will enter into judgment with them there
On account of MY people, MY heritage Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
They have also divided up MY land.” –Yo’el (Joel) 3:1-2

My G-D has given me the solemn responsibility, honor, and duty to share this message with as many people as I can. My face is set like flint and I am determined to accomplish just that, for I believe that we are seeing what many prophets and kings have desired to see but were unable, to hear but were unable, the “restoration of the Kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6).” Scripture is clear that none of these prophecies could be coming to pass if the set time for the LORD to favor Zion hasn’t come! I feel so privileged and unworthy to be alive during these times, and I know with everything in me that I want to be a part of how G-D is building up Zion. “For the LORD shall build up Zion; HE shall appear in HIS glory (Psalm 102:16).

The FATHER’s Provision in Yerushalayim

I was in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) during the Feast Days of Sukkot (Tabernacles) when I ran right into someone I knew and totally did not expect to see. I looked at him and he looked at me, with tears beginning to form in his eyes. About a month or so earlier, when I had only first heard about the opportunity to go to Israel with HaYovel, he and his son-in-law met with me at a bookstore to pray with me. At that time, I did not know for sure if I was going to be able to go, and many things still needed to come into place in order for me to be able to go. But I believed it was G-D’s will for me to go. This man and his son-in-law both encouraged me to trust in G-D and to have faith that HE who put this desire in my heart would bring it to pass. This man was already planning to go to Israel during the same time I was hoping to be there, so in a step of faith, we both said to each other, “I’ll see you in Jerusalem.” HalleluYAH!!! G-D honored our declarations of faith and did bring it all to pass, to HIS glory!!

G-D is bringing HIS children, Jews and followers of Yeshua, together in unity in order to establish HIS Kingdom on this earth and the coming Kingdom of the Messiah, and it’s happening beginning from the only place that it can prophetically happen…

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Yerushalayim!

My Testimony

My testimony has not ended, it has only just begun! All that I write from here on out is the continuation of the story of what G-D has done in saving me by the Son of HIS Love, Yeshua HaMashiach, and in bringing me to HIS Land, Israel and Zion!

Please, join me in the most beautiful love story ever written or ever told, the Love Story of the never ending faithfulness, zeal, devotion, and goodness of the G-D of Israel towards the People and Land of Israel, and the Salvation (Yeshua) that will come to the whole world through the City of Peace, the City of Shalom, Yerushalayim!

For Zion’s sake I will not hold my peace,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
And her salvation as a lamp that burns.
The Gentiles shall see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory.
You shall be called by a new name,
Which the mouth of the LORD will name…” –Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 62:1-2

B”H

JWJ

 

My Testimony Pt. 3

Tehillim (Psalm) 19:7

The Torah (Law) of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple…

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The Gentleness of the FATHER

Once G-D began to open my eyes to see that it wasn’t HIS Torah (Law) that was flawed but it was I who HE was transforming by HIS Holy Spirit to live like HIS Son Yeshua, I could never live the same way again! I began to see all over the Bible where blessing flowed as we live our lives in accordance with G-D’s Torah, HIS loving instruction as a FATHER to HIS children and the duty of every citizen of HIS Kingdom to uphold! I knew I had to begin at once, so I started gradually to walk in obedience to G-D’s commandments. I learned the gentleness and patience of our FATHER in Heaven as we learn to trust HIM more and surrender our hearts completely to HIM. G-D truly is an ALL-CONSUMING FIRE and a Zealous G-D, but HE, the ETERNAL ONE Blessed is HE, suffers long and is kind… does not behave rudely… thinks no evil… bears all things… endures all things.” I’m grateful for the example we’re given of the apostles, who knowing the Gentiles were turning to G-D and coming into covenant with HIM, did not force them to do everything in the Torah all at once, but gave them a necessary start and allowed them to obey G-D’s Law not from a place of compulsion, but of a true desire from the heart. “For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath (Acts 15:21).”

Keeping the Seventh Day Holy

One of the first things that began to change in my life is that I wanted to keep the seventh day Sabbath, the Holy Day of Rest which G-D made, kept HIMSELF, and gave man. We are told that Yeshua observed the Shabbat and that Paul did too. Paul told us to, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Messiah.” This was not easy as my employer often had me work on the seventh day. So I found myself working the bare minimum that I had to on Shabbat, giving myself most of the day to truly find my rest in the FATHER. The Shabbat has been one of the biggest blessings from G-D that I have ever received. To have a day to totally rest and not stress about getting work done, and having the best excuse ever, because G-D commanded, is absolutely necessary to living the abundant life G-D knows HIS beloved children want. G-D opened my eyes to see that this is the one commandment of the Big Ten that many have sadly, and sometimes unconsciously, disregarded. Also, in history, I learned that the Roman Catholic Church takes credit with changing the day of rest from the seventh day to Sunday, practically boasting in its ability to change the word of G-D by the supposed “power” invested in it. I wanted nothing to do with that! I wanted to obey my Heavenly FATHER, to whom ALONE belongs the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory!

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Some things never change…

 

The First, and Hopefully Last, Diet of my Whole Life

The next thing that began to change in my life was my diet, what I ate. For probably about the first time in my life, I started to really care about what I ate, apart from whether it tasted good or not. G-D placed in me the desire to let HIM be G-D and not me, understanding HIS authority as CREATOR to tell me what I could or could not eat of HIS creation. I realized that the tradition in the church teaching that we could eat whatever we wanted was shaky and had no solid foundation in the word of G-D. I learned that Peter’s vision in Acts 10 had nothing to do with changing G-D’s dietary laws but had everything to do with how G-D looks at people. “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But G-D has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” The “law” which Peter spoke of is nowhere found in the Bible or in G-D’s Torah, but it was man’s religious law or custom in those times which G-D showed Peter was actually contrary to G-D’s Torah. G-D taught me that I need to take care of my body, which is the Temple of HIS Holy Spirit, and keep it clean. Just as G-D forbade pigs and other unclean animals from being sacrificed on the altar of HIS Holy Temple, so HE forbade us from sacrificing pigs and unclean animals on the altar of our Temple of the HOLY SPIRIT. “For I am the LORD your G-D. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.

Holidays That Are Truly Holy Days

The third big thing that G-D began to change in my life is that he put a desire in my heart to keep, observe, and celebrate HIS Holy Days, HIS Feast Days! The KING has an Eternal Kingdom, and HE has Eternal Feast Days for all of HIS citizens! HalleluYAH!!! HE invites us each to join! I learned that G-D has seven holidays which HE has given to us in the Bible. Seven is the perfect number in the Bible, and G-D’s holidays are perfect, clean, and pure. Unlike the holidays of man that are so ingrained into our society and Christianity, like Christmas and Easter, G-D’s Holy Days come solely from G-D HIMSELF. Observing G-D’s Holy Days keeps you far from the frustration of competing or meddling with Santa Claus, Christmas trees, Easter bunnies, eggs, all the things which the Roman Catholic Church adopted from pagan traditions. We see that G-D calls HIS Feast Days, HIS “appointed times,” and these are holy times in which HE has historically “met” with HIS People and in which HE has promised to continue to “meet” with HIS People. As a follower of Yeshua, the Feast Days could not be more significant for my walk with G-D! This is because we see that Yeshua entered Jerusalem in glorious procession on the very day when the lamb was selected for Pesach (Passover) sacrifice, Yeshua died on the cross at the same hour when the Passover lamb was slain at the Temple, Yeshua rose as the “first-fruits from the dead” on the Feast of First-Fruits, when the first and best sheaf of the barley harvest was brought to the Temple for thanksgiving to G-D, representing a guarantee that the rest of the harvest was going to come! On G-D’s Feast Day of Shavuot (Pentecost), G-D poured out HIS Holy Spirit on Yeshua’s apostles and those thousands of pilgrims assembled at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to worship! We can calculate from the Gospels that Yeshua was likely born during the time of the Fall Feast of Tabernacles, a time of greatest rejoicing when the people of Israel celebrated G-D’s dwelling with man in the Holy Tabernacle! We see that Yeshua’s second coming will correspond perfectly with the remaining Fall Feast Days, Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)! The blowing of the trumpet representing G-D’s Kingship and Judgment, and Yom Kippur representing the “Wedding Ceremony” of the King with His people! G-D has given HIS children the incredible opportunity to celebrate these past events of G-D’s salvation and to rehearse in advance as we look forward to the future fulfillment and redemption that awaits HIS people on these set apart times! Why would we not want to be a part of that?!?

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Can you spot me? Where’s Levi?

Following Yeshua, Being Set Apart

As I continued to change my lifestyle to live in deeper accordance with HIS Word, I found myself being set apart from others around me. When G-D convinced me purely from my time spent in prayer, the study of HIS word, and my own personal research, I had to tell the news to friends of mine who I had previously been at odds with. I told my Jewish friend from college and the dad of the students in my youth group that I was sorry for telling them they were wrong and that G-D had shown me that it was indeed I who was wrong! I told them that I was so excited that G-D was teaching me and I was already being so blessed by walking more in the goodness and purity of G-D! They both accepted my apology, responding with great excitement and thanksgiving to G-D for opening my eyes! I began to keep the Shabbat like Yeshua, I began to eat like my Master, I began to celebrate G-D’s Holy Days like my Rabbi, and a friend of my friend, when they invited me over to their house one Shabbat, generously gave me the tassels off of his own clothing, so I could wear them on my garments in like manner as my King! The more I started to do things that Yeshua did, people around me and loved ones didn’t understand where I was coming from and thought I was becoming Jewish, when really, in fact, everything I was doing came straight from the Bible and were things that I wanted to follow my Teacher Yeshua in! I never judged others for misunderstanding me, because I remember misunderstanding my Jewish friend and others before G-D changed my mind!

Finding Encouragement in El Shaddai

At the time when I felt like I wasn’t fitting in so much at the church I was at and going a different direction that I knew G-D was leading me in, I was in need of some strong fellowship and encouragement. The man I had met at the booth, Grapes, had given me a card to a ministry in the town that I was living in that walked in the same lifestyle of biblical living that I was beginning to walk in. After a couple months of hearing from the LORD and testing all these things, I felt G-D leading me to check out this ministry. The ministry’s name was El Shaddai Ministries. Previous to my knowledge, it turns out that it was less than ten minutes from the place where I was living. A quick jaunt down only a couple streets and I was there. So on Shabbat I began to attend El Shaddai Ministries and on Sunday I attended the church I interned at, which also was the place where I worked for an income! This church had generously hired me, given me a job and a place to live there while I interned under the youth pastor.

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Lots of road time driving to youth conferences…

Focusing on What’s Important

How G-D used El Shaddai Ministries during my time spent there is hard to overstate; it was very moving. The people there were incredibly loving like Yeshua and so welcoming to me as I was so new to a lot of these things of G-D’s Word. I learned so much from the Pastor, Mark Biltz, about the Bible that I had never learned before, deep things of G-D’s word that give so much glory to G-D for the perfection of G-D’s Torah and the fulfillment of prophecy in the life of Yeshua the Messiah! The worship was very passionate, sincere, and the music was very beautiful, powerful, and well-put together. I remember times during worship there when I broke out uncontrollably in tears of joy, thanking the FATHER for HIS goodness and mercy towards me in leading me closer to HIM through HIS Truth and HIS ways. HalleluYAH!!! The ministry was very pro-Israel and spent a lot of time each service talking about current events and prophecy-fulfillment concerning Israel! They also had a few speakers from Israel during the time that I was there. It felt so right reading and studying about Israel in the Bible and also talking about what G-D is doing there now, just as HE promised! I was very grateful to begin to set my eyes to Zion – the place called in Scripture, “the apple of G-D’s eye.”

A Caring Heart for Israel

As I was beginning to see more clearly G-D’s unchanging, unfailing love for HIS People and Land, Israel, and to hear about the things G-D was doing in Israel that were prophesied of in the Bible thousands of year ago, my heart grew more and more for the Nation and for the opportunity to travel there myself. It was amazing because I remember growing up with the desire to support Israel, almost solely because of my Mom. Years before I ever attended El Shaddai Ministries, my Mom had created a support website for Israel, pro-Israel wristbands and stickers by the hundreds that she passed out at church, though she had never even been to Israel before. She always explained that her love for Israel was almost inexplicable and just came from G-D. I remember this when I was younger and appreciated it but it didn’t mean nearly as much to me as it did later, when I started caring deeply about the welfare of Israel!

 

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Click the picture for a link to El Shaddai Ministries’ website

G-D’s Direction

For the first time in my life, I had a true, sincere desire to go to the Holy Land of Promise. At the time when I was attending El Shaddai Ministries, Pastor Mark Biltz was teaching about the Blood Moons and their significance in biblical prophecy! It was the same year that he was planning to take a tour group to Jerusalem to witness the Super Blood Moon which coordinated perfectly with the date of the Feast of Tabernacles that year. At this time, I was praying about if G-D wanted me to try to continue to become a pastor in the denomination or if HE was leading me a different direction. I began wondering if HE wanted me to go to Israel. I looked into going with El Shaddai Ministries’ group to Israel and quickly found out that all the spaces were filled and tickets sold out. I sensed this was an answer to prayer. However, I was also feeling that my time as an intern was coming to an end. I didn’t know what G-D wanted me to do, but I knew HE would lead me as always HE had before…

Blinded by Sunshine

G-D began to show me major signs that HE was leading me in a different direction than I had previously thought HE was. Not long before all these events had unfolded, the youth pastor which I had interned under stepped down from his position in the ministry in order to tend to his family’s needs. I knew this was the right decision for him and it was confirmation for me that G-D was starting me in a new season. One Shabbat, when El Shaddai Ministries was having a big prophecy conference with speakers and attendees from long distances, I ran into this elderly woman during a meet-and-greet time. Her name was Mary Sunshine. With brilliance and glory I was blinded by the light of her countenance upon me as she spoke about the wonders of her many trips to Israel. It was good that I wasn’t on a horse, because at the first beams of her sunshine upon my face, I would’ve surely been lifted up and put gently flat on my back. With great joy she expressed her experiences in Israel. It was in response to her that I shared my desire to one day travel to Israel. It was upon these simple, few words of mine that she, with great excitement, told me she had someone she wanted me to meet! Later that Shabbat, Mary came back to me with a lady at her side.

Random cute kid picture
Random cute kid picture

The few words that this lady would share with me, would change my life forever…

Soon to be continued…

B”H

JWJ

 

 

My Testimony Pt. 2

1 Shim’on Kefa (Peter) 2:9

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, HIS own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of HIM who called you out of darkness into HIS marvelous light…”

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New Creation

After my incredible, undeniable encounter with the TRUE, LIVING G-D, I could never be the same! I knew G-D loved me and that HE was faithful to answer HIS promise to save all those who truly called upon HIM! From this point on, I wanted to give my whole life to seeking HIM, HIS Kingdom, HIS righteousness, and HIS Messiah, Yeshua, in everything. My desires began to change and I began to not even recognize the person I was before G-D filled me with HIS Spirit. I didn’t want the things that I wanted before and for the first time ever, I was truly able to overcome my addiction and the sins in my life which I was previously enslaved to. I marked the date and since that time, 4 years ago, I have not ever returned to the addiction that I once was chained to! I was not a slave anymore, G-D had broken my chains in pieces through HIS Son, and I wanted to use that freedom to serve HIM and thank HIM for what HE had done for me.

The Cost of Discipleship

After my total commitment to serve and give G-D my whole life, I was very hungry for G-D’s word and to seek HIM more! I got connected with an incredible youth group which G-D really used to train me and teach me how to be a true disciple of Yeshua HaMashiach! I developed a powerful relationship with the youth pastor and learned a lot from him, not only in knowledge, but also in action. He shared the love of G-D with everyone he was around and taught from the Bible the cost of discipleship – a cost that is greater than all, but worth it all. He demonstrated this cost when there arose strange doctrines within the church and he was pressured to conform to the tide. He stood his ground, teaching his students the truths of Scripture and calling out the strange doctrine for what it was – lies and deceit. Just as he was feeling himself being pushed out of the church and out of his position, G-D opened the door for him to pastor youth at another church, about two and a half hours away. I was in the middle of this all. It was hard to see my pastor leave, but I was incredibly inspired by his example of standing for what’s right in the sight of G-D, even when it costed something dear. I kept in touch with him and banded together with others of his students as we continued to seek G-D, HIS Kingdom, and the discipleship of Yeshua HaMashiach.

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Myself being on the far right…

Time of Growth

The next couple years were huge in me growing stronger in faith, in knowledge of G-D’s love for me, and in the understanding of G-D’s word. I started attending another youth group where I was able to get more involved as a student leader, encouraging other students to seek G-D and Yeshua with me. I grew a lot during this time as I spent a lot of time learning with other pastors, youth leaders, and fellow students. For my last two years of grade school, I was given the incredible opportunity to study full-time at a community college instead of normal high school. This meant that I was able to receive my two-year Associates degree at the very same time that I received my High School diploma. When I began my studies, I had thought that I would follow in my brother’s footsteps, becoming a computer programmer, which is why I worked to receive my Associate degree in Science. However, the more that G-D laid hold of my heart and being, I knew that HE was calling me to give all of my time to sharing with others what HE had so graciously given to me. Now, I’m so grateful that I took all of those science classes because it really tested me to see if my faith could stand in the face of strict atheism and purely naturalistic explanations for the meaning of life. My faith and personal experience could not be moved by such illogical nonsense. For, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no G-D.””

My Odd Jewish Friend

During my time at college, G-D showed me HE had so much more for me than what I had previously thought. In my first year of college, I began attending the Christian club at the college and in my second year I was voted in to become the President of the Christian club. This really helped me build my confidence to know that G-D could use me to make an impact and a difference in the world around me, being able to influence and point others toward G-D and HIS will for our lives! While in college, I met the first person I ever really had a personal relationship with who believed in living his life in accordance with G-D’s Law given through Moses, all while believing Yeshua was the Messiah. He was Jewish, and yet he served Yeshua as the Messiah. I could not figure him out and I had not a few arguments and debates with him, explaining to him why he wasn’t obligated to obey certain commandments in G-D’s Law anymore because Jesus freed him from needing to. He kindly disagreed. Despite our disagreements, he and I became best of friends and loved each other like brothers! I later had the complete honor of officiating his wedding and marrying him to his bride in the presence and sight of G-D.

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The Next Step, A New Chapter

When the time came for me to graduate college and make a decision as to what I was going to do with my life, I knew I wanted to give my whole life and all of my time to sharing with others what G-D had shared with me. At that time, what this looked like to me was to become a pastor, just like the youth pastor I had, whom G-D used mightily in my life. Truly feeling this way, I called this former youth pastor of mine for advice on what to do next. It was then that he offered me an internship underneath him, to learn from him while I studied and applied myself to becoming a pastor within his particular denomination. After much prayer and fasting, G-D confirmed this to be HIS will for my life and HE paved the way with miracles for me to move two and a half hours away from my hometown in order to begin this new, exciting chapter of G-D’s will for my life. HalleluYAH!!!

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The Booth

After I had made the move to this new town, G-D did a work in my life that I had never anticipated. A couple months after settling into my position in the ministry, I invited my Jewish friend from college to visit me in my new place, which just so happened to be the same town that he lived in as a child. We decided that when he visited we would both go to the state fair, which is held every year in this town. So we did. While we were there walking around and looking at all the different booths and vendors which were set up there, one particular booth grabbed my attention. This booth looked like a “Jews for Jesus” booth because it had a lot of things that looked “Jewish” to me, including menorahs and Israel flags, and yet it also displayed the name, “Jesus.” Immediately, I was really excited for my Jewish friend, who I thought would be encouraged by this booth, knowing that this is what he grew up with and was familiar with. Little did I know, that I needed this booth just as much, if not more, than he did.

Heartburn (The Good Kind)

When we both stopped at the booth, a man approached us with true love and a genuine smile. He engaged in friendly conversation with us and quickly turned the conversation toward G-D and the Bible. He began to open up the Scriptures to us, showing us only from the so-called, “Old Testament,” that Yeshua was indeed the Messiah of Israel prophesied of hundreds of years before His death, resurrection, and ascension. He showed us many proofs that awed us, amazed us, and made our mouths drop at the perfection of G-D’s plan and the specificity of the fulfillment of prophecy in Yeshua’s life. In about 18 years of Christianity, I had never heard the kind of things that this man was sharing with us. The depth and intricacy of the things this man shared with us was breath-taking and inspiring. The best way I can describe how I felt after this man spoke with my Jewish friend and I was how the two disciples on the road to Emmaus said they felt after Yeshua opened up the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings to them. “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?

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G-D Speaking

While my heart burned within me after this man opened the Scriptures to us, I felt overwhelmed by G-D’s Holy Spirit and inspired to share with the whole fair that Yeshua really was the One prophesied to come in the Scriptures! I went straight from the booth looking for people that I could share G-D’s love with! After walking a short distance, I saw this woman sitting down in front of a shop and I felt strongly the HOLY SPIRIT telling me to speak with her! So I did! I went up to this woman and began sharing the Good News of Yeshua with her! Her response shocked me. She began to tell me that she knew Jesus, she loved Jesus, and actually, her and her family had just started keeping the Feast Days of the LORD! I could not believe her response! First of all, I hardly knew at all what the Feast Days even were! All I knew was that it was some “Old Testament” thing that my Jewish friend and other Jewish people did but had no relevance to the life of a follower of Yeshua! But here, I was beginning to see that maybe this was not so… For me to speak to this woman right after speaking to the man at the booth, while being with my Jewish friend?! No, I knew G-D was speaking to me!

Being a True ‘Berean’

I immediately began to look into these things to see if they were so, spending more time in prayer in the secret place and more time in the study of the Scriptures than I had ever done before, sincerely desiring to earnestly ask G-D for the truth! Just like the Jews in Berea who daily tested everything Paul taught with the Scriptures, I wanted to test everything that I was hearing and being faced with. It was at the same time that the father of some of the students in my youth group began sharing Scriptures about the Law which contradicted what I had learned before. He shared while other students were around and so I thought it was my duty as an intern to contradict him with other Scriptures which I believed refuted his arguments. This all came to a head when he shared one quote of Yeshua which I could not so easily refute or dismiss…

Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:17-19

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah (Law) 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 Torah (Law) till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

This verse stumped me.

Last time I checked, Heaven and earth haven’t yet passed away… And I don’t want to be called the least in the kingdom of heaven, if given the choice between ‘great’ and ‘least…’ I quickly saw that I better do and teach the least of the commandments of the Torah (Law), so I may be called great in the kingdom of heaven! Then I also began to realize that I even wanted to do the least of the commandments… Well of course I do! The commandments come from G-D, the ONE I adore, I love, I long for and seek after, the ONE who saved me! Everything that comes from HIM, I want and desire! HE had truly written HIS Torah on my heart!

Poor Misunderstood Paul…

But wait, why had I always been told and taught that I shouldn’t want that which comes from G-D, HIS Law and HIS commandments? I understood that all the verses which I had used to defend against observing G-D’s Law came from letters which Paul wrote. But after researching, studying, and realizing just how Torah-observant Paul really was and how misunderstood his writings have been, it finally made perfect sense why this contradiction seemed to exist between Yeshua and Paul previously, in my lack of understanding. It now made perfect sense why the HOLY SPIRIT inspired Shim’on Kefa to warn us in writing, “And count the patience of our LORD as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.” We are told that even in Kefa’s day, people were twisting Paul’s words towards lawlessness! Paul even engaged in lawful acts at the Temple in Jerusalem specifically for the purpose of proving to everyone that he didn’t teach against keeping the Law (Acts 21)! Yeshua surely taught His followers to follow Him, to keep the Torah – even the least of the commandments!

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Once G-D began to open my eyes to see these things, I could never live the same way again…

I grew up in ‘Vineyard’ churches, my favorite school teacher was Jewish, G-D had put people in my life to challenge my discipleship of the Jewish Messiah, and the last name of the man who spoke with me at the booth was, “Grapes.” Little did I know and impossible for me to foresee, was that G-D was preparing me to travel to Israel, where I would serve the Jewish people in the vineyards prophesied of in the Bible!

Soon to be continued…

B”H

JWJ

 

My Testimony Pt. 1

Revelation of Yeshua HaMashiach 12:10-11

“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our G-D, and the power of HIS Messiah have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our G-D day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

 

littleme
Guess which one is me…

 

My Testimony

I wanted to make it a priority to write this story, the story of my life. I have been very encouraged lately to write down the testimony of what G-D has done in my life. As it is so truthfully stated in a song, “To tell you my story is to tell of HIM.” Truly, my story is not my own, but it is HIS, and HE has allowed me to live it, for HIS glory.

Christian Parenthood

I grew up in a Christian home, where I received the most amazing Christian upbringing, better than any could even ask for. My parents gave both of their lives to the LORD when they were both in high school and they began their walk with G-D in Pentecostal churches, specifically in Assemblies of G-D churches. Their knowledge of the salvation of G-D through Yeshua the Messiah is what birthed their desire for their children to know the love of G-D in Messiah Yeshua and to love HIM in return, serving HIM all the days of their lives. They knew nothing was more important to them as parents than this, therefore they did everything in their ability to point my two older brothers and I to G-D and HIS ways. They set an example to us of truly holy, godly living. Generous giving, ceaseless prayer, godly fellowship, clean language, and corporate Bible reading is some of what characterized the Christian parenthood I received. They refused to allow me to engage in blatantly obvious wicked things such as Halloween, and they set an example for their children of abstention from alcoholic beverages so as not to risk any potential future issue of alcoholism, something which had caused tremendous damage to previous generations in my family (though they never proclaimed that drinking alcohol in and of itself was a sin).

 

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My Early Passion for the Bible

One of the rules which my parents implemented within the household was to make us attend church with them every Sunday. The churches that I spent most of my childhood growing up in until high school were called, “Vineyard” churches. The foundation of the Bible which I received in Sunday school made a tremendous impact on my life and is one of the main reasons why I, from an early age, held a deep love and appreciation for the Bible. The stories of the Bible became a major source of entertainment and fascination for me.

My Jewish Teacher

There developed inside of me a great desire and passion to learn the history surrounding the Bible, connecting the stories of the Bible with the history of the world. I remember from an early age, being enthralled with the battles, civilizations, characters, and miracles of the Bible. This early passion of mine followed me to the 3rd grade, my last year in public elementary school. It was during this year that I had, until this day, one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had. Her name was Mrs. Paula Epstein. I don’t know why exactly she had such a huge impact on me, but I’m sure it’s because the thing I received from her most of all was love. She greatly inspired me in my desire to learn history and she herself shared with me in her great knowledge and passion for it. It was in this year of my elementary school experience that I was given the nickname, “Mr. History,” among my fellow class compatriots. I remember with great clarity the moment when my teacher, Mrs. Epstein, let me in on a little secret of hers, which really was not a secret at all. As if almost in a whisper, she informed me one day that my name, Levi, held a special place in her heart, this because she was Jewish and she knew her family heritage to be that from the tribe of Levi. I remember her showing me a picture of herself with Israeli flags around her, almost as if she was trying to prove to me her Jewishness. She proved it to me; I never doubted her, and I never forgot this amazing woman.

 

dadskid
Yeah, that’s me with soda in hand…

 

Becoming a Bully

It was in this same year and grade that I began to get caught up with the wrong crowd at school. I thought it was cool and fun to hang out with the kids who were the most popular, most athletic, and dominated all the other kids. The problem is, we have another name for those kinds of kids, “bullies,” and I was becoming one of them. Little did I recognize that I was headed on a path of destruction which my parents, being warned of by others, saved me from. They pulled me out of public school after the close of that year and put me in private Christian school for the start of my 4th grade year. This was a big decision for my parents as it was very expensive to put me in private school, but they knew it was worth it and it needed to be done. I’m so grateful for the love of my parents which made tough decisions and sacrifices for me, because they saw it was what I needed.

Advanced Christian Education

Therefore, my incredible Christian education and my foundation in G-D’s word continued to be established. Apart from my constant education in the Bible at Christian school, I soon joined a Bible competition league, called Junior Bible Quiz, through the Assemblies of G-D churches. In this sport, I learned and memorized Bible passages and competed with others for speed and accuracy in my knowledge of the Bible! Our team competed in cities throughout the state and even succeeded to advance to the regional level where we competed out of state. This was an incredible experience and helped shape my love and passion for the Bible. In addition to great Christian parenting, Sunday church education, Christian school, and Bible competitions, I soon became of age to get heavily involved with extra Christian activities such as youth group.

 

ocskid
Me, on the right…

 

Addiction

Despite all of my amazing Christian upbringing and foundation in G-D’s word, all of this could never be a substitute for a real, living, breathing relationship with the MOST HIGH CREATOR of the Universe. When I was about 11 years old, the enemy found the backdoor into my life and lured me like a fish with bait, only to hook me with an addiction that would ensnare me for 5 years. It was during this time, that I began to see just how depraved, evil, and empty I really was on the inside. Although I was surrounded by Christianity in nearly every direction of my life, nothing could make the decision to give my life back to G-D for me. It had to be my own, personal decision.

Embracing the Darkness

At the same time, I began to get really into a music scene which is known for embracing dark style and sound – the hardcore/metal music scene. I began to play the bass guitar and I joined a metal music band. We played several concerts as a band before we disbanded, but I continued to be very much a part of that dark scene. The darkness enveloped me as I began to embrace a negative attitude, filthy language, dark dress (there was a time when I even straightened my hair every day before class), and I filled my mind with negative messages. It was a very dark, depressing time of my life. A lot of what was going on inside of me was, for the most part, hidden to my Christian family and friends.

 

ocsabr
On the right, again…

 

Desperate to Be Free

After a few years of entombing myself in darkness, I began to really see how desperate I was for true life, joy, and peace. I began to feel so convicted for my sin as I was all of the time surrounded by G-D’s Holy Spirit in my life. I knew that my addiction was evil and that it was destroying me from the inside out. I began to feel remorse for my actions and I felt so hurt because of my choices. I tried to quit my addiction all in my own willpower, but I just couldn’t, no matter what I did or how hard I tried. I even harmed myself and had thoughts of suicide, preferring death over the hurt that I was experiencing. I began to see just how true Yeshua’s words were when He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” I began to know that I was a slave to my sin, and I needed somebody to set me free, or else I would die.

G-D’s Answer and HIS Salvation

It was at this critical moment of my life, that I cried out to G-D with all of my heart. I had heard all of my life that there was One who could save any person from their slavery, from their addictions, and from their sins – and His name was Jesus. I had never thought I really needed Jesus to save me before but now, it was either death or salvation. I’m so grateful to G-D that I chose salvation through Jesus. One evening, while I was at a conference with my youth group and we were worshiping G-D, I poured out my entire heart to G-D, weeping as I called out to G-D in the name of Jesus to forgive me and to save me. It was at this moment, with tears streaming down my face, that an elder came up to me to lay his hands on me. As soon as he laid his hands on me, I felt a wave of electricity and heat wash through my body from head to toe. The best way I can describe it was a purifying flame that G-D wanted me to feel so that I would know without a doubt that HE loved me, HE was forgiving me, cleansing me of my sins with HIS touch, and filling me with HIS Spirit. I shortly thereafter began speaking in tongues, with utterances of praise flowing freely from my mouth up to heaven. I soon came to realize that this was the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which G-D’s children receive as a seal and guarantee of our future redemption! HalleluYAH!!!

digi

After this incredible, undeniable encounter with the TRUE and LIVING G-D, I could never be the same…

Soon to be continued…

B”H

JWJ