Prayer Poem

Prayer is a mighty weapon. Prayer is a mighty tool. Prayer makes things happen. To not do it, I'd be a fool.

You'll Pray, if you care. You'll pray, if you dare. Your problems to share. Your burdens to bear.

God is listening for you. Are you talking to Him? He delights to help you. Are you trusting in Him?

You have not. . . because you ask not. So ask and believe. Believe and recieve.

Be patient and wait. Don't give up in haste. God is very great. And He is never late.

Prayer makes hell quake.Prayer makes satan shake. Prayer makes bondage break. Prayer makes demons ache.

Go ahead and do not delay. Go ahead and make God's day. Go ahead and begin to pray. Pray, believe and receive today.


1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Proverbs 15:8 The prayer of the upright is God's delight.

Prayer to the believer should be like water to a fish. We should be living lives of prayer. Time spent in prayer is time well spent.

Proverbs 15:8 The prayer of the upright is GOD’s delight.

Prayer is communicating and conversing with the Absolute All Powerful Almighty Creator of the Galaxies

Prayer is faith and trust demonstrating itself in the Highest Power that exists

Prayer is fellowship and relationship with Your Heavenly Father

Prayer is a means of interacting with the invincible, invisible, incredible, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient Master and Maker of All Creation

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus).

article by carl e jones

The Word of God

The Word of God

The Word of God is good to preach, it's good to teach each verse by each.

The Word of God is good to know, it helps us grow and helps us go.

The Word of God is like a light, it gives us sight in the night.

The Word of God is very bright, it shows us what is wrong and right.

The Word of God is good to eat, it is a special delicious treat.

The Word of God is good to bite, it gives us might and helps us fight.

The Word of God is like a dagger, speak the Word and demons stagger.

The Word of God is like a sword, it's a mighty Weapon of the Lord.

The Word of God is good to hear, it increases faith and runs off fear.

The Word of God is better than Gold, stories are told and truths unfold.

The Word of God is ever true, The Old Testament and the New.'

by carl e jones

Was the New Testament originally written in Aramaic

Was the New Testament originally written in Aramaic?

60 Questions Christians Ask About Jewish Beliefs and Practices, #41 Michael L Brown

Copyright © 2011 by Michael L Brown (Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures)

This question is closely related to the preceding question, but with one very important difference. While there are no ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the New Testament, there are, in fact, ancient manuscripts of an Aramaic New Testament. But virtually all biblical scholars recognize that this Aramaic New Testament, called the Peshitta, is a translation from the Greek New Testament text rather than a copy of an alleged original Aramaic New Testament. Specifically, the Peshitta is written in Syriac, a major branch of Aramaic, and it covers the entire Bible, the Tanakh as well as the New Testament. It is generally dated between the second and fifth centuries A.D., and it is recognized as an important ancient version, like the Septuagint (translating the Tanakh into Greek) or the Vulgate (translating the entire Bible into Latin).

The name Peshitta is Syriac for "simple, plain," just as Vulgate means "common." (Similar to this is the name given to the Greek used by the New Testament writers: It was koine Greek, or common Greek, the language used by the majority of the society.)38 Some scholars believe that the Peshitta version of the Old Testament was composed by Jews while the New Testament portion was composed by Christians, but others argue that the whole translation was composed by Christians. In either case, virtually all scholars accept that the Peshitta of the New Testament is a translation of those books rather than the original text of the New Testament books. As a translation, however, the Peshitta is still very important for several reasons: (1) It is an ancient translation of the New Testament, predating some of the Greek manuscripts we have, and it provides a witness to the original wording of the New Testament. (2) Because it is written in Syriac, a major branch of Aramaic, a sister language to Hebrew39 and because Jesus spoke Aramaic (and, probably, Hebrew), it has a unique closeness to the Lord's original words, despite being a translation from the Greek. (In other words, Jesus spoke in Aramaic but the gospels translated His words into Greek. The Peshitta, then, would have translated these Greek words into Syriac, which, as a branch of Aramaic, would not have been radically different from the dialect of Aramaic Jesus would have spoken.) (3) Similarly, it has the potential of uncovering Semitic nuances in the Greek text. (As pointed out in #40, the Greek New Testament is filled with "Semitisms," meaning Hebraic and Aramaic ways of thinking expressed in Greek.) There are a few scholars, however, who believe that the Peshitta is not a translation of the Greek New Testament but rather reflects the original text of the New Testament—in other words, the New Testament (at least part of it) was written in Aramaic. In keeping with this, they also believe that the Greek New Testament (at least part of it) is not the original text but rather a translation of the original Aramaic text. They have, therefore, turned things completely around, arguing that the translation (Aramaic) is the original and the original (Greek) is the translation. The website makes these claims regarding the history of the Peshitta: The Peshitta is the official Bible of the Church of the East. The name Peshitta in Aramaic means "Straight," in other words, the original and pure New Testament. [As noted previously, most scholars understand the name Peshitta to mean "simple" rather than "straight."] The Peshitta is the only authentic and pure text which contains the books in the New Testament that were written in Aramaic, the Language of Mshikha (the Messiah) and His Disciples. In reference to the originality of the Peshitta, the words of His Holiness Mar Eshai Shimun, Catholicos Patriarch of the Church of the East, are summarized as follows: "With reference to ... the originality of the Peshitta text, as the Patriarch and Head of the Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church of the East, we wish to state, that the Church of the East received the scriptures from the hands of the blessed Apostles themselves in the Aramaic original, the language spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and that the Peshitta is the text of the Church of the East which has come down from the Biblical times without any change or revision.” Mar Eshai Shimun 
by Grace, Catholicos Patriarch of the East 
April 5, 19574°

This view was popularized by the late George Lamsa, a native speaker of modern Aramaic, which is a distant dialect to the first-century Aramaic Yeshua spoke, or even the later Syriac dialect used by the Peshitta translators.41 Nonetheless, from Lamsa's perspective, the Syriac of the Peshitta was very close to his native tongue, and he produced a translation of the Peshitta into English (both Old and New Testaments), along with other books explaining what he believed were Aramaic idioms in the Peshitta that were misunderstood by the translators of the Greek New Testament.42 (To repeat: The idea that the Greek New Testament was a translation from the Aramaic was Lamsa's view, not the view of almost all biblical scholars.) In recent years, Lamsa's views have gained a more popular following, with a number of books and websites devoted to further authenticating his claims. As explained on the site, "Was the New Testament originally written in Greek? The texts themselves seem to exhibit phenomena that point towards an Aramaic original, including mistranslations, polysemy, poetry, wordplay, and puns.”43 So then, just as proponents of the "original Hebrew New Testament" theory argue that the New Testament Greek texts often make sense only when translated back into the (alleged) original Hebrew, so also proponents of the "original Aramaic New Testament" theory argue that the New Testament Greek texts often make sense only when translated back into the (alleged) original Aramaic! This alone should raise concerns about the accuracy of these claims (which, in fact, cancel each other out), instead reminding us that: (1) trying to translate any text back into another is tricky business (as pointed out in #40); and (2) New Testament Greek is often very Semitic (again, as pointed out in #40), and therefore different Semitic scholars speculate as to what Hebrew or Aramaic concepts may be represented in these Semitic expressions. It is therefore not surprising that a number of scholars in past generations and even today have argued that the gospels were originally composed in Aramaic—after all, that would have been the native tongue of Yeshua and the apostles (see #39)—even though these scholars have understood that the Peshitta was a translation rather than an original text. That means that they worked with the Greek texts and tried to recover what the "original" Aramaic text was. Notable among these scholars were Charles Cutler Torrey (1922) and Frank Zimmerman (1979); similar efforts have been made by Gustaf Dalman (1929-30), Matthew Black (1967) and Gunter Schwartz (1989), among others, although not all of them have claimed that the gospels themselves were written in Aramaic.44 All of them, however were seeking to recover the original words of Jesus, which they believed were Aramaic rather than Hebrew. Backers of the "Peshitta original" theory today are Andrew Gabriel Roth and Paul Younan, among others.45 These views, however, represent a tiny minority of scholars, since the Peshitta is almost universally recognized as a translation rather than an original text, and the scholars who have attempted to reconstruct an alleged Aramaic original are simply involved in educated guesswork, at best, with little agreement between them.46 Moreover, when these scholars come up with what they feel is a new understanding of the Greek—that is to say, the Greek allegedly misunderstood the Aramaic original—the new, proposed Aramaic text does not agree with the Peshitta. So once again, we have nothing but speculation, and once again, we go back to the fact that the only original manuscripts we have today are in Greek rather than Aramaic. As for the work of Aramaic teachers like Lamsa who are fluent in modern Aramaic, it is possible that they will spot idioms and insights that other readers will miss, but it is important to remember that Aramaic has changed dramatically over the last two thousand years, and that idioms and customs have changed as well, despite the continuity of customs and traditions in the Middle East over the centuries. So, there may be some insights that can be gleaned from Lamsa's work and the work of others following in his footsteps, but all extravagant claims of a corrupt Greek text and an original Aramaic text are to be rejected.

Was the New Testament originally written in Hebrew?

Was the New Testament Originally written in Hebrew?

60 Questions Christians Ask About Jewish Beliefs and Practices, #40 Michael L Brown

Copyright © 2011 by Michael L Brown (Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures)

There is absolutely no evidence that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew, despite many extravagant claims to the contrary. In fact, while there are more than five thousand ancient manuscripts containing all or part of the New Testament in Greek, there are no ancient manuscripts with even a single line from the New Testament written in Hebrew. Nonetheless, claims such as the following are not uncommon these days: "We have created a Messianic, Sacred Name translation of the Scriptures which, for the first time ever, uses the Hebrew and Aramaic rather than Greek manuscripts for its 'New Testament: '"26 Unfortunately, there are no such manuscripts—not one single, ancient Hebrew manuscript for any part of the New Testament. Yet the "translator" still states, "This Version is the first Messianic Version with a 'New Testament' translated from ancient Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts rather than from Greek."27 Not so! There are no extant, ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the New Testament. (For the claim that the New Testament was written in Aramaic, see #41.) Yet time and again, claims are made—often to the captivated fascination of many Christian readers—that the only way to rightly understand the New Testament is to translate it back into the "original Hebrew." One popular book, Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus, contains a mixture of good scholarship and dangerous, careless claims. It goes so far as to say that "one can keep reading the Bible until the day he dies, and the Bible will not tell him the meaning of these difficult Hebrew passages [in the New Testament]. They can be understood only when translated back into Hebrew."' Indeed, "had the Church been provided with a proper Hebraic understanding of the words of Jesus, most theological controversies would never have arisen in the first place."' Yet to reiterate, there are no ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the New Testament—not one!—in contrast with multiplied thousands of Greek manuscripts. Many readers fail to realize that if such extravagant, baseless claims are true, then we have no inspired New Testament text—not even a reasonably well-preserved copy. All we have is a poorly translated, even hopelessly garbled collection of secondhand books that are nothing better than a rough approximation to God's Word. Amazingly, the authors of Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus make statements that would support this ridiculous notion: "The [Greek] Gospels are rife with mistranslations"; indeed, some passages "have been misinterpreted to such an extent that they are potentially damaging to us spiritually. . . . Many Gospel expressions are not just poor Greek, but actually meaningless Greek.'30 Such statements would be completely rejected by the world's leading New Testament Greek scholars, men and women who are not covering up some kind of anti-Hebrew conspiracy.31 What makes matters worse is that some teachers are so convinced that the New Testament was written in Hebrew that they are determined to "translate" the Greek New Testament passages back into "the original Hebrew" (an "original:' I remind you, that exists without a single manuscript to support it). To call this presumptuous is an understatement. As I noted in a previous article: Almost 100 years ago, the Jewish Semitic scholar D. S. Margoliouth attempted to translate the Greek text of Ecclesiasticus (Ben Sira) back into Hebrew. He knew for a fact from the prologue to Ben Sira that it had been translated into Greek directly from a Hebrew original, and he had at his disposal not only the Greek text, but Syriac and Latin translations as well. Yet when sizable portions of a Hebrew Ben Sira were discovered in the Cairo Geniza [a depository of ancient documents hidden in a synagogue in Egypt], it was found that he did not correctly translate even one single verse! Back-translation (called "Ruckithersetzung" in German) is extremely touchy business, even when we are dealing with sources that are only one step removed from the original. But to postulate that accurate Ruckabersetzung can be carried out from sources four or five steps removed from the alleged original is almost unthinkable.' And it is entirely out of the question to suggest that wholesale reconstruction—not just retranslation—of an alleged original text . . . can be carried out from such a distance. Such an effort can only be viewed as pure conjecture. To reconstruct the original Hebrew or Aramaic text of even the Lord's Prayer—based on the extant witness of Matthew and Luke—is fraught with difficulty.33 To attempt to reconstruct the entire (alleged) original Hebrew Gospel—without access to even the supposed primary Greek sources—is nothing more than a counsel of despair.' Despite all this, believers are often fascinated with claims of "the original meaning of the text," as if the plain, clear sense of the Scripture is not enough, as if there always must be some kind of mystical, deeper meaning, or as if we will become spiritually enriched if we can discover that Jesus actually did not mean what our Bibles say He meant. Really, the opposite is more often true: It is the passages in the Word that we do understand that are most troubling. As Dan Harman has said, "So long as Jesus was misunderstood, He was followed by the crowd. When they came to really understand Him, they crucified Him." For the most part, His words are all too clear! To quote Mark Twain, "It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” "But," you say, "I've heard that Matthew's gospel was originally written in Hebrew and that there is even a medieval copy of this Hebrew gospel. I've also heard that there are clear examples of Yeshua's teachings that can only be understood when we recover the Hebrew background of His words." Actually, some of what you've heard is true. One early church leader stated that "Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could" (Papias, quoted by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, 3:39). This view was followed by Irenaeus, who wrote: "Matthew also issued a written gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome and laying the foundations of the church" (Adv. Haer. 3.1.1). Similarly, Origen is quoted by Eusebius to have written that Matthew "was published for believers of Jewish origin, and was composed in Hebrew letters/language" (Ecclesiastical History, 6:25). Some of the church leaders even claimed to have seen this Hebrew Matthew.' But the matter is not so clear, since: (1) the top Matthew scholars in the world are largely in agreement that the Greek Matthew we have was not a translation from Hebrew or any other language; (2) other church leaders claimed that Matthew wrote his gospel in Aramaic; and (3) it is possible that the expression "the Hebrew language" in the Papias quote could mean Aramaic (see above, #39; less likely is the suggestion that it simply means, "composed in Greek but in a Semitic style"). I personally think there was a Hebrew Matthew, used for some time by some of the early Jewish believers, but it might well have been a collection of the Lord's sayings in Hebrew, rather than the Matthew we know today, which remains the only Matthew that was cited and referenced by any church leaders from the second century on. That is to say, when these leaders, who were Greek- or Latin-speaking Gentiles, quote Matthew's gospel, they virtually always quoted the Matthew that we have in Greek. So, even if there was a Hebrew Matthew, the Matthew that was universally used by most all of the ancient believers was written in Greek, and those who knew of the Hebrew Matthew never stated that it was different than the Greek Matthew. That was not an issue, and it did not dawn on them that they needed to "recover" this original text. As for the medieval Hebrew Matthew manuscript—actually, manuscripts—this Hebrew Matthew appears not to be a distant copy of the alleged original document but rather a translation from Greek into Hebrew, although some scholars have argued that it contains some verses or expressions that point back to an original Hebrew Matthew.36 What about expressions in the gospels that can only be properly understood when their original Semitic background is uncovered? There is certainly something to this, and we know that Jesus did His teaching in Aramaic and/or Hebrew. But again, this does not mean that the gospels (or other parts of the New Testament) were originally written in Hebrew. Perhaps Yeshua's sayings in Hebrew were preserved in a collection compiled by Matthew. Perhaps there was even an original Hebrew Matthew, very close to our Greek Matthew. But this much is sure: God's desire was for His Word to be disseminated to the widest possible audience, and in order to do this, the New Testament was written in Greek. This stands in distinct contrast to the Koran, which is only recognized as the Word of God by Muslims in Arabic. That's why some translations of the Koran are entitled The Meaning of the Koran, since it is only a translation of the holy book of Islam, not the book itself. Not so with the Bible, God's Word for all humanity. When you pick up your English Bible, you are reading the Word of God—translated, yes, and not a perfect representation of every nuance of the original Hebrew and Greek, but the Word of God nonetheless. This is in keeping with the spirit of the New Testament: Even though Yeshua Himself taught in Aramaic and Hebrew, His words were passed on to us in Greek translation so that the multitudes could hear the message of salvation. Now, it is certainly quite profitable for scholars to look at the Greek gospels and ask, "How would this have been spoken in Hebrew or Aramaic? Is there further insight that can be gained into the Lord's words if we seek to reconstruct the original sayings?" But we must always bear in mind that: (1) the Greek New Testament is what God has preserved for us, and all the evidence that we have indicates that it was His choice to transmit the New Covenant Scriptures to us in Greek. Therefore, any "reconstruction" of the alleged original Hebrew or Aramaic that significantly alters the meaning of the Greek text—without any actual manuscript evidence to back up the claim—is to be seriously questioned if not rejected outright. Otherwise, the sky is the limit in "reconstructing" what Jesus originally said; and (2) in many cases, the Greek New Testament follows the established usage of the Septuagint, the Jewish translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek in the centuries before Jesus. Related to this is the fact that the style of Greek used in much of the New Testament is quite "Jewish." That is to say, almost all of the authors of the New Testament were Jews, and when they wrote in Greek, they wrote in a decidedly Semitic style. This means that we are not dealing with a massive cultural and linguistic jump, similar, say, to translating a technical book on computer programming into a primitive tribal dialect. It is also important to remember that today's top New Testament scholars are thoroughly versed in the subject of the Jewish background to the New Testament, including the question of Hebrew or Aramaic expressions that may underlie our current Greek text. In other words, there is not some secret knowledge floating around, known only to a few "Hebrew background" teachers, or, worse still, known to Christian scholars but suppressed in some sort of terrible conspiracy, as with the Da Vinci Code nonsense. That being said, to recover the Jewish background to the New Testament is of great importance (see #42 and #43); to rightly place Yeshua in His first-century Jewish context is highly valuable; and to ask what His words might have been in the original Aramaic or Hebrew that He spoke is a noble enterprise. But we must accept the fact that God preserved the Tanakh for us in Hebrew (with a little Aramaic as well) but He preserved the New Testament in Greek, reflecting the fact that the New Testament was first and foremost a Book for the entire world, not for the Jewish people only, and writing it and disseminating it in Greek was the best way to get the Good News out to the largest number of people.

~ Shofar ~ The Holy Ancient Biblical Trumpet ~ Shofar ~

The Holy Ancient Biblical Trumpet ~ Shofar ~

Shofar - means = cornet, trumpet, curved horn

Shafar - means = glisten

Shefar - means = beautiful, acceptable, pleasing

Shefer - means = good, beautiful

Exodus 19:16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet (v’kol shofar) exceeding loud (chazak me’od); so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. Exo 19:19 And when the voice of the trumpet (kol ha’shofar) sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice.

The Shofar is a powerful biblical instrument symbolic of the voice of God and is associated with the power of thunder and lightning.

Blessed are You, O LORD, our GOD, King of the Universe, Whose Voice is Powerful like thunder and lightning!

kol  voice, sound, aloud, bleating, crackling, cry, noise, proclamation, thunder (-ing), yell.

Exodus 20:18 And all the people experienced the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet (kol ha’shofar), and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

Joshua 6:4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns (shoferot ha’yovelim) : and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets (y’teqe-u ba’shofarot).

תּקע - tâqa‛ ` taw-kah' to clatter, slap, clap, clang, to drive (a nail or tent pin); blow, blast ([a trumpet]), cast, fasten, pitch [tent], smite, sound, strike

Joshua 6:5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him. Joshua 6:8 And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them. Joshua 6:9 And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. Joshua 6:12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. Joshua 6:13 And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rear guard came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. Joshua 6:14 And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days. Joshua 6:15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times. Joshua 6:16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD has given you the city. Joshua 6:20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

The Shofar is the Sound of Victory and Triumph! The Shofar precedes the shout of faith! The Shofar is the signal of a designated time!

Blessed are You, O LORD, our GOD, our Father, King of the Universe, Who gives us Victory and causes us to Triumph!

Judges 7:18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then you blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. Judges 7:19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. Judges 7:20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. Judges 7:21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.

The Shofar is a Mighty Weapon of War! The Shofar is to gather and to scatter.

Blessed are You, O LORD, our GOD, our Father, King of the Universe, Who gathers His people and scatters His enemies!

1Kings 1:34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. 2Kings 9:13 Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king.

The Shofar was to announce a king. Blessed are You, O LORD, our GOD, King of the Universe, Who has given us Yeshua Ha’Moshiach, the King of Kings!

2Samuel 6:15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

1Chronicles 15:28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.

The Shofar precedes the presence.

Blessed are You, O LORD, our GOD, our Father, and Adonai Yeshua Ha Moshicach, King of the Universe, Who’s Presence dwells among His people!

Job 39:25 He says among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smells the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

The Shofar is the sound of battle and war.

Psalm 47:5 God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Elohim arises, ascends, exalts, gets up, lifts up, with (teruah) loud noise, battle cry, clangor and blowing of trumpets, alarm sound, and Adonai b’kol shofar.

Blessed are You, O LORD, our GOD, our Father, King of the Universe, Who arises at the sound of the shofar!

Psalm 81:3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

The Shofar is to notify, proclaim, declare and announce the new moon and special set apart times.

Psa 98:6 With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King. Psa 150:3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet: Hallelu-hu beteka shofar. Blessed are You, O LORD, our GOD, our Father, King of the Universe, Praise You with the sound of the Shofar!

Joel 2:1 Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD comes, for it is near at hand;

Blessed are You, O LORD, our GOD, our Father, King of the Universe, Who’s Day is near and at hand!

Matthew 24:31 And He (God) shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

1Corinthians 15:52 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.

1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord (Yeshua) Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first:

Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show you things which must be hereafter.

Blessed are You, O LORD, our GOD, our Father, King of the Universe, Who will gather His elect and will raise up the dead in Messiah!

The Shofar is an ancient biblical instrument. It is used to worship the Almighty, to announce the arrival of a King, to gather armies for war, to gather an assembly for a sacred gathering or Feast Day and to announce a new moon / new month.

The Traditional Shofar Sounds

Tekiah – one blast

Shevarim – three blast

Teruah – nine blast

Tekiah Gedolah – one long blast held as long as possible


 The word, SHOFAR, is mentioned 72 times in the Scriptures.

Meaning in the original sense of incising; a cornet (as giving a clear sound) or curved horn: - cornet, trumpet.


The Shofar is made out of an animal’s horn. The inside of the horn is cleaned out. The tip of the horn is cut off and a hole is drilled down until it reached the empty cavity of the horn. Then a type of a mouth-piece is carved out to help make the sound when blowing. The dead horn then becomes an instrument of Y~H~V~H. Air is blow into the horn, aka breath or in Hebrew, Ruach, which also means, Spirit. The dead horn becomes a living breathing instrument for the esteem of Eloheem. Some say the sound of the Shofar reminds us of the sound of a sacrifice, which points us to the love of Eloheem, which points us to Yeshua Messiah. The Shofar is traditionally not made from a cow horn because of the reminder of the golden cow. The Shofar  can be made from a sheep or ram’s horn, a kudu antelope horn, a gemsbok antelope horn, an eland antelope horn, a black-buck horn, an impala horn, a buffalo horn or a goat horn.


Psa 47:5  Elohim has gone up with a shout, Y~H~V~H with the sound of a shofar.


Psa 81:3  Blow the shofar at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day.


Psa 98:6  With shofars and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, Y~H~V~H!


Joe 2:1  Blow a shofar in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of Y~H~V~H is coming; it is near,


Mat 24:31  And he will send out his angels with a loud shofar call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.


1Th 4:16  For Adonai Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the shofar of Elohim. And the dead in Moshiach will rise first.

1Th 4:17  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet Adonai in the air, and so we will always be with Adonai.


Playing the Shofar takes practice. You have to buzz your lips, put a little pressure on the horn’s mouth piece and blow air into the mouth piece. Every horn is a little different. By adjusting the amount of pressure and the position of your lips you can develop different sounds. You use mouth muscles that you normally do not use and it takes time to strengthen, develop and train these muscles. Practicing your Shofar will help these muscles and help you to develop a better, cleaner and crisper sound. Do not play your Shofar right after you have just eaten. Try to have your teeth brushed before you play.  If not, you could be blowing small food particles into the inside of your Shofar which will cause it to develop a bad odor. If your Shofar begins to stink, get you a cleaning brush, scrub the inside, rinse with water, you could use a little mouth wash on the brush and let the horn dry out. After this, you could use a little all natural peppermint oil to freshen the inside up a bit. An easy thing to do is to take a bottle of spray perfume or cologne and spray into both ends of the horn. The alcohol in the perfume helps to kill germs and the fragrance will sink into the pores of the horn leaving it smelling nice.


Traditional Prayer for Shofar:


Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu

Melech Ha’Olam

asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav

v’tzivanu lish’moa kol Shofar.


Blessed are You O Lord our God

King of the Universe

Who sanctifies us with Your Commandments

and has commanded us

to hear the sound of the shofar.


Josh 6:4  Seven priests shall bear seven shofars

of rams' horns before the ark.

On the seventh day you shall march

around the city seven times,

and the priests shall blow the shofars.


Josh 6:20  So the people shouted, and the shofars

were blown. As soon as the people heard

the sound of the shofar,

the people shouted a great shout,

and the wall fell down flat, so that the people

went up into the city, every man straight before him,

and they captured the city.


Jdg 7:8  So the people took provisions in their hands,

and their shofars. And he sent all the rest of Israel

every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men.

And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.


Jdg 7:18  When I blow the shofar, I and all who are with me,

then blow the shofars also on every side of all the camp

and shout, 'For HaShem and for Gideon.'"

Jdg 7:19  So Gideon and the hundred men who were

with him came to the outskirts of the camp

at the beginning of the middle watch, when they

had just set the watch.

And they blew the shofars and smashed

the jars that were in their hands.


Jdg 7:20  Then the three companies blew the shofars

and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches,

and in their right hands the shofars to blow.

And they cried out, "A sword for HaShem and for Gideon!"

Jdg 7:21  Every man stood in his place around the camp,

and all the army ran. They cried out and fled.

Jdg 7:22  When they blew the 300 shofars,

HaShem set every man's sword against his comrade

and against all the army. And the army fled as far as

Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border

of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.


1Ch 15:28  So all Israel brought up

the ark of the covenant of HaShem with shouting,

to the sound of the horn, shofars, and cymbals,

and made loud music on harps and lyres.


Psa 47:5  Elohim has gone up with a shout,

HaShem with the sound of a shofar.


article by carl e jones



After six days of creation, the Creator blessed and hollowed the seventh day. Six is the number of man. Seven is the number of God and points to completion and perfection.

In Exodus 31, Scriptures tell us:

the Sabbath is a SIGN,

the Sabbath is HOLY and

the Sabbath is FOREVER.

It also says that we are to KEEP the Sabbath, OBSERVE the Sabbath, be SANCTIFIED by the Sabbath and be put to death, if we defile the Sabbath. Sabbath in Hebrew is called Shabbat. Shabbat is the seventh day of the week. It starts at sundown Friday night and last until sundown Saturday night.

There are many different religious groups that acknowledge and do there best to keep the Sabbath. But there is something else very important about the Sabbath. The Sabbath has a marvelous mysterious message to manifest.

Colossians 2:16 - Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 2:17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Messiah.

The Sabbath is a shadow of Messiah

The Sabbath is a SIGN.

The Hebrew word here for "sign" is OHT and means - signal, flag, beacon, monument, prodigy, mark, miracle, and token. The meaning of the Hebrew letters OHT, mean - God nailed to a cross. The Sabbath can mean to cease, stop or halt. We all need to stop, look to the flag, beacon, mark and miracle and let our faith rest on the message, God nailed to a cross.

The Sabbath is FOREVER.

The Hebrew word here for "forever" is olam (alam,elem) and can mean - eternal, concealed, hidden, secret thing, kept out of sight, and young man. The hidden secret and treasure that is buried under the Sabbath is the Savior and Salvation.

Hebrews 4:9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 4:10 for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

We can come to Messiah and rest in His work.

True completion, perfection, sanctification and rest only comes from Messiah. Messiah is the OHT (God nailed to a cross). Messiah is a sign. Messiah is holy. Messiah is the eternal young man. Messiah is forever.

Again, the Hebrew word, "olam" into the English word, many times translated - "forever" - does not always mean "forever" in the sense of what we think

עלם עולם o-lam properly concealed, that is, the vanishing point; generally time out of mind (past or future), that is, (practically) eternity; ancient (time), any more, continuance, eternal, (for, [n-]) ever (-lasting, -more, of old), lasting, long (time), (of) old (time), perpetual, at any time, (beginning of the) world (+ without end). עלם ‛âlam aw-lam' A primitive root; to veil from sight, that is, conceal (literally or figuratively): - X any ways, blind, dissembler, hide (self), secret (thing). עלם ‛elem eh'-lem properly something kept out of sight, that is, a lad: - young man

Colossians 2:17 For these are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Messiah.

Shadow or adumbration to produce a faint image or resemblance of; to outline or sketch. to foreshadow; prefigure; to darken or conceal partially; overshadow

The Sabbath (Shabbat) and the Feast Days of the LORD, which have a Sabbath day on or within them, all point us to a ceasing from our labor and a relaxing and resting in His work. The Sabbath signifies our ceasing and withdrawal of our work. The Sabbath points to grace.

Romans 11:6 But if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it is of works, then it is no more of grace; otherwise work is no more work.

article by carl e jones

Obtaining Righteousness

~ Obtaining Righteousness ~

How do we become “righteous”? Do we become righteous by doing a certain number of good things? And if so how many good things?

Romans 10:3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Romans 10:4 For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. Romans 10:6 But the righteousness based on faith says, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Messiah down) Romans 10:7 "or 'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead). Romans 10:8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. Romans 10:13 For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Galatians_3:19 Why then the Torah/Law? It was added because of transgressions, UNTIL the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.

Here in Galatians, it tells us that the Law was put in place, UNTIL – Yeshua the Messiah, the promised one, was to come.

Galatians_3:23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the Law, imprisoned UNTIL the coming faith would be revealed. Galatians_3:24 So then, the Law was our guardian UNTIL Messiah (the anointed one) came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

Hebrews_9:10 (the first covenant, the mosaic covenant, the Law system) but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed UNTIL the time of reformation.

Hopefully you see that in these Scriptures, God is saying that there is something different concerning ‘righteousness’ that is to happen after Messiah. The Law and the Commandments were put into place, UNTIL Messiah came. Before Messiah, folks were to try and keep everything in the Law. Righteousness, as folks knew it, was “by the Law”. Folks were to try to satisfy ‘every’ command. No excuses and no compromises. Even the smallest of the smallest most insignificant instructions were to be followed and obeyed. But now - after Yeshua has come and accomplished and fulfilled, that (Law & Commandments) is not our focus. Our focus is Him. But now, He is our righteousness. Romans_3:21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the Torah/Law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it — Notice, that the Righteousness required was “witnessed” by the Law and the Prophets, but ‘was and is APART FROM’ the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

The Scribes and Pharisees were some of the most religious, pious, devout and set apart people of that time. But a person’s righteousness had to exceed way beyond even that high standard, if one wanted to make the grade, qualify and be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Yeshua was saying that you had to be extremely good and righteous, but even that would not be enough.

Philippians_3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but that which comes through faith in Messiah, the righteousness from God that depends on faith —

Real righteousness or God’s righteousness does not come about and will not come about by our weak human efforts to try and keep the Torah, the Law and the Commandments, but comes about by our faith and trust in the resurrected Lord and Savior Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah, whom the Torah, Law and Prophets point to.

Rom 3:10 as it is written: "There is none righteous, no not one; Rom 3:11 there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God." Rom 3:12 "They are all gone out of the way, they have together become unprofitable, there is none that does good, no, not one." Rom 3:19 But we know that whatever things the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law; so that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may be under judgment before God, Rom 3:20 because by the works of the Law none of all flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law is the knowledge of sin. Rom 3:21 But now a righteousness of God has been revealed apart from Law, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets; Rom 3:22 even the righteousness of God through the faith of Yeshua Messiah, toward all and upon all those who believe. For there is no difference, Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, Rom 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Messiah Yeshua; Rom 3:25 whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness through the passing by of the sins that had taken place before, in the forbearance of God; Rom 3:26 for the display of His righteousness at this time, for Him to be just and, forgiving the one being of the faith of Yeshua. Rom 3:27 Then where is the boasting? It is excluded. Through what law? Of works? No, but through the law of faith. Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the works of the Law. Rom 3:29 Or is He the God of the Jews only, and not also of the nations? Yes, of the nations also, Rom 3:30 since it is one God who will justify circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Rom 3:31 Do we then make the Law void through faith? Let it not be! But we establish the Law.

2Co 3:3 it having been made plain that you are the epistle of Messiah, ministered by us, not having been written with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not on tablets of stone, but in fleshly tablets of the heart. 2Co 3:6 who also has made us able ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit makes alive. 2Co 3:7 But if the ministry of death, having been engraved in letters in stone was with glory (so that the sons of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses because of the glory of his face), which was being done away; 2Co 3:8 shall not the ministry of the Spirit be with more glory? 2Co 3:9 For if the ministry of condemnation is glorious, much more does the ministry of righteousness exceed in glory.

Gal 3:10 For as many as are out of works of the Law, these are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the Book of the Law, to do them." Gal 3:11 But that no one is justified by the Law in the sight of God is clear, for, "The just shall live by faith." Gal 3:12 But the Law is not of faith; but, "The man who does these things shall live in them." Gal 3:13 Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone having been hanged on a tree"); Gal 3:14 so that the blessing of Abraham might be to the nations in Yeshua Messiah, and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Gal 3:15 Brothers, I speak according to man, a covenant having been ratified, even among mankind, no one sets aside or adds to it. Gal 3:16 And to Abraham and to his Seed the promises were spoken. It does not say, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, "And to your Seed," which is Messiah. Gal 3:17 And I say this, A covenant having been ratified by God in Messiah, the Law (coming into being four hundred and thirty years after) does not annul the promise, so as to abolish it. Gal 3:18 For if the inheritance is of Law, it is no more of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by way of promise. Gal 3:19 Why then the Law? It was added because of transgressions, until the Seed should come to those to whom it had been promised, being ordained through angels in the Mediator's hand. Gal 3:20 But the Mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Gal 3:21 Is the Law then against the promises of God? Let it not be said! For if a law had been given which could have given life, indeed righteousness would have been out of Law. Gal 3:22 But the Scripture shut up all under sin, so that the promise by faith of Yeshua Messiah might be given to those who believe. Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under Law, having been shut up to the faith about to be revealed. Gal 3:24 So that the Law has become a trainer of us until Messiah, that we might be justified by faith. Gal 3:25 But faith coming, we are no longer under a trainer. Gal 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Messiah Yeshua.

Php 3:6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness in the Law, blameless. Php 3:7 But whatever things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Messiah. Php 3:8 But no, rather, I also count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Messiah Yeshua my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be dung, so that I may win Messiah Php 3:9 and be found in Him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but through the faith of Messiah, the righteousness of God by faith,

by carl e jones

What is the Gospel?

What is the Gospel?

GOSPEL ~ The word gospel derives from the Old English gōd-spell, meaning "good news" or "glad tidings". The word comes from the Greek euangelion, or "good news".

The gospel is the "good news" of forgiveness, freedom, grace, mercy, redemption, restoration, reconciliation, atonement, justification, sanctification, salvation, holiness and righteousness received and obtained by faith, trust and belief in the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah.

- Galatians 1:3 Grace be to you, and peace from Elohim the Father and from our Adonai Yeshua Messiah. Over and over again, Paul says this same thing. This repeated message was and is a powerful liberating proclamation. This is a very important statement and declaration that is many times overlooked.

Paul was a “preacher of the gospel”. Paul said, woe is me, if I do not “preach the gospel”. Within this important statement of Galatians 1:3 - is the essence of the gospel. Grace (Elohim’s divine unmerited, undeserved, unearned mercy, love, acceptance and kindness) and peace (divine rest, connection, harmony, oneness) to us, from Elohim and from Yeshua. This incredible grace and peace freely given to us from Elohim and Yeshua, to be received by faith. That is what the gospel is about. Elohim lovingly freely giving us grace and peace through faith in His Son. This is the foundation of Messianic living. This is how we connect with Elohim and stay connected.

- Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you so soon are being moved away from Him who called you into the grace of Messiah, to another gospel, - Galatians 1:7 which is not another, but some are troubling you, and desiring to pervert the gospel of Messiah. - Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from Heaven preach a gospel to you beside what we preached to you, let him be accursed. - Galatians 1:9 As we said before, and now I say again, If anyone preaches a gospel to you beside what you have received, let him be accursed.

Paul gives a strong rebuke and curse to any false perverted twisted gospel preaching. False gospel preaching can come about in many forms. Many of the most common forms are subtle good sounding religious additions added to the gospel. Something to the effect like, Grace and peace to us from Yeshua (and good works). Grace and peace to us from Yeshua (and commandment keeping). Grace and peace to us from Yeshua (and church attendance, tithing, serving, etc.).

Elohim freely gives to us through faith in His Son - Righteousness, Salvation and Justification. The Gospel is about Righteousness by faith in Yeshua. The Perverted Gospel is about Righteousness by faith in Yeshua, plus works. The Gospel is about grace and peace in Yeshua and not about our human efforts and works. The Gospel is about the finished completed work of Messiah. The Gospel is not about our works. We should have some good works and our works should reflect the work of Messiah. But our works are only a reflection of His work. Our work is really just His work manifesting in and through us. It is either His work or our work, but not both. It is either Elohim’s grace or our works, but not both. Romans 11:6 But if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it is of works, then it is no more of grace; otherwise work is no more work. For some, that is a hard (gos)pill to swallow. We have to place our total trust in Yeshua and His work. Any gospel preaching that tries to add to the work of Yeshua is asking for trouble. His work was enough. If we are not trusting in that work, we are asking for trouble.

- Galatians 1:11 And, brothers, I make known to you the gospel which was preached by me, that it is not according to man. - Galatians 1:12 For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it except by a revelation of Yeshua Messiah.

The marvelous mystery of the gospel was given to Paul supernaturally by revelation by Yeshua Himself. He was a religious learned man, but all that religion and learning, did not truly reveal to him the truth of the gospel. The supernatural grace of Elohim, the gift of life in Yeshua, is something that Elohim has to reveal to us. We can obtain some knowledge, head knowledge about it, but to truly grab hold of it in spirit and in truth has to be a work of grace, a work of Yeshua in our heart. When we truly grab hold of the gospel, our lives are forever changed.

- Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Messiah, for it is the power of Elohim unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

God is Good. God Created Everything. God is Love. God Loves Everyone. God is Holy. Everyone has gone their own unholy way. Everyone needs God’s goodness and love. Everyone needs God’s mercy and forgiveness. Everyone needs God’s Salvation. God sent His Son. God showed His salvation, goodness, love, mercy and forgiveness through the gift of His Son. Salvation is only found through faith in the Son of God, Jesus, Yeshua, the Messiah.

Holy Eternal God in Heaven, I believe You exist and I turn my life over to you. Please forgive me of my sin. I believe Messiah died for my sin, was buried and was raised from the dead. I receive and acknowledge Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah as my personal Lord, Authority and Savior. I believe and receive Your holy mercy, forgiveness, salvation, goodness and eternal life in Jesus. Thank you, Heavenly Father and thank you Yeshua Messiah.

God is the judge of all. Just as a human judge must deal with criminals, so God must deal with sinners. "Sin" could be defined as crimes against God's Holiness that we have committed. God is a God of Justice. He would not be just if He didn't deal with sin, just as a judge would not be just if he let the guilty go free. God has determined that the wages for sin is death. God is not only Holy and Just, but He is also Love. Love is active. It compels a person to show their love by actions. God did this by sacrificing His Son on the Cross, to shed His blood and to die in our place and pay our penalty in full so we could go free. Someone perfect, without sin had to die to satisfy our crimes and only Jesus (Yeshua) was without sin. Only His blood was perfect and could pay the price. We must be cleansed of every single sin to live in the presence of God's Holiness. There cannot be even one small sin on our account. Messiah's blood that He shed on the cross when applied to our account by faith, accomplishes the cleansing of us from all sin. Having, no faith in yourself or your good works, you must believe only in Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah and in His death, burial and resurrection. The word "believe" means to trust and rely on. You must trust completely upon Jesus (Yeshua) and nothing or anyone else to forgive your sins and save you. We are saved by His Righteousness, the righteousness of Messiah which God imputes (charges) to our record by faith in the Son of God. A person's faith is counted for righteousness. Jesus (Yeshua) took our judgment.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned (missed the mark) and fallen short (lack) of the glory, honor, praise and worship of God.

Romans 6:23 For the wages or payment of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus (Yeshua) Messiah our Master and Supreme Authority.

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Messiah died for us.

article by carl e jones


Purim “Lots”

Sh'mot (Exodus) 17:8-16 Psalm 3:3 Ester (Esther) Hebrews 11

by Messianic Teacher Dr. Daniel Boley

Several times throughout the year we break from the regular reading cycle to commemorate a special event in Scripture such as Pesach (Passover), Sukkot (Tabernacles), Chanukah (Hanukkah), and Yom Kippur. This week it's "the whole megillah” of Esther. Exodus 17 This passage tells us how the people of 'Amalek came out to fight with Isra'el. Isra'el prevailed as long as Moshe lifted up the staff of the LORD; otherwise 'Amalek prevailed. Getting too tired to hold his own hands up, Moshe was helped by Aharon and Hur, “Thus Y'hoshua defeated 'Amalek, putting their people to the sword” (v 13). The passage ends with a telling comment: “Because their hand was against the throne of Yah, Adonai will fight 'Amalek generation after generation” (v 16).  According to the Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon:  מֹשֶׁה [mō-sheh] means “drawn”  עֲמָלֵק [ah-mah-lehk] means “dweller in a valley”  חוּר [khūr] means “hole” [Google-Translate: colorless, pale, pallid]  אַהֲרוֹן [ah-hah-rōn] means “light bringer”  יְהוֹשׁוּעַ [yeh-hō-shu-ah] means “Yahweh is salvation”  In a sense we could that as we are drawn to the LORD those who dwell in the spiritual valleys will attack us. As we take our stand, lifting up the things of God, we may grow weary. Those who bring light, however, and even those who seem plain or colorless to the world, even those whom the world considers empty and worthless like a hole, can be used by the LORD to lift up our hands and strengthen us which, in turn, encourages others toward victory and to see that Yahweh is salvation.  Drawing lessons from a series of names like this is often a serious challenge. It is nice when it works as easily as it appears to here. At first glance this event may seem disconnected to the story of Esther, but if we jump to 1 Samuel 15:8 we read that King Sha'ul “took Agag the king of the 'Amalek alive; but he completely destroyed the people, putting them to the sword.” Obviously this was not all the Amalekites, however, because we also see Amalekites mentioned later in 1 Sam 30:13 and 2 Sam 1:8-13. Looking at Haman, the antagonist of God's people in Esther, we see in 8:3 that he was a Agagi (or Agagite): descendent from Agag the kings of the 'Amalek. The canonization of this book was debated for years on the grounds that it does not contain the name of the LORD. It was eventually included, however, because the hand of Providence is seen throughout. Esther 1 1 These events took place in the time of Achashverosh, the Achashverosh who ruled over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia.  Achashverosh (Ahasuerus in some English Bibles) is generally identified as Xerxes I who ruled 485 B.C. - 464 B.C. and was the son of Darius Hystaspis  Xerxes is from the Persian  Ahasuerus is a sort of clipped form of the Achashverosh transliteration of אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ  BDB: Ahasuerus = “I will be silent and poor” the title of the king of Persia, probably Xerxes 2 It was in those days, when King Achashverosh sat on his royal throne in Shushan the capital  שׁוּשַׁן [shu-shahn] means “lily” (BDB)  Shushan (Susa), Ecbatana, Persepolis and Babylon were all considered “capital cities” where the Persian kings had residences 3 in the third year of his reign, that he gave a banquet for all his officials and courtiers. The army of Persia and Media, the nobles and the provincial officials were in attendance. 4 He displayed the dazzling wealth of his kingdom and his great splendor for a long time, 180 days.  The length and grandeur of the banquet, as well as the rank of the attendees, would all serve to show how great the host was to be able to do such a thing, and how beneficent in allowing so many to come. 5-7 go on to describe just how grand a banquet it was, and 8-9 how beneficent the king was 10 On the seventh day, when the king was in high spirits from the wine, he ordered Mehuman, Bizta, Harvona, Bigta, Avagta, Zetar and Karkas, the seven officers who attended him, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with the royal crown, in order to show the people and the officials her beauty, for she was indeed a good-looking woman.  “the king was in high spirits from the wine”  He was feeling good. Whether he was drunk out of his mind or not is a matter of debate, but he had been drinking and that can affect thinking  Alcohol consumption, (along with certain poisons, blood loss, high altitude, etc.) induces a form of hypoxia; loss of oxygen at the cellular level that affects brain function, perception and coordination.  For years part of my job in the Navy involved training pilots and aircrew in the effects of flying on the body, including how to recognize and overcome problems. On training “flights” in the high altitude chamber we would have the students come off oxygen and do simple tasks like patty-cake, identifying playing cards, or putting shaped blocks in their matching holes. After a very short time at 25,000 feet performance would quickly deteriorate; along with memory, which is why every “flight” was videotaped for post-flight debriefing.  Because of its lingering effects the requirement at the time was that there had to be a minimum of twelve hours between drinking and preflight briefing: “twelve hours bottle to brief.”  the seven officers who attended the king were  מְהוּמָן [meh-hū-mahn] means “faithful” (BDB)  בִּזְּתָא [bēz-tah] means “booty” (BDB)  חַרְבוֹנָא [khahr-vō-nah] means “a donkey-driver” (BDB)  בִּגְתָא [bēg-tah] means “in the wine-press” (BDB)  אֲבַגְתָא [ah-vahg-tah] means “God-given” (BDB)  זֵתַר [zeh-tahr] means “star” (BDB)  כַרְכַּס [khahr-kahs] means “severe” (BDB)  וַשְׁתִּי [vahsh-tiy] means “beautiful” (BDB)  “to show the people and the officials her beauty, for she was indeed a good-looking woman”  It has been said that a man's level of respect in the eyes of other men goes up if he has a good-looking woman.  Too often, the world focuses on the package and ignores the gift inside.  While it is important to find our spouse physically attractive, we need to cultivate an enduring relationship with the person inside.  Sickness, disease, accident, nutrition, time, gravity, etc., can all affect how we look on the outside; sometimes very quickly. Without a solid relationship that focuses on the spirit and soul that marriage is in trouble. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the order of the king, which he had sent through his officers. This enraged the king – his anger blazed inside him.  Exactly why Vashti refused is left to conjecture.  “This enraged the king – his anger blazed inside him.”  Not only is the language very strong and repeated for emphasis, but it is rarely a healthy thing to enrage an absolute monarch. 13 As was the king's custom, he consulted sages well-versed in matters of law and justice.  To the king's credit  he consulted sages well-versed in matters of law and justice, and  customarily did so  15 “According to the law, what should we do ...” not simply acting on a whim, or rashly, but according to the law. 16 Memukhan presented the king and vice-regents this answer: “Vashti the queen has wronged not only the king, but also all the officials and all the peoples in all the provinces of King Achashverosh ….”  מְמוּכָן [meh-mū-kahn] means “dignified” (BDB)  In her position as queen, Vashti was looked to as a role-model for all of the women in the empire. As such her conduct had far reaching implications and had to be dealt with as such.  19 If it pleases his majesty, let him issue a royal decree – and let it be written as one of the laws of the Persians and Medes, which are irrevocable – that Vashti is never again to be admitted into the presence of Kingh Achashverosh, and that the king give her royal position to someone better than she. 20 When the edict made by the king is proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of the kingdom, then all wives will honor their husbands, whether great or small.”  Eph 5:33 says wives are to respect their husbands.  There are no qualifiers here. It may be difficult; it may be near impossible. But with prayer the LORD can show any wife a way to respect her husband; especially a believing wife.  Husbands are to love their wives, just as the Messiah loved the Messianic Community (Eph 5:25). 21 This advice pleased the king and the officials, so the king did what Memukhan had suggested – 22 he sent letters to all the royal provinces, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, that every man should be master in his own house and speak the language of his own people.  Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament The last words: “and that he shall speak according to the language of of his people,” are obscure. … The rule of the husband in the house was to be shown by the fact, that only the native tongue of the head of the house was to be used in the family. Thus in a Jewish family the Ashdodite or any other language of the wife's native land could not have been used, as we find to have been the case in Judaea (Neh 13:23). Esther 2 Some time later, the king remembered what had transpired with Vashti and his servants suggested he “appoint officials in all the provinces of the kingdom to gather all the young, good-looking virgins to the house for the harem … than the girl who seems best to the king should become queen instead of Vashti.” 5 There was in Shushan the capital a man who was a Jew, whose name was Mordekhai the son of Ya'ir, the son of Shim'i, the son of Kish, a Binyamini. 6 He had been exiled from Yerushalayim with the captives exiled with Y'khanyah king of Y'hudah, whom N'vukhadnetzar king of Bavel had carried off. 7 He had raised Hadassah, that is, Ester, his uncle's daughter; because she had neither father nor mother. The girl was shapely and good-looking; after her father's and mother's death, Mordekhai had adopted her as his own daughter.  According to BDB  מָרְדֳּכַי [mar-dō-khī] can mean “little man” or “worshiper of Mars”  יָאִיר [yah-ēr] means “he enlightens”  שִׂמְעִי [shēm-ēr] means “renowned”  קִישׁ [kēsh] means “bent”  יְכָנְיָה [yeh-kahn-yah] means “Yahweh will establish”  נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר [neh-vu-khahd-neh-tzar] means “may Nebo protect the crown” [in pointed manuscripts, as here, however, we see that it is written “Nevu”]  הֲדַסָּה [hah-dah-sah] means “myrtle”  אֶסְתֵּר [ehs-tehr] means “star”  Through a series of “coincidences” all the characters of this divine drama were coming together.  A young skeptic commented to an elderly saint that all his answers to prayer were just coincidences. The elderly man thought for a moment and said, “That may be, but throughout my life with the LORD I have found that the more I pray the more those “coincidences” occur; the less I pray, the fewer “coincidences” happen. So I'm going to keep on praying.”  Family members raising family members. Through any number of circumstances this may occur.  Raising children can be a hard blessing and should only be attempted by the courageous and prayerful. Hence the book by bestselling Christian author and psychologist Dr James Dobson, Parenting Isn't For Cowards.  To raise a child that is not your own biologically is going above and beyond any “call of duty” and among the most selfless acts of heroism known to man.  They share not only their time, talents, and resources, but give of their very heart and soul, and at times their health, for the wellbeing of the children in their care.  As a single father of three (7, 5, and almost 3 years), the LORD brought such a brave and courageous woman into my life. Although we are still newly weds (we have only been married 28 years) I thank God for her every day; I am blessed.  May יהוה bless the Mordekhai's around us; especially those who endeavor to teach the children in their care about our heavenly Father and His extreme expression of love in and through Yeshua.


Pesach, (Passover)

Sh'mot “names,” (Exodus) 12:21-51 Y'hoshua, (Joshua) 3:5-7; 5:2-15; 6:1, 27 Yochanan, (John) 1:29-31; 10:14-18

by Messianic Teacher Dr. Daniel Boley

Exodus 12 see Christ in the Passover teaching notes 21 Then Moshe called for all the leaders of Isra'el and said, “Select and take lambs for your families, and slaughter the Pesach lamb.  The leader of each family needs to lead the family in taking the Passover Lamb: Yeshua is that Lamb  The next day, Yochanan saw Yeshua coming toward him and said, “Look! God's lamb! The one who is taking away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)  Get rid of the old hametz, so that you can be a new batch of dough, because in reality you are unleavened. For our Pesach lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed. (1 Cor 5:7)  According to Exodus 12:5-8 every household in Israel would select a lamb without blemish that would serve as the Passover sacrifice. For four days it would be inspected, and cared for, building a personal attachment between the family and the lamb. Tradition even states that these lambs were welcomed into the homes and tied to the bedposts of the family.  According to Hebrew tradition [Talmud (Shabbat 87b)] the "taking of the lamb" originally happened on a Shabbat which came to be known as Shabbat HaGadol - the Great Shabbat before Passover - a holiday we still observe today. It was a festive procession accompanied by the waving of branches and has been adopted by the Church as Palm Sunday. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop leaves and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and smear it on the two sides and top of the door-frame. Then, none of you is to go out the door of his house until morning.  There is the possibility that this smeared blood approximated the shape of the paleo-Hebrew tav, the final letter of the aleph-bet, which points us to Yeshua's final sacrifice when He declared, “It is finished!” (John 19:30)  The first letter of the aleph-bet (the Hebrew alphabet) is א [aleph], which is represented by the head of a bull or ox. א symbolizes strength, power, and what is first or preeminent in our lives.  All things that the LORD should be in our lives: our power, our source of strength, Who is first and preeminent in our lives.  The sages teach that part of the reason God's Word begins with the letter בּ [bet], and not א as some might expect, is that “in the beginning” (בְּרֵשִׁית) of time, space, and matter as we know them, God (אֱלֹהִים) already was.  The last letter of the aleph-bet is ת [tav] which is represented by its ancient or paleo-Hebrew symbol. ת 's symbolic meanings include: to seal; to make a covenant; ownership; finished, whole, complete; to join two things together; to make a sign.  Symbolically, we need to have the saving blood of Yeshua applied to the doors of our lives, sealing our relationship with the LORD and guarding what enters our mind, heart, spirit, soul, and body.  Take a bunch of hyssop leaves  A plant called hyssop has been in use since classical antiquity. Its name is a direct adaptation from the Greek ὕσσωπος. The Hebrew word אזוב (ezov, esov, or esob) and the Greek word ὕσσωπος probably share a common (unknown) origin.[4] The name hyssop appears as a translation of ezov in some translations of the Bible, notably in verse 9 of Psalm 51: "Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean" (King James Bible), but researchers have suggested that the Biblical accounts refer not to the plant currently known as hyssop but rather to one of a number of different herbs, including Origanum syriacum (Syrian oregano, commonly referred to as "bible hyssop"). (, accessed 17Apr16)  A research study published in 2002 confirmed the results of studies done in the early 1990s, which found that hyssop leaf extract demonstrates strong anti-HIV activity. The specific compounds responsible for this antiviral action, however, were not identified in these studies. Moreover, none of these studies tested the efficacy of hyssop in human subjects. The volatile oil of hyssop contains camphene, pinenes, terpinene, the glycoside hyssopin, flavonoids (including diosmin and hesperidin), tannins, acids, resin, gum, and the bitter substance known as marrubiin. Marrubiin is also found in white horehound (Marrubium vulgare ). More recently, researchers have discovered that essential oil of hyssop is an effective muscle relaxant. The component that has been identified as most likely responsible for this effect is isopinocamphone. (, accessed 17Apr16)  Although some, for various reasons, argue that it could not have been hyssop as we currently know it, the Greek word from the original text is ὕσσωπος which even Google Translate renders “hyssop.” Even if it were some related plant, such as oregano, the references (and therefore the symbology) are still tied together: oregano also has healing properties.  Complementary Medicine / Alternative Medicine Oregano: Health Benefits, Side Effects Written by Joseph Nordqvist Knowledge center Last updated: Mon 28 September 2015 Oregano is an important culinary and medicinal herb that has been used in medicine and cooking for thousands of years - with a number of potential health benefits. It is a species of Origanum, belonging to the mint family (Lamiaceae). Its name comes from the Greek words oros (mountain) and ganos (joy). Oregano typically grows 50 cm tall and has purple leaves around 2 to 3 centimeters in length. The chemicals that give the herb its unique and pleasant smell are thymol, pinene, limonene, carvacrol, ocimene, and caryophyllene Not only does oregano provide food flavor, there are also a substantial number of health claims associated with its potent antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties. Oregano has a very pleasant aromatic scent. The herb is used to treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract disorders. The herb is also applied topically to help treat a number of skin conditions, such as acne and dandruff. Oregano contains: fiber, iron, manganese, vitamin E, iron, calcium, omega fatty acids, manganese, and typtophan. Oregano is also a rich source of: Vitamin K - an important vitamin which promotes bone growth, the maintenance of bone density, and the production of blood clotting proteins. Dietary antioxidants - a report published in the Journal of Nutrition revealed that oregano contains very high concentrations of antioxidants1 (i.e., >75 mmol/100 g). Antioxidants help protect your cells against the effects of free radicals and improve your ability to fight infection. 1) Antibacterial properties Oregano has shown antimicrobial activity in a number of studies. A group of Portuguese researchers found that Origanum vulgare essential oils were effective against 41 strains of the food pathogen Listeria monocytogenes2. Oregano oil is a powerful antimicrobial, because it contains an essential compound called carvacol. A team of British and Indian researchers reported that the essential oil of Himalayan oregano has strong antibacterial properties that can even kill the hospital superbug MRSA. Professor Vyv Salisbury, who was part of the research, said "We have done a few preliminary tests and have found that the essential oil from the oregano kills MRSA at a dilution 1 to 1,000. The tests show that the oil kills MRSA both as a liquid and as a vapor and its antimicrobial activity is not diminished by heating in boiling water." 2) Anti-inflammatory properties Scientists at Bonn University, Germany, and the ETH Zurich, Switzerland, identified an active ingredient in oregano - known as beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP) - which may possibly be of use against disorders such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis. The flowers and leaves of hyssop are considered medicinally valuable by some herbalists; however, the German Commission E has not approved hyssop for any medicinal purposes. The herb has some antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It is especially useful in helping the immune system to combat respiratory infections and colds. Hyssop taken in a warm infusion acts as an expectorant and will help to expel phlegm and break up congestion in the lungs. It is frequently recommended for the treatment of congested sinuses and catarrh. It is also a beneficial herb for treatment of the cold sore virus, Herpes simplex. An infusion has also been used to relieve the distress of asthma . Hyssop is a diaphoretic which means that it acts to promote perspiration. It will help to reduce fever and eliminate toxins through the skin. Hyssop also acts as a carminative and digestive aid, relieving flatulence and relaxing the digestive system. This versatile herb is also a nervine, which means that it calms anxiety. It is useful in children's digestive and respiratory herbal formulas, as well. 3) Protecting against cancer Biologists at the United Arab Emirates University reported in the journal PLoS ONE that oregano exhibits anticancer activity by encouraging cell cycle arrest and apoptosis (cancer cells commit suicide) of the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer line. Used externally as a skin wash, a decoction of the flowering tops can help the healing of burns and relieve skin inflammations. The fresh crushed leaves promote healing of bruises, and relieve the discomfort of insect bites and stings. When applied as a hair rinse, hyssop may help eliminate head lice. Hyssop preparations have also been used to relieve muscular pain and rheumatism when taken as a tea or a bath additive. The hot vapors of a steaming decoction of hyssop may bring relief of earache and inflammation. The scientists concluded "Our findings identify Origanum majorana as a promising chemopreventive and therapeutic candidate that modulate breast cancer growth and metastasis." Put simply, they believe components in oregano may help slow down or prevent the progression of cancer3 in patients with breast cancer. Other possible health benefits of oregano According to The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database4, oregano is also used for the following illnesses and conditions: Cold Muscle pain Acne Dandruff Bronchitis Toothache Bloating Headaches Heart Conditions Allergies Intestinal parasites Earache Fatigue Repelling insects Menstrual cramps However, it's important to note that further high quality study results are necessary to confirm these claims. Recent developments on health benefits of oregano from MNT news Diabetes-fighting potential spotted in culinary herbs - Food scientists have discovered that the popular culinary herbs rosemary, oregano and marjoram contain compounds that may have the potential to manage type 2 diabetes in a similar way to some currently prescribed drugs. Side effects and precautionsEating oregano can cause stomach upsets in some people. In addition, those who are allergic to plants belonging to the Lamiaceae family (such as including basil, lavender, mint, and sage) should be cautious, as they may also develop an allergic reaction to oregano. (, accessed 18Apr16)  Hyssop is for our healing  Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (John 19:29-30, emphasis added)  But He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. (Isa 53:5, emphasis added)  “Then none of you is to go out the door of his house until morning.”  There is a time to “move out,” and there is a time to “stay put” and wait on the LORD: both are for our safety, both are for our effectiveness. 23a For Adonai will pass through to kill the Egyptians;  Though difficult for some to fathom, there comes a time when the Great and Righteous Judge acts in the affairs of man.  Man tries to impose his own ideas of “fairness” upon the LORD and say such things as, “Live Wins Out” where, no matter what, everyone gets to go to heaven and live happily ever after.  The difficulty is that God was not, and can never be, made in the image of man.  The Egyptians had had 400 years to get their collective act together and refused. Instead, they continued to follow their own corrupt ways and worship false gods, including their own first-born. In successive acts of judgement the LORD was dealing with the Egyptians and their gods.  Even in this final act of national judgement the only true God was showing His mercy.  The death of “the Egyptians” here was strictly limited to the first-born.  The language of Scripture also allows for the possibility that there may have been some this group that escaped judgement by following the dictates of the LORD's mercy. 23b but when He sees the blood on the top and on the two sides, Adonai will pass over the door and will not allow the Slaughterer to enter your houses and kill you.  Here we see another aspect of God's mercy and grace: when we obediently follow His word, He passes over us to protect us from eternal destruction.  “Slaughterer” here comes from the Hebrew word שָׁחַת [shah-khaht] meaning  Strong's: to decay, i.e. (causatively) ruin (literally or figuratively)  BDB: to destroy, to corrupt, to go to ruin, to decay  (here in the form of a Hiphil participle) to spoil, to ruin, to destroy; to pervert, to corrupt (morally); destroyer (participle)  A participle may be either active or passive, but it shows continuing action.  42 Whoever ensnares one of these little ones who trust in Me – it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and be thrown in the sea. ... 47 And if your eye makes you sin, pluck it out! Better that you should be one-eyed but enter the Kingdom of God, rather than keep both eyes and be thrown into Gei-Hinnom, 48 where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:42, 47-48)  As it seems true life includes continual renewal in the presence of the LORD, true death includes continual decay absent from Him.  There is a wonderful dual aspect to this “pass – over”:  First, that when God pours out His judgment, He passes over His people because of the blood of the lamb;  Second, that when the destroyer comes, God passes over His people to protect them, again, because of the blood of the lamb.  Notice in the greater context that the lamb had to be without defect. A defective sacrifice could never atone for a person with the defect of sin. 24 You are to observe this as a law, you and your descendants forever.  The root of the word used for “observe” here is שָׁמַר [shah-mahr] meaning  Strong's: properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.  BDB: to keep, to guard, to observe, to give heed;  here in the Qal verb form: to keep, to have charge of; to keep, to guard, to keep watch and ward, to protect, to save life; watch, a watchman (participle); to watch for, to wait for; to watch, to observe; to keep, to retain, to treasure up (in memory); to keep (within bounds), to restrain; to observe, to celebrate, to keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), to perform (a vow); to keep, to preserve, to protect; to keep, to reserve  “forever” here is the Hebrew phrase עַד־עוֹלָם [ahd-o-lahm] meaning:  עַד  Strong's: as for (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with)  BDB: as far as, even to, until, up to, while; until, while, to the point that, so that even  עוֹלָם  Strong's: properly, concealed, i.e. the vanishing point; generally, time out of mind (past or future), i.e. (practically) eternity; frequentatively, adverbial (especially with propositional prefix) always  BDB: long duration, antiquity, futurity, forever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world  ancient time, long time (used of the past)  (used of the future) forever, always; continuous existence, perpetual; everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity  Along with the use of this term comes some of the tension between Scripture, theology, world view, and political correctness. The Eternal (עוֹלָם) LORD of all, Who is also Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Sovereign, declares in His Word that certain things that He has established are also עוֹלָם, e.g.:  Gen 9:12, 16 God's covenant with Noah is everlasting / perpetual: עוֹלָם  Gen 13:15 God gave the land of Israel to Avram's descendants forever: עוֹלָם  Gen 17:7-8 God's covenant with Avraham is עוֹלָם and all the land of Canaan is an עוֹלָם possession  Gen 21:33 the LORD is the עוֹלָם God  Gen 48:4 God's עוֹלָם covenants were passed specifically to Isaac (Gen 17:19- 21) and then Jacob / Israel  Ex 12:13 Passover is to be kept for עוֹלָם  Ex 12:17 Unleavened Bread is to be observed for עוֹלָם  Ex 15:18 The LORD shall reign עוֹלָם  Ex 27:21 Aaron and his sons shall tend the menorah עוֹלָם  Ex 28:39 The requirement for Aaron and his sons to wear priestly garments when they minister before the LORD shall last עוֹלָם  Ex 29:9 The priesthood shall belong to them עוֹלָם  Ex 29:28 Certain portions of certain offerings belong to Aaron and his descendants עוֹלָם  Ex 30:21 The priests are to have clean hands and feet when they come before the LORD; this law for them is עוֹלָם throughout their generations  Ex 31:16 The people of Israel are to keep and observe the Sabbath as an עוֹלָם covenant  Lev 3:17 God's people are not to eat fat nor blood עוֹלָם  Lev 6:18, 22 Specifications of offerings are עוֹלָם  Lev 16:29 The Day of Atonement shall be observed עוֹלָם  Lev 17:7 Sacrifices to demons are forbidden עוֹלָם  Lev 23 Contrary to some popular thought, these are not feasts of the Jews but, according to Scripture, feasts of the LORD to be observed and celebrated עוֹלָם  Num 18:19 The heave offerings are a covenant of salt between the LORD and His people עוֹלָם  Num 18:23-24 Only those called by the LORD to minister shall do so and be provided for by the tithes of the people עוֹלָם  Deut 5:29 For those who have a heart to fear the LORD and always keep all His commandments, it will be well with them and their children עוֹלָם  Deut 28:46 Those who refuse to obey the LORD and His commandments are under a curse עוֹלָם  Deut 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children עוֹלָם, that we may do all the words of this Torah.  Bearing in mind that “text without context is pretext,” and “any time you take text out of context all you're left with is a con,” we need to consider aspects of the definition of עוֹלָם (the vanishing point; time out of mind (past or future); long duration, indefinite) that the New Covenant writings specifically deal with, e.g.  Heb 7:26-27 This is the kind of cohen gadol that meets our need – holy, without evil, without stain, set apart from sinners and raised higher than the heavens; 27 one who does not have the daily necessity, like the other cohanim g'dolim, of offering up sacrifices first for their own sins and only then for those of the people; because He offered one sacrifice, once and for all, by offering up Himself. (Emphasis original)  Heb 9:12 He entered the Holiest Place once and for all. And He entered not by the means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of His own blood, thus setting people free forever. (Emphasis original)  Heb 10:4, 10 For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. 10 It is in connection with this will that we have been separated for God and made holy, once and for all, through the offering of Yeshua the Messiah's body. (Emphasis original)  1 Pet 3:18 For the Messiah Himself died for sins, once and for all, a Righteous Person on behalf of unrighteous people, so that He might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but brought to life by the Spirit. (Emphasis original)  For believers in Jesus it is a given that Yeshua's superior offering of Himself on our behalf has surpassed and removed the need for continual sacrifices for sin.  But how have the LORD's other commandments been done away with? E.g. the 10 Words from Exodus 20:  I am Adonai your God.  You are to have no other gods before Me.  You are not to use lightly the name of Adonai your God.  Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.  Honor your father and mother.  Do not murder.  Do not commit adultery.  Do not steal.  Do not give false evidence against your neighbor.  Do not covet. One other thought: On the cross, “At about three, Yeshua uttered a loud cry, 'Eli! Eli! L'mah sh'vaktani? (My God! My God! Why have you deserted me?)'.” (Matt 27:46) We know from Jewish custom that this quote directs us to Psalm 22; a psalm about Messiah. But there is more. Gen 22:13 Avraham raised his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. Avraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering in place of his son.  Abraham had said God would provide a lamb (vs. 8), yet here it says He provided a ram.  As a noun “lamb” is a general term referring to a young sheep. Further clarification may also be added identifying the lamb as being either a male (a ram), or a female (a ewe).  How can a lamb be “caught in the bushes by its horns”?  Many sheep, including some indigenous to the Middle East have horns: some normally growing four horns; with some, both rams and ewes grown horns.  A sheep is considered a “lamb” up to 14 months and may weigh up to 160 lbs (72.5 kg). (, accessed 23Apr16)  Horned sheep may be born with very large “horn nubs” that grow rapidly in the first year. (See e.g. and, accessed 23Apr16)  The Hebrew says that the ram was caught בַּסְּבַךְ  -בַּ [bah] here is the inseparable prefix meaning “in,” “on,” or “with”  סְּבַךְ [seh-vahk] is a thicket, from סָבַךְ [seh-vahk] meaning “to entwine,” “to interweave” (some would say sabach: the difference being whether or not the letter has a “dagesh,” or dot in its middle – keep in mind that transliteration is more “art” than “science”)  John 8:56 Avraham, your father, was glad that he would see My day; then he saw it and was overjoyed.  When He was on the stake, “At about three, Yeshua uttered a loud cry, “Eli! Eli! L'mah sh'vaktani? (My God! My God! Why have You deserted Me?)”  Not only was Jesus experiencing the weight of the sins of the world at this time, and its resultant separation from God, but  Following Jewish custom of naming a passage, parashah, or book of Scripture by the first words in it, Jesus was quoting the first words of Psalm 22, a Messianic psalm that pointed dramatically to what He was going through at that moment  Jewish New Testament Commentary In Judaism, when a Bible verse is cited its entire context is implied, if appropriate. Thus Yeshua refers all of Psalm 22 to Himself ….  But in the first line of Psalm 22 the word is not “sabachthani” (or “sh'vaktani”) but “ah-zav-tani” (עֲזַבְתָּנִי).  Various scholars guess at the language used here, (e.g. Barnes: “Syro-Chaldaic”; Clarke: “Hebrew and Syriac”; IVP: “mainly in Hebrew”) but consider that  while Yeshua was directing our attention to Psalm 22 (which may have been part of the Scripture recitation at this time of day, IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament) which ends with the sufferer's vindication and triumph (vs 25-31)  with the thorns of a thicket (סְּבַךְ [sabach]) on His own head, He was also directing our attention back to Genesis 22, a type or foreshadowing of His sacrifice and resurrection.

Christ in the Passover

Christ in the Passover

by Messianic Teacher Dr. Daniel Boley

Introduction D'varim (Deuteronomy), chapter 6 says: [דְּבָרִים = words] ּשְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵנוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל מְאֹדֶךָ We normally read it: Hear Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is One. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. I used to read this and think, okay, God's people are told to love Him with our hearts, plus our minds, plus put some effort into it. Okay. But looking at the meaning of the Hebrew words there is so much more. For instance: As in this case, often “hear” in the Bible is much more than to perceive something acoustically: listen, listen up, pay attention! It is linked with the idea of “obedience”! “the LORD” - the All-Sufficient, Self-Sufficient, Mighty, Eternal, Holy, Loving, Righteousness, Just, Creator of all commands, invites, urges, and welcomes us to respond to Him and to His love, mercy, grace, kindness, protection provision ... and His patience by loving Him in return with ALL our heart – what is that?  The inner man, the mind, the will, the heart, the soul – in other words:  the understanding inner part of the individual At the same time we are also to love the LORD our God with ALL our soul -  this involves the mind but includes our desires, emotions, and passions  this moves out of ourselves and affects all our closest dealings and relationships This passage also calls us to love the LORD our God with ALL our strength -  all our might, all our force, all our “muchness,” all our abundance  like a rippling affect, our love for God is to reach out and make a holy, godly difference in every area of life around us Verse 6 continues, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” In any and every way they were to pass on what they learned and knew of God to others … to future generations. ... So are we. Everything we are involved in should be governed by and reflect God's love for us and our love and commitment to Him. Living in a way that accurately reflects who we are in relationship with Him. That is why we are here this evening. Some may think, that is in the “Old Testament.” That was written to the Jews, the people of Israel. …... It was written to the people of the Eternal and Unchanging God. Presentation / Teaching: Christ in The Passover It was God’s plan from the beginning to break down the dividing wall that separated Jews and Gentiles and make us one in the body of Christ. [Eph. 2:14] Romans 11 tells us that believing Jews and Gentiles are now part of the same tree, nourished from the same roots: as always, salvation stems from faith in the grace and provision of God. Because of this we share a rich heritage: the heritage of the people of Israel and all God did to reveal Himself through the patriarchs, prophets, and festivals of Israel. This all becomes our heritage in Messiah. Tonight we are going to look more closely at one aspect of that heritage in the story of Passover. Over 3,000 years ago God commanded His people to celebrate the Passover. Jesus celebrated this holiday every year, and still today millions of Jews gather each Spring for a Passover meal. Tonight we want to look at specific elements of this meal and see Christ in the Passover. Ps 24:3-4 asks: Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. (NASU) Using the bowls of water on our tables, let’s begin our time together tonight by “cleansing our hands” and asking the Lord to purify our hearts. (PRAY) Passover is the account of God’s redemption of what became the nation of Israel from bondage, slavery in Egypt, thousands of years ago. But as we look more closely at this ancient festival we see that God wove into the very fabric of that story a picture of a far greater redemption from the “Egypt of sin” through our Passover Lamb who is Jesus the Messiah. [Jn. 1:29, 36; 1 Cor. 5:7] We read about the first Passover in the book of Exodus, chapter 12. At this time Israel was enslaved in Egypt, but God had promised to redeem them. He raised up Moses to go to Pharaoh and say, “Let my people go, that they may worship Me.” The original Hebrew carries the added meaning, that they “serve” and / or “be enslaved” to Me. God was not simply telling Pharaoh to let His people go, but demanding a recognition of true ownership. Pharaoh was considered to be a god; the LORD was challenging that belief as well as pharaoh's ownership of His people. Pharaoh, as you know, was unwilling, but God can be very convincing. In this case He sent a series of ten plagues on Egypt. Scripture tells us the people of God were living in an area called Goshen, and apparently they were exempt from most of those plagues. For instance, the Bible tells us when darkness fell across the land of Egypt as a plague from the LORD there was, nevertheless, light in Goshen [Ex.10:23]; and when the LORD struck all the livestock of the Egyptians, the livestock of the Israelites were spared [Ex.9:4]. [Ex.8:22 no flies; 9:26 no hail; 9:11 boils on Egyptians.] Yet Israel was not automatically exempt from the tenth and worst plague, the death of the first-born. In order that that plague should not fall upon them, they were commanded to take a yearling lamb for each family. That is where we pick up the story: Exodus 12, beginning with verse 3: Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. Every household in Israel would select a lamb without blemish that would serve as the Passover sacrifice. For four days it would be inspected, and cared for, building a personal attachment between the family and the lamb. Tradition even states that these lambs were welcomed into the homes and tied to the bedposts of the family. According to Hebrew tradition [Talmud (Shabbat 87b)] the "taking of the lamb" originally happened on a Shabbat which came to be known as Shabbat HaGadol - the Great Shabbat before Passover - a holiday we still observe today. It was a festive procession accompanied by the waving of branches and has been adopted by the Church as Palm Sunday. Verse 5: The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, (and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.) 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Verse 11: This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD's Passover. 12 On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn — both men and animals — and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. 14 This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD — a lasting ordinance. 15 For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. There is a wonderful dual aspect to this “pass – over”:  First, that when God pours out His judgment, He passes over His people because of the blood of the lamb;  Second, that when the destroyer comes, God passes over His people to protect them, again, because of the blood of the lamb. Notice that the lamb had to be without defect. A defective sacrifice could never atone for a person with the defect of sin. That is the historical institution of Passover, first celebrated on the night of the tenth plague way back in the land of Egypt. But as commanded by the Lord, Israel was to continue to celebrate Passover as a lasting ordinance. Throughout Jewish history as this great festival was celebrated there are various symbols and traditions that were added to the observance to remind us of that first Passover. So by the time Jesus (Yeshua) and the disciples were celebrating Passover most of the items you see before you were already incorporated into that observance. There is a tremendous amount of preparation that goes into celebrating this festival. You might remember from Luke 22 Jesus sent Peter and John ahead into Jerusalem saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.” This preparation includes many things, but specifically God commanded the Children of Israel to cleanse their houses of all leaven; anything with yeast in it. Today that means most of our baked goods have got to go: the bread, the donuts, the cookies, etc. Because Passover comes in Spring, this has become a time of general house cleaning. – So you see, everything we do can be an act of worship, even Spring cleaning! – In the orthodox Jewish home mom begins cleaning weeks ahead of Passover. Everything from floor to ceiling is cleaned: there is even a whole different set of dishes put out for the Passover. There is, however, a problem in that although it is the mother that does the cleaning the rabbis tell us it is only the man that can certify that the house has been properly cleaned. You can see what kind of problem this can create. So the rabbis got together and they thought about this problem, and came up with what is called in Hebrew Bedikat Chametz, [בְּדִיקַת חָמַצ] the Searching out of the Leaven. The night before Passover, mom having already cleaned the house of all leaven will take a little bit that’s left over, something with yeast in it, and will hide it somewhere in the house. The father coming home, will take a feather, a wooden spoon, and a napkin, and he will go on a G.I. inspection to search out the leaven. If his wife has been good enough to him, she will have “hidden” it in the same place she hid it last year and the year before. When he finally finds those crumbs he takes that feather and carefully sweeps the crumbs into the wooden spoon, wraps them in the napkin, and in ancient times and still in Israel, the father marches off to the local synagogue where there is a bonfire burning in the courtyard. He takes the package, tosses it into the bonfire and so proclaims that his house is properly clean. In Luke 19 we see Jesus, God's chosen Lamb entering Jerusalem on Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Sabbath reflected in Palm Sunday. When He reaches the temple, God's house, He “cleans house,” cleansing the temple and spiritually fulfilling bedikat chametz. For the following four days Yeshua was “inspected” by the Pharisees, but was found to be blameless, spotless, without sin. 1 Corinthians 5 makes reference to this custom of Bedikat Chametz, the Searching out of the Leaven. Beginning with verse 6, Rabbi Paul writes, Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast – as you really are. For Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Cor 5:6-8, NIV; emphasis original) Yeast makes baked goods fluffy: but it is also a biblical symbol for sin. In ancient times a small piece of raw dough from the previous loaf was used to ferment a whole lump of fresh dough. So the leavening of each batch of dough was related to the original loaf. We all know from Scripture that our propensity toward sin is related back to the original Fall in the Garden of Eden, and how little sin it takes to affect our entire life and cause us to become puffed up in our own estimation before God. For Passover we eat nothing that contains yeast, to show our desire to be cleansed of sin, and live lives devoted entirely to God. Just as yeast is a symbol for sin, so then this unleavened bread, this matzah [מָצָה] eaten at Passover is a symbol for the purity and righteousness of God we need to have become part of our lives. In fact, for those who know Yeshua (Jesus) the whole process of Bedikat Chametz becomes symbolic as we allow our Heavenly Father to search our hearts for any sin that may be hidden there. The feather may then represent the Holy Spirit Who sweeps away our sin which is born away, not on the wood of a spoon, but of a cross as Jesus born our sin. He was then wrapped in a burial shroud, pictured by the napkin, and descended into the fire of hell on our behalf, triumphantly conquering sin and satan, hell and death. Each Sabbath and feast, a woman lights two candles: one for creation, one for redemption; one for remembering God's Word, one for observing it. At this time the mom starts the Passover celebration with the Birkat Ha-Ner, [בִּרְכָת הַנֶּר] the Lighting of the Festival Candles. She will take a book called HaGadah, [הַגָּדָה] which means “The Story” or “The Telling.” In this book you have the story, ceremony, and prayers associated with the observance of Passover. Mom takes the HaGadah and reads from it a traditional prayer as she lights the Passover candles: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהוה אֱלֹהֵנוּ מֶלֶךְ הַעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל פֶּסַח Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us by Your commandments and has commanded us to light the lights of Passover. It is the woman that lights the candles bringing light to the festival table. In the same way it was not through a man but through a woman and the will of God that the Light of the World came into the world. As Scripture declares: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and you will call His name Immanuel. [Isa 7:14] He is a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel. [Lk 2:32] Now the Passover celebration can begin. Passover is observed largely in the home around the family dinner table. You were asked to bring a pillow this evening; this is because, as we read in the very first Passover, God commanded the Children of Israel to eat standing, shoes on their feet, and staffs in their hands: ready to leave at a moment’s notice. In ancient near-eastern culture only free people could recline at the meal, slaves always had to stand. Once we were slaves, now we are free because of the Lord’s Passover. Typically the pillows used at Passover are covered in white to represent God’s righteousness. Tonight we are resting on pillows of many different colors: each can be said to represent a different aspect or characteristic of God that we can trust in and rest on. (Ask for examples.) red = His blood green = new life in Christ blue = our hope of heaven purple = He is our King yellow = the radiance of His glory black = Jesus paid for our sins pink = Rose of Sharron ever close Children participate in the Passover in several ways beginning with the Ma Nishtanah, [מַה נִּשְּׁתַּנָה] which means “What has changed?” These four questions are asked of the father. As the father answers he explains the meaning of the Passover and so leads his family in worship [youngest and oldest male] 1. Why is this night different from all other nights? On all other nights we eat either leavened or unleavened bread; on this night, why do we eat only unleavened bread? - We eat unleavened bread to remember that the children of Israel, in their haste to leave Egypt, had to take their bread with them before it had time to rise. 2. On all other nights we eat herbs of every kind; on this night, why do we eat only bitter herbs? - We eat bitter herbs to remember how bitter it is to be enslaved. 3. On all other nights we do not dip even once; on this night, why do we dip twice? - By dipping we remember that life in bondage is bitter, but even the harshest bondage is sweetened by God's promise of redemption. 4. On all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining; on this night, why do we all recline? - Once we were slaves, but the LORD in His goodness and mercy redeemed us with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. We recline to recognize Him for the rest He has given to us. - It is the LORD who brings us each out of Egypt. It is He alone who redeems us. Man cannot save himself. Therefore, in gratitude and recognition, let us remember the story of Passover. During the meal there are 4 cups reminding us of God’s 4 promises in Exodus 6:6-7 … Say to the Israelites: “I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.” (NIV) Normally there is one cup for each person that is drunk from four times. It helps serve as an outline for the celebration. Each time we drink from the cup it has a different name, and different symbolism given to it. The First Cup is called Kidush [קִדוּשׁ] which means sanctification, because with it we sanctify it and all that takes place in our Passover observance. There is a traditional Hebrew prayer said over this cup, and certainly our Lord Jesus said this prayer: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהוה אֱלֹהֵנוּ מֶלֶךְ הַעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine. Then Jesus said, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” [Lk.22:15-16; emphasis original] Jesus spoke of a fulfilled Passover in the Kingdom, and with this cup He sanctified all that was to follow in His own special Passover there in the upper room. (Let us drink together the first cup.) Everything in the Passover is now blessed and sanctified (set apart as holy to God), and everything has a particular order to it. Seder [סֵדֶר] is the Hebrew word for “order,” so Passover a Seder meal. The first item on the Seder plate is karpas [כָרפָס] which means parsley. The rabbis tell us the greens represent life, and we take some salt water which represents the tears of life and dip the greens into the salt water. So we remember that while in slavery our lives were immersed in tears. Truly a life without redemption is a life immersed in tears. But we also remember that God redeemed us with a mighty and outstretched arm. He has brought us out of bondage, into freedom. With mercy and grace our lives have been drawn from tears. We eat the greens now to remind us that we can partake of life, redeemed from tears, by the grace and mercy of Almighty God. (Eat karpas) The next item on the Seder plate is maror [מָרוֹר], bitter herb: in this case horseradish. We take the matzah [מָצָה] and, before we eat any of it, we say a blessing over it, the same blessing Jesus would have said: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהוה אֱלֹהֵנוּ מֶלֶךְ הַעוֹלָם הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth. We break off a piece of the matzah and dip it into the maror [מָרוֹר], getting a nice helping and eat it. If you eat enough your eyes will water. Those tears become a graphic reminder of the tears our forefathers in the faith shed during their slavery in Egypt. (Eat maror) You might remember, from Matthew 26, when Yeshua celebrated the Passover with His disciples He said, “One of you is going to betray Me.” The disciples got all upset asking, “Lord, is it I?” Jesus said, “He who dipped his hand with Me into the bowl will betray me.” The interesting thing is that every one of the disciples would have dipped into the bowl with Him that night. As we think about it, each in their own way did deny Him, much as we, in our own ways do the same. John 13 tells us Jesus Himself then dips bread into the bowl, hands it to Judas and says, “What you do, do quickly.” Scripture tells us when Judas took that bread satan entered into him and he went out into the darkness. Maror [מָרוֹר] is bitterness of tears. The next item on the Seder plate is charoset [חָרוֹסֶת], a sweet mixture of apples with walnuts, cinnamon, and honey. It represents the mortar used to make bricks for Pharaoh when God’s people were in slavery. You may ask, if charoset [חָרוֹסֶת] represents the mortar used to make bricks for Pharaoh which was bitterness and toil, why then is the charoset [חָרוֹסֶת] so sweet. Ah, the rabbis would say, because even the bitterest of toils grows sweeter when you know that redemption is near. We take some of the unleavened bread, the matzah [מָצָה], and we dip it in, maybe getting a double portion of the charoset [חָרוֹסֶת]. As you eat it you find that the bitter taste left in your mouth by the horseradish disappears in the sweetness of the charoset [חָרוֹסֶת] This teaches us that even the bitterest of things we must face in this life can be sweetened by the promise and hope of God’s redemption. (Eat charoset) The next item is chazeret, [חָזֶרֶת] the Bitter Root itself, the horseradish root that is used to make the maror [מָרוֹר]. This sits on the plate to remind us that the very root of life can often be bitter as we remember life before God’s redemption. This is chagigah, [חֲגִיגָה] an egg that has been roasted or hard-boiled. If roasted, it will have a scorch mark, reminding us of the destruction of the temple by fire, and of life’s adversities. But chagigah, which literally means “celebration,” or “festivity,” also refers to the sacrifice offered in the temple at the Passover; so this egg represents that sacrifice. We take a slice of egg, but before we eat some, we dip it in the salt water, which represents …? Tears. Why? To mourn the fact that this is a memorial to a sacrifice that can no longer take place. The sacrifice of the Paschal lamb that was central to the Passover observance, but which could only occur in the appointed place, the Tabernacle and then later the Temple in Jerusalem. (Eat chagigah) Yeshua prophesied that the temple would be destroyed, not one stone of the temple would be left standing. Less than one generation later, in 70 A.D. Titus and his Roman legions destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. From that day to the present there has no longer been sacrifice in Judaism. So at Passover, Jews mourn the loss. Because of this, Jews will not eat lamb as the main course at the Passover meal, and so the last item, the z'roah, [זְרוֹעַ] the bone, rests on the plate to remind us of those lambs that were so central to that first Passover back in Egypt, but now are sadly absent. But the bone also reminds us that God has redeemed us with a strong and out-stretched arm [Ps. 136:10-12, Jer. 32:21, +]; in Hebrew an outstretched z'roah [זְרוֹעַ]! God commanded Israel to take a yearling male lamb  without spot,  without blemish,  without any broken bone … ... they were to take that lamb and sacrifice it. This reminds us of another perfect Paschal Lamb Who, contrary to Roman custom, John 19 tells us, did not have His legs broken when He hung on the cross, and so fulfilled Messianic prophecy. Now we come to the second cup, the Cup of Plagues. We don’t drink from this cup right away, but dip a finger in the cup and put one drop on the plate for each of the ten plagues God visited on the land of Egypt. A full cup is a symbol of joy, so we want to symbolically lessen our joy as we remember the suffering of the Egyptians. (Read with me the plagues as we place a drop for each on our plate.) blood frogs lice flies pestilence boils hail locusts darkness slaying of the first born Nine times Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and each time God sent a plague on the land of Egypt. But the tenth plague was the worst of all, the death of the first born. God told the Children of Israel to take some of the blood of that sacrificed lamb and apply some to the top lintel and on the two side doorposts of their houses. Putting a sign of their faith in God on their doors; as it were “sealing out death,” and possibly making a cross on those doors. That night death flew through the land of Egypt, and there was weeping and wailing like never before. Pharaoh finally broke: Let them go! The Egyptians were afraid they might all die. But everywhere the blood of the lamb was on the lintel and two side posts death passed over that house and so redemption came to God’s people of faith. Now – because I believe in Jesus as my Lamb and my Messiah, because by faith I have applied the blood of His sacrifice to the doorposts of my heart, when death comes to claim this shell, it is going to pass over the real me inside because I have eternal life in Him. (Drink 2nd cup) This is our Matzah Tahsh [מָצָה טאַשׁ]. Matzah is the unleavened bread eaten at the Passover; tahsh is a bag or container. So this is a linen container for the unleavened bread. There are three pieces of matzah in this matzah tahsh, each in its own section or compartment. The rabbis tell us that the matzah tahsh represents a unity: Three pieces of bread in one container – three in one. Yet there is a great deal of disagreement among the rabbis as to which unity the matzah tahsh represents. One rabbi says the matzah tahsh represents the unity of the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Another rabbi says the matzah tahsh represents the unity of worship in Israel represented by the priests, Levites, and the people of Israel. Another says the unity represented is the three temples: the one built by Solomon, the Second Temple, and the future temple when Messiah comes. And so the theories go. I believe the matzah tahsh represents the unity of our triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, here is why … During a certain part of the Passover celebration we reach into the second, or middle part of the matzah tahsh and take out the matzah. You can ask the rabbis, why do we take out the second piece of matzah and leave the first and third untouched? And the answer is … we don’t know: it's tradition! We take this middle matzah out which alone has a special name: the Lechem Oni, [לֶחֶם עֹנִי] Bread of Affliction. “This is the Bread of Affliction which our forefathers ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat.” That is what is pronounced over this bread. Remember, Jesus, our Bread of Life was afflicted because of our sin. There are some things you need to know about this matzah. This is a small loaf of bread and yet it is flat like a cracker because it is completely unleavened. In fact there is such a concern that it be unleavened that it is rolled out and then, before it is baked, it is quickly pierced. Then it is quickly baked in an oven at a high temperature on a rack so it has these brown strips on it. So matzah is unleavened, striped, and pierced. Are you with me? We take this second piece from the middle section of the matzah tahsh and we break it in two, the greater piece now being called the Afikoman [אַפִיקאֹמאַן], Hebrew for “He who is to come.” This “half” is taken, wrapped in linen, and hidden for a time, buried if you will, outside the place of celebration. (People close eyes: hide afikoman. Read next ¶ while hiding.) This is such an important part of the celebration that the entire meal can not be completed without that second piece. Toward the end of the meal the leader of the feast will say to the children, go search for the Afikoman. The one who finds it will bring it back to the leader and redeem it. For us the afikoman is hidden somewhere in this room. (Youngest ones find & redeem the afikoman) The leader then stands and continues this ancient ceremony by removing the Afikoman from its special cloth. Then he breaks off small pieces for everyone at the table. Everyone receives a piece of this bread. Does this remind you of anything? (pass out matzah) Brothers and sisters, if the matzah tahsh represents the unity of the patriarchs, worship, or even the temples, why is the middle portion, and only the middle portion taken, broken, wrapped in linen, buried, then brought back, being a centerpiece of redemption? But, if the matzah tahsh represents the unity of our triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit then we know why! It’s because Yeshua, Jesus, the Second Person of the trinity was broken in death, wrapped in linen cloth, buried in the tomb, and then brought back, resurrected by the power of God, conquering sin, hell, and death, as He paid for our redemption. It is no wonder that Jesus took this bread, broke it, and gave it to His disciples saying, take, eat; this is My body, broken for you. Do this in remembrance of Me. Do you see the picture? God knew it in advance. (eat the matzah piece) Then Yeshua took the cup. Now you know the cup is taken four times during the Passover, but Luke 22:20 says Jesus took the cup after the meal. We have the first two cups and then the meal. The cup coming directly after the meal is the third cup, the Cup of Blessing and Redemption. The Cup of Blessing which we bless. The Cup of Redemption looking back to that redemption God brought to His people in Egypt and looking forward to the redemption when Messiah comes. There in the upper room with His disciples, Jesus raised the third cup saying, this cup is the brit chadashah [בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה], the new covenant, in My blood, (strongly emphatic as we read it in the original language of the New Testament), poured out for you, for the remission of sins. This new covenant was not a replacement of the same kind. This covenant was new in quality, another of a different kind, bringing in a superior innovation. What was He speaking of? The term “new covenant” is only used once in the Hebrew Scriptures: In Jeremiah 31 we read, Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה (brit chadashah – a new covenant) with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. My covenant which they break, although I was a husband to them, says the LORD. That was the problem with that first covenant, it became a broken covenant. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD, I will put My law (My תּוֹרָה [torah]) within them and on their heart I will write it …. That first covenant was written on tablets of stone. The new covenant was to be written on the tablets of our hearts. … And I will be their God, and they shall be My people … for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. This was the ultimate condition upon which the new covenant rested: no longer would sin be atoned for through the daily offering of animals in the temple, but once and for all God would deal with this most difficult of human problems. And now we find Yeshua there in that upper room with His disciples, taking the bread, taking the cup after supper, saying that which you’ve been waiting for, that which was promised, that new covenant has come in My blood. In Biblical times, a young man who wanted to marry would go with his father to the chosen woman’s house to meet with her and her father. They would negotiate a steep “bride price”: the money and / or material items that the woman’s father would ask for in exchange for giving up his valuable daughter. The young man’s father would then hand his son a cup of wine. The son, in turn, would offer it to the woman and say, “This cup I offer to you.” He was saying, in effect, “I love you and I offer you my life. Will you marry me?” If she drank it, sealing their engagement, she accepted his life and gave him hers. While celebrating Passover with His disciples, Jesus offered them this third cup, the Cup of Redemption, saying, in effect, “I love you. I give you my life. Will you marry me?” Remember, the night before Jesus died? Matthew 26:39 records He asked His Father, “If it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me.” He knew the high price He would have to pay to purchase His bride and become our spiritual Husband. Each time we drink the cup and hear the words, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood,” it is as if the Lord is saying to us, “I love you. I give you My life. Will you be married to Me? Will you be My bride?” And very time we drink it, we are in effect saying to Him, “I accept Your gift, and I give You my life in return.” (If that is the case with you, drink the 3rd cup) Imagine how the disciples must have felt after celebrating this Passover year after year, and then one day in that upper room in Jerusalem seeing its very fulfillment. To imagine that God, in redeeming ancient Israel from bondage in Egypt, wove into the very fabric of that story, this picture of a far greater redemption of the world from the “Egypt of sin” through the Passover Lamb Who is Jesus the Messiah: Yeshua ha Mashiach. Passover is not only a commemoration of a redemption of the past, but it bears with it a hope of a redemption yet to come. Therein lays something for each of us to be praying about, for many of the Children of Israel according to the flesh are still waiting for a redemption that has already come. There is a tradition that at Passover Elijah, the forerunner of Messiah, will come to say He is on His way. So at each Passover there is a special place setting and a special cup. Nobody sits at this place, and no one drinks from this cup; it is Elijah’s cup. At a particular time the head of the house will say to the youngest child, go and open the door for Elijah. As the door is open all stand and say – ! בָּוּךְ הַבָּא בָּשֵׁם יהוה Adonai beshem haba baruch “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” – then sing what is the oldest known Hebrew melody today, the words being: Elijah the prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah the Gileadite, come even in our days and bring with you Messiah, Son of David. Every year they stand, and every year they sing, and every year they wonder, is He ever going to come? They are still waiting. They don’t know of that one called Yochanan, “the Immerser,” we know him as John the Baptizer who came in the spirit and power of Elijah [Luke 1], and one day saw a Jewish man coming over the hill and declared: Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. (Jn. 1:29) They don’t know of that one Who did come: Yeshua ha Mashiach, Jesus, the Messiah from the Hebrew Mashiach, [מָשִׁיחַ] or Christ from the Greek Christos [χριστός]: God’s Lamb to redeem all who put their faith in Him. Of that redemption you and I partake today if we know Jesus as our Savior, if we have by faith applied His blood to the doorposts of our hearts. As 1 Corinthians 5:7 says, Christ is our Passover. 1 Peter 1:18-19 tells us we have been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb. Psalm 107:2 says let the redeemed of the Lord … say so! What other response is fitting, but for us to give thanks and praise and say so? Hallelujah! That is how Passover concludes. Having the climax of the cup and the bread, after supper we have a “say so” celebration where we sing hymns of praise. Psalms 113-118 are sung at this time; they are called the hallel [הַלֵל] songs: hallel means “praise.” The Hebrew word hallelujah [הַלֵלוּיָה] means “praise the LORD.” The climax of these songs is the “Great Hallel,” or “The Hymn,” Psalm 118, which says in part: Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever. The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation [my Yeshua]. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: The LORD's right hand has done mighty things! The LORD's right hand is lifted high; the LORD's right hand has done mighty things! Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. I will give You thanks, for You answered me; You have become my Yeshua. The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD. The LORD is God, and He has given us light. You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You. Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Imagine Jesus singing these words with His disciples as they finished their Passover celebration together. The songs of praise are taken with the Cup of Praise, the fourth cup, which we raise now together in praise to God. We conclude the Passover looking back to God's great redemption, and looking forward to a future redemption when Messiah comes and we live with Him in the New Jerusalem praying together, לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָיִם birush-a-laeem ha-bah la-shana next year in Jerusalem! (Drink the 4th cup) Presentation based primarily on Jews for Jesus director David Brickner's presentation of Christ in Passover. Additional