Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’

Hanukkah and Yerushalayim

From the days of Abraham,  Yerushalayim (Jerusalem in Hebrew) has been the center of the known world.  Malki-Tzedek, the righteous king who has no beginning or end, ruled from this city called “Shalem” meaning ‘complete, safe, and peace’ (Genesis 14:18).  Throughout Biblical history, proven through archaeological digs, Yerushalayim was the center of Israel, the capital, where the God of Israel dwells, the Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the I Am.  

“In the courtyards of Adonai’s house, there in your very heart, Yerushalayim. Halleluyah!” (Psalm 116:19).

“Blessed be Adonai out of Tziyon, he who dwells in Yerushalayim! Halleluyah!” (Psalm 135:21).

King Solomon built the first Temple in Yerushalayim.  It was destroyed by the Babylonians.  A second Temple was built in Yerushalayim at the command of the prophet Ezra. This is the one that the Syrians desecrated.  They knew and understood from history the significance of Yerushalayim and how the Temple was central to the Jewish faith.  It was for this reason that they forced the Jews to offer sacrifices elsewhere; then desecrated the Altar.  Their purpose was to destroy the Jewish faith and assimilate the Jewish people into their idolatrous worship.

Yet, a remnant of Jews remained faithful and fought for years with Judah Maccabee against assimilation into a foreign religious system and the destruction of their One-God centered faith.  The miracle of Hanukkah is that the faithful remnant had victory over the great oppression by the Syrians, who were part of the greatest empire on earth.  Because of these faithful Jewish men, women and priests, Yerushalayim remained central to Israel and the Temple was restored and rededicated.   More importantly, the Jewish people were not annihilated.  The result: Yeshua, salvation for Israel and the world,  could be born through a Jewish lineage, teach in the Temple courts in the city of Yerushalayim.

Yerushalayim is found 773 times throughout the Holy Scriptures, but only 9 times in the Koran.  This is a huge discrepancy between the two major religions, but one that the world refuses to acknowledge.  They would rather the two ideologies assimilate, or better yet, the one with the proven history in Yerushalayim disappear from the nations altogether.

“They say, “Come, let’s wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Isra’el be remembered no more!” (Psalm 83:4).

The enemy of God, Satan, knows that if he can remove Israel as a nation and Yerushalayim as its capital, then he proves to the world there  is no God of Israel.  If he can destroy the Jewish people and their millennia of faith, then he really prove to the world, there is no God at all.  He also knows that without the Jewish people, there is no one to welcome the Messiah back into the holy city and Yeshua cannot return to set up his Kingdom.  However, Satan’s plan has a flaw.

“This is what Adonai says, who gives the sun as light for the day, who ordained the laws for the moon and stars to provide light for the night, who stirs up the sea until its waves roar — Adonai-Tzva’ot is his name: “If these laws leave my presence,” says Adonai, “then the offspring of Isra’el will stop being a nation in my presence forever.

Unfortunately for Satan, who is ultimately the spiritual force behind chaos and destruction, he will not only lose this battle, he will lose the war.  Though he will continue to use the nations to fight against Yerushalayim and Israel as the ‘father of lies’ and deceptions, his destiny is already determined (Revelation 20:10). 

“Why are the nations in an uproar, the peoples grumbling in vain? The earth’s kings are taking positions, leaders conspiring together, against Adonai and his anointed” (Psalm 2:1-2).

“A prophecy, the word of Adonai concerning Isra’el — here is the message from Adonai, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundation of the earth and formed the spirit inside human beings: “I will make Yerushalayim a cup that will stagger the surrounding peoples.  Even Judah will be caught up in the siege against Yerushalayim. When that day comes, I will make Yerushalayim a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who try to lift it will hurt themselves,  and all the earth’s nations will be massed against her” (Zechariah 12:1-3).

King Cyrus of Persia was used by God to deliver the Jewish people from their Babylonian captivity.  They returned to Yerushalayim and rebuilt their city and the second Temple.   With the help of a modern-day King Cyrus, Yerushalayim is  acknowledged to be, by the largest nation in the world, the eternal capital of Israel.  This modern-day King Cyrus has also called for the rebuilding of the Temple.  When that happens, the greater exodus of Jewish people from the nations will follow (Jeremiah 16:14) along with a great apostasy and a false messiah in sitting in the Temple. 

Hanukkah is not only a memorial to the miraculous events surrounding the Maccabean revolt, but is prophetic to our day.  As the return of Messiah Yeshua comes closer with each passing day, the shaking of the nations will escalate, but also will the promises of God to His people.  As the nations of the world continue to stand against Israel and fight about Yerushalayim, more and more Jewish people are accepting Yeshua as Messiah.  They are being prepared to cry out: “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai” and welcome Messiah back to Yerushalayim (Matthew 23:37-40).

“Adonai is rebuilding Yerushalayim, gathering the dispersed of Isra’el” (Psalm 147:2).

Soon, Yerushalayim will no longer be a city of assimilation of false gods, Greek, Roman, Baha’i, Muslim, and multiple religions.  It will be restored and rededicated to the glory of the LORD.  All the nations of the world will come as one to Yerushalayim and worship the God of Israel on the appointed Feast Days in the Temple of Messiah Yeshua, and Yerushalayim will become, as it should be, the city of our Great King.

“Look at Tziyon, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Yerushalayim a secure abode, a tent that will not be removed, whose pegs will never be pulled out and whose guy-ropes will not be cut. But there in his splendor Adonai will be with us…” (Isaiah 33:20-21).

“Many peoples will go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Adonai, to the house of the God of Ya‘akov! He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of Adonai from Yerushalayim” (Isaiah 2:3).

Psalm 48

Great is Yahweh  and greatly to be praised,

in the city of our God, his holy mountain,

beautiful in its elevation, the joy of all the earth,

Mount Tziyon, in the far north, the city of the great king.

In its citadels God has been revealed as a strong defense.

For the kings met by agreement;

together they advanced.

They saw and were filled with consternation;

terrified, they took to flight.

Trembling took hold of them,

pains like those of a woman in labor,

as when the wind out of the east wrecks the “Tarshish” ships.

We heard it, and now we see for ourselves

in the city of Yahweh-Tzva’ot, in the city of our God.

May God establish it forever. (Selah)

God, within your temple we meditate on your grace.

God, your praise, like your name, extends to the ends of the earth.

Your right hand is filled with righteousness.

Let Mount Tziyon rejoice, let the daughters of Y’hudah be glad,

because of your judgment [on the enemy].

Walk through Tziyon, go all around it;

count how many towers it has.

Note its ramparts, pass through its citadels,

so that you can tell generations to come

that such is God, our God forever;

he will guide us eternally.”

©2017 Tentstake Ministries

June 10, 2014 – Rome or Jerusalem

When I read this article about Joel Osteen and the Pope, I thought of two Scriptures. First, Matthew 7:13-14 “Go in through the narrow gate; for the gate that leads to destruction is wide and the road broad, and many travel it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” It seems to me that mega-churches and the ‘all inclusive’ concept of the Pope that ‘resonated’ with Mr. Osteen is not one that Jesus/Yeshua taught. FEW, not megas will enter the narrow gate; the megas will find destruction.

Second, Isaiah 2:3 (Micah 4:2) “Many nations will go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Adonai, to the house of the God of Jacob! He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah (law), the word of Adonai from Yerushalayim.” These Scriptures speak of the Millennial Reign of Yeshua from Jerusalem over all the nations. If the ‘law’ is to come out of Zion and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem, WHY do the masses always look to the pope and Rome for truth and guidance and ‘the rules’? It’s because of Rome (and the catholic church) that the corporate Body of Messiah doesn’t look anything like the First Century Church where Jerusalem was central to all teachings and doctrines. It’s because of Rome that the church is separated from its Biblical foundation in the Hebrew Scriptures, the nation of Israel and the culture (Biblical celebrations) in which the Scripture was written and exemplified the life of our Messiah. In other words, let me say Christ Mass, Easter, and Sun-day. They all come from Roman catholicism and edicts by popes and non-Jerusalem, non-Biblically-centered councils filled with anti-semitism and lies:
The Catholic Record, the Council of Laodicea (remember this church was judged by Yeshua in Revelation as being lukewarm and Revelation was omitted from the canon of Scripture at this council).

It’s also interesting that the ‘law’ will come forth from Zion. I read something the other day in a secular news article that said, “The world gets its cues for life from the church and the church has become immoral and lawless.”    Because of Rome and it’s separation from a Biblical foundation of truth which includes Torah, the concept of the ‘law’ being done away with has exploded into a universal teaching of lawlessness by not only feel-good, positive preachers, but mainstream Christianity inclusive of evangelicals, protestants, and charismatics.  This is Rome and the great apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

Make sure that whoever you are listening to gets their information from the Scriptures – all of them, what is called old and what is called new – and not from feel good, positive thinking, growing self-esteem humanistic ear-tickling deceptions. Why? Because none of them teach the Truth of the Scriptures nor the real Jesus, our example who suffered and  learned obedience through his suffering.  The real Yeshua, our real salvation,   said that those who went through the wide gate were ‘workers of lawlessness’ and would not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Yeshua never ever suggested that anyone should look to Rome for direction or truth, in fact all of Israel wanted to be liberated from Rome.

Paul taught in Romans that the message of salvation was to go “to the Jew first, then the gentile” and warned the Romans about having arrogance over branches of the Olive Tree of ISRAEL that were ‘cut off.’ Romans were warned.  ROME!

Romans 11:16-21 Now if the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole loaf. And if the root is holy, so are the branches.  But if some of the branches were broken off, and you — a wild olive — were grafted in among them and have become equal sharers in the rich root of the olive tree,  hen don’t boast as if you were better than the branches! However, if you do boast, remember that you are not supporting the root, the root is supporting you.  So you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”  True, but so what? They were broken off because of their lack of trust. However, you keep your place only because of your trust. So don’t be arrogant; on the contrary, be terrified!  For if God did not spare the natural branches, he certainly won’t spare you!” 

If you are not interested in following the God of the Bible and his way of salvation through Yeshua,  that’s your decision.  We are each given free will to choose who we serve in this life and how we live out our lives.   But, if you are seeking to serve the God of the Hebrew Scriptures, don’t allow yourself to be deceived to believe men like Joel Osteen and women like Joyce Meyer are leading you to the narrow gate of entrance to the Kingdom Yeshua taught about, they are not.  They are making you feel good and all-inclusive.  Remember catholic means ‘universal in extent.’  There is only one King of the Universe and it isn’t the Pope; and the King of the Universe will not ever reign from Rome.

©2014 Tent Stake Ministries

Feast of Weeks – Shavuot

Feast of Weeks – Shavuot

Two Loaves Leavened Bread

“From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering (of Firstfruits), count off seven full weeks.  Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord.  From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of a fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of Firstfruits to the Lord…. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live” (Leviticus 23:15-21).

The Feast of Weeks in Hebrew is Shavuot.  In Greek it is known as Pentecost.   It specifically refers to the appointed time God set apart 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits that began the wheat harvest.  

Historically, fifty days after leaving Egypt, the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai.  Exodus chapters 20 and 21 describe the events of the first Feast of Weeks.  God descended to the top of Mount Sinai to meet with His new nation of people in order to give them His commandments. There was thunder and lightning and a thick cloud covered the mountain along with a long shofar blast.  The people trembled with fear and asked that Moses be their mediator for they feared dying.

Feast of Weeks became one of the commanded pilgrimage festivals and Jewish people from every nation gathered in Jerusalem.  They went to the Temple with two loaves of leavened bread for a wave offering.   Hundreds of thousands of Jewish people would hear the following traditional passage of Ezekiel read aloud:

“I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal…” (Ezekiel 1:4).

Fifty days after Yeshua’s resurrection, Feast of Weeks arrived.  Jews from every nation came to Jerusalem. This particular year, however, while the priest waved their offerings,  the holy wind of God began to roar violently and,  before their eyes,  a small group of seventy people had tongues of fire appearing over their heads.

“The festival of Shavuot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place.  Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole place where they were sitting.  Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them.  They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak” (Acts 2:1-4).

The Holy Spirit and Tongues of Fire

Hebrew Word Pictures

Holy Spirit –  Ruach HaKodesh רוח הקודש

In Hebrew the words for Holy Spirit are Ruach haKodesh.  The word ruach means ‘breath or wind’; the word kodesh means ‘holy.   Thus the Holy Spirit is the ‘holy breath of God.’

Ruach

Resh ר – A Head means ‘what is most important’

Vav ו – A Nail means ‘to bind or join together, and’

Chet ח – A Fence means ‘inner room’

HaKodesh

Hey ה – A Window means ‘behold or reveal, the’

Qof ק – A Back of the Head means ‘what is final’

Vav ו – A Nail means ‘to bind or tie together, and’

Dalet ד – A Door means ‘pathway’

Shin ש – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or Shekinah, ‘the Divine Presence of God’

The complete Hebrew word picture for Ruach HaKodesh: “The inner chamber  joined  to what is most important, the final pathway to the divine presence of God.”

Fire – Esh אש

Aleph א – An Ox means ‘strength’

Shin ש – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or Shekinah, ‘the Divine Presence of God’

The Hebrew word picture for esh: “The divine presence and strength of God.”

In Greek the word glossa is ‘tongue’ and means ‘a nation distinguished by its speech.’ As the disciples spoke, Jews from every nation heard the message in their own ‘tongue.’

Tongues – Lashon – לשון

Lamed ל – A Shepherd’s Staff means ‘to urge forward’

Shin ש – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or Shekinah, ‘the Divine Presence of God’

Vav ו – A Nail means ‘to bind or join together, and’

Nun נ – A Fish means ‘action and life’

The Hebrew word picture for lashon: “To urge forward the divine  presence of God joining action and life.”

According to the account in Acts chapter 2, tongues of fire separated and came to rest on each of the disciples.   Through the power of the holy breath of God and His touch of refining fire, they began to speak in other languages.

“Now there were staying in Jerusalem religious Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered; they were confused, because each one heard the believers speaking in his own language.  Totally amazed, they asked, “How is this possible? Aren’t all these people who are speaking from the Galilee? How is it that we hear them speaking in our native languages? We are Parthians, Medes, Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judah, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome; all Jews by birth and proselytes; Jews from Crete and from Arabia. . . ! How is it that we hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things God has done?”  Amazed and confused, they all went on asking each other, “What can this mean? …” (Acts 2:5-13).

Two millennia earlier,  God’s made His holy presence known to the Israelites through wind and lightning.  He revealed His holy presence  through wind and fire to Ezekiel.   Could it be that God was now revealing His holy presence again through wind and tongues of fire? The crowds in Jerusalem from all over the known world were hearing the impossible.  They are confused and amazed.  The disciples of Yeshua were speaking in each of their different languages with such perfection that they knew it was a miracle, but thought the men were drunk.

Peter stood up.  The man who had publicly denied knowing Yeshua only seven weeks earlier raises his voice and address the crowd.  He tells them they are witnessing the fulfillment of a prophecy of Joel and begins to testify about Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel.   

“I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29).

Pierced Hearts

“Men of Israel! Listen to this! Yeshua from Natzeret was a man demonstrated to you to have been from God by the powerful works, miracles and signs that God performed through him in your presence. You yourselves know this. This man was arrested in accordance with God’s predetermined plan and foreknowledge; and, through the agency of persons not bound by the Torah, you nailed him up on a stake and killed him! But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. … Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Yeshua, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah” (Acts 2:22-24).

When the Jews heard Peter’s testimony about Yeshua,  they were cut to the heart.  The Orthodox Jewish Bible says they were ‘pierced with conviction in their hearts.’  The Hebrew word for ‘cut’ is brit, the word used for cutting a covenant.  The conviction of the Spirit brought not only conviction, but a cutting of their heart. 

The people asked what they should do regarding this ‘new’ covenant.  Peter and the apostles responded with the Hebrew word shuv.  This Hebrew word means ‘turn back’ or ‘return’ in the sense of making a 180 degree turn around.  It is translated into English as repent.

“Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Messiah Yeshua for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:29).

The people of Israel needed to repent from their disobedience and sin to and return to faith in God.  They were to be immersed into the name of Yeshua for the forgiveness of their sins and receive the gift of God’s Spirit.  Three thousand men and women repented and turned back to God. The received forgiveness of their sins and the Holy Spirit was poured into their hearts (Acts 2:41).  Their hearts of stone were transformed into hearts of flesh.  The new covenant prophesied by Ezekiel and Jeremiah, instituted and promised by Yeshua,  had begun in Israel. 

“This is the [new] covenant I will make with the House of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people…. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:33-34).

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit inside you; I will take the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit inside you and cause you to live by my laws, respect my rulings and obey them” (Ezekiel 36:24).

“For this is my blood, which ratifies the New Covenant, my blood shed on behalf of many, so that they may have their sins forgiven” (Matthew 26:28).

The Kingdom of Heaven

“And he [Yeshua] told them yet another parable. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like chametz that a woman took and mixed with a bushel of flour, then waited until the whole batch of dough rose” (Matthew 13:33).

Chametz or ‘soured dough’ is used for raising bread.  It is always symbolic of the leavened teachings, puffed up teachings of Israel’s leaders yet Yeshua uses ‘soured dough’ to describe the Kingdom of Heaven in his Parable.   Chametz is the ingredient the woman takes and mixes with her flour to make the dough rise.   When the leavened dough rose to its fullest extent, the woman  had enough dough from a single bushel of flour for a feast of bread. 

The commandment for Shavuot included a grain offering along with two loaves of leavened bread made from finely ground flour.   The two leavened loaves were to be waved before God by the high priest.  For centuries as the two loaves were waved, the people hoped in the coming Messiah promised by the two witnesses of the Torah and the Prophets.   

When Yeshua walked on the Road to Emmaus after his resurrection, he told the two men with him everything that the Torah and Prophets had spoken about him.  This witness of two established him as the Messiah of Israel.  Then forty days later he ascended to the right hand of His Father.

Ten days after his ascension Shavuot arrived.  Through the power of the Ruach haKodesh, the hearts of Jewish men and women were transformed and they became empowered witnesses of God’s salvation and forgiveness.  God’s Spirit had been poured into a small lump of dough, the Jewish people.  The Jews who had been ‘cut to the heart’ would take the message of Yeshua to their own countries in their own languages.  They would become the first missionaries to proclaim salvation to the Jew first, then to the gentiles in those nations (Romans 1:16).  

Within a few years the power of Spirit of God would come upon the gentiles, change their hearts, and they would become part of God’s Kingdom with Israel.  As the two leavened loaves of bread were being waved by the high priest in the Temple, the Body of Messiah was born. God’s Spirit had been poured into a small lump of dough and like the woman’s leaven would continue to spread from them to the nations of the world until the Kingdom of heaven would be established by a witness of two: Jew and gentile, one in Messiah (Galatians 3:28). 

Fulfilled by Yeshua

“… I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, and Strengthener), to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth…. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. … Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:14-20).

Yeshua kept his promise.  He ascended to his Father and asked Him to send the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth.  On the  ‘appointed time’ of Feast of Weeks, God poured out His Spirit with flames of fire on seventy people.   They knew that Yeshua and his Father were One and they were joined with them.   They were no longer fatherless, they had God as their Abba Father as Yeshua did.  They were given the same authority to forgive sins as Yeshua and the anointing power to be witnesses of his salvation to the world.  They were sealed with God’s Spirit along with multitudes of Jews and those of the nations who would believe their message.  They were reborn by water immersion and the Spirit of God.  They entered His Kingdom with the seal of a promise.   With God’s mark ownership, they became the latter firstfruits of the wheat harvest, a guarantee that the same Ruach haKodesh that brought Yeshua from the dead would raise them to life (Ephesians 1:13-14).

©2008 Tent Stake Ministries (This is one chapter from Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.)