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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Post from Pastor Tim Walker, Church Alive Cleveland OH.

A lot of people are sending me videos of nationally respected leaders asking "every church to open their doors immediately." Some members are upset and threatening to go somewhere else, if we don't open our buildings by Pentecost Sunday.
Trust me; I understand the frustration and probably want to resume corporate worship more than most anyone else in our congregation. BUT...I'm accountable to God for making decisions that are in the best interests of the whole congregation; not just me, or the few most vocal members.
As I've been praying about it, I've borrowed some suggestions and wisdom from other Pastors, combined them with my own thought process and want to give you a few things to consider.
1. This is one of the most difficult decisions we as Pastors will ever have to make.
The timing of when and how to open our buildings is without a doubt the most grueling decision I've ever had to grapple with. There is no instructional manual and none of us have ever led through a global pandemic before. We love our people and have to consider the strongest and the weakest among them. We also have to consider those who are young and healthy as well as those who are older, sickly, or have compromised immunity. We also have to live with the long-term consequences of every decision we make. I've labored in prayer ever since this began, seeking God continually for guidance and direction. I'm very confident most others local Pastors have as well. No one wants the local church to succeed more than we do. Please give us the liberty to lead and prayerfully follow us.
2. While I appreciate national church leaders and try to support them and glean from them, they do not have the right or authority to speak on behalf of the local church. They don't know our people, our circumstances, or the challenges of our situations.
Pastoring a large congregation, or being on national television doesn't make you an international spokesperson for the Body of Christ. It's the local pastors who marry, counsel, bury, advise, wipe away the tears, visit the hospitals, pray for, and walk with people through life; not television personalities who don't know your name or your kids names, and are so insulated if you're lucky you can get an autograph but won't ever have their phone number.
I love them, and they create great opportunities for us, but they don't know our specifics, they don't have to manage our resources, and don't have to deal with the repercussions of our decisions. They do not speak for me or most other local Pastors.
3. Don't compare your church’s decision with that of other churches. Each church is unique in size, layout, staffing, age demographics, and resources. One size doesn't fit all. What may work brilliantly for one could be disastrous for another. No one knows your church and its members like your Pastors and leaders. Different areas of the country have had different levels or exposure to this virus. What is right for a rural area, may not be right for an urban area. The population density is different, the laws are different, and the rate of exposure is different. Your pastors have to make these decisions considering all of these factors and more. Pray for them, support them, offer to help them, and most of all trust them!
4. Support your church during the transition. While we are waiting for the right timing, please support your Pastors and your local church. It's estimated that at least 30% of congregations under 100 adults either will not re-open, or will not survive through the end of the year. Don't allow your church to be a casualty. Your community needs the voice and the ministry of the local church. Don't allow it to be silenced! The global church will prevail, but the success of the local church depends on OUR faithfulness. Support it with prayer, finances, service, and loyalty. Check on your Pastors and leaders. They are carrying a massive load and every prayer, offering, or word of encouragement matters...it really does!
5. Even if you disagree with their timing for reopening, stand in unity and don't allow the enemy to bring strife, confusion, or divisiveness. Our nation has increasingly become more polarized over the past 15 years. The media, politics, social media, the internet, pride, and most of all, spiritual distancing...yes, spiritual distancing...(my new term for those who have continued to neglect their walk with God and have instead chosen to live in the flesh), have created massive disunity in the body of Christ. Don't fall for it! Protect your heart, your relationships, your values and don't trade gold for brass!
Choose love over hatred...trust over suspicion, grace over judgment. Give your Pastors, leaders, and other believers the benefit of the doubt. They're not perfect and they're going to make mistakes. Allow them a safe place to grow and learn as well. They really are trying to do what's best for you!
6. When your church does re-open live services, please ATTEND, serve, give, connect to a group or a team. Sunday services are not for entertainment purposes...they're for ministry. Get involved in the ministry of your church.
We will re-open our buildings as soon as we feel services can be held in a safe and secure environment. Until then, let's plaster social media with the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and let's remain focused on what's really important.
Just a few thoughts from a tired, frustrated but determined Pastor.
P. Tim

Monday, May 4, 2020

New Eva update from May 2, 2020


SITREP: Eva Jeffery.
Saturday May 2, 2020. 3:00pm
C. Mo. - Morrison Family PIO
Direct communication copied and pasted from Lauren.
—-> Eva is out of surgery with 6 liters of fluid drained off her abdomen. Picture that in pop bottles which are 2 liter bottles! She will feel like a new person. These will now be sent off to see what the blood/bile ratio is. We will now watch to see if there is any more bile leakage which could mean that there is still a little bowel leak somewhere. The blood was old blood that was from the original injury. There was no new blood! Praise God for this! The liver has clotted nicely. We Will now just watch fo new bile! God is good! Thank you for continued prayers!
Also from Eva's grandmother...
Cheryl Sanger-Morrison We really haven’t had a big update. Still in Intensive care. They were keeping close check on her fever. She has some tubes back in, but they tell us this is not unusual. Of course they are closely watching all of her internal injuries, & we are praying for no more internal bleeding. Thank you so much for your prayers, & caring enough to ask! ❤️


Last message from my daughter Lauren. Now waiting through the day. Yes, they are actually thinking of Cleveland Clnic Main Campus if the do this surgery. They are the only ones who can do this procedure for pediatrics.
Lauren’s message: So here I sit as the unknown unfolds yet again, knowing the Lord has his hands on this decision as well and I am meant to go along for this roller coaster ride, hang on and have faith. Eva might be transferred to Cleveland clinic today for yet another surgery. She is doing so much better, but they still feel that her bowel is perforated some where sending out that nasty bile. I’m not sure when they say the clinic if they mean in Cleveland or here in Akron? When they do Grand Rounds with her team of doctors I’m sure we will find out more. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. I know the Lord is working hard as I see it every day! Thank you and love to all!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Update on Eva


Wed. April 29th. from Cheryl Morrison: Update on my granddaughter, Eva.

SITREP: My niece, Eva Jeffery
Wednesday April 29, 2020 1550 hrs.
C. Mo. - Morrison family PIO

Hello Family, friends and prayer warriors. Don't let up on prayer please. We tend to have a thing where when someone doesn't seem quite as critical anymore, to let up on the prayer. Please don't do that. I have some ups and downs and a phenomenal story to pass on from Eva. Here's today's update:

1) She had a pretty rough night last night and didn't sleep hardly at all. 0300 this morning she woke up with some pretty bad shortness of breath and a temperature. Blood cultures were done (to find out, if there is funk growing in her blood, what type it is which helps determine the best agent to fight it with). The also ran a CBC (for non medical peeps - its a blood test to look and see if your white blood cell count is up - which is a factor for determining infection). Cultures and other tests came back and unfortunately she has developed MRSA or Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, a sometimes very difficult to treat staph infection running around inside her. They have placed her on yet another antibiotic - Vancomycin, which has proven to be pretty successful in fighting MRSA. They said 48 hours ought to take care of this issue.

2) She has also developed pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas (for my non medical peeps), which lies behind the lower part of the stomach. This is a fairly common ailment and is somewhat expected to surface in patients with injuries such as Eva's. Remember how back on Friday we talked about over the next several days injuries and complicating factors could and probably would arise? Yep - here we are. This is exactly what they were talking about. They are not overly concerned... they will be watching it right now, at this stage to see if it self resolves or needs other treatment regimens. They will be doing another ultrasound to determine the extent, later this afternoon.

Everything listed above is treat-able. Not to worry! it's just more bumps in the road as it were. Prayer will help, no doubt. This is why I say not to let up, folks.

3) Knee seems to be continuing to heal well. I hadn't gotten the actual injury for which the surgery was done. Her knee was lacerated so badly by car frame parts that it cut through tendons and ligaments. So... it was tendon and ligament types of repairs. THAT's gonna be a long healer! Good news? She's already walking on it with a walker. She continues to work hard with PT and OT for this issue and they are thrilled with her cooperation and effort.

4) They discovered that she may have a new small bleed in her liver. It's okay... it appears to be a small one. The plan right now is to watch it to self tamponade (quit bleeding on it's own for you non medicals), and if it doesn't they will do a minor surgical procedure to insert a draining tube so fluid doesn't start to build up in her abdominal cavity again and push that abdominal pressure back up. She currently still has what was described as "moderate" abdominal distention. She HAS, though, lost a liter of the edema fluid (fluid causing swelling in her belly) So that is a plus. So this is a new prayer request. Thanks.

5) ICU stay extension. Yup... With all this going on, previous injuries, momentary clinical death, multiple surgeries, and pleural effusion, perforated bowel, and now adding to that fever, thrush, MRSA, and Pancreatitis.... only makes sense that ICU is not letting go of her quite yet. They have suggested a 2-3 day long extension hoping for the former. Day by day we will see how things go. This is all day by day friends. If you've been following since day one, you've seen positive/negative, positive/negative, positive/negative... but the big picture positives outweigh the volume of negatives, so that is the answered prayer there.

And now... the story - People amaze me. Atheists. Agnostics. Non believers of all sorts. Eva said the other day "Mom... I talked to Jesus." Lauren of course was like "wait...what???" Eva than unfolded how while she was "asleep" (that was from cardiac arrest until two days after surgery) she had a period where she found herself in a very beautiful green field. The sky was REALLY bright, unlike anything she'd ever seen. She said while she was there in the field, her previously deceased cousin, Stevie (who died a few years ago of an accidental drug overdose) and she said that Stevie came up to her and said "Eva... What are you doing???"... then while she was there with Stevie, her previously deceased grandfather approached her and looked her right in the eye and said "Eva... What are you doing?"... Then her somewhat recently deceased dog whom she just adored to death appeared and came up and jump up on her and was acting super happy to see her. She said while she was there with all three of them she heard a voice from the light that called her name. The voice said "Im sending you back. I will be providing support for your family to help get you through the events to come. I love you and I forgive you for what you've done. Above all remember this - I've given you a second chance." WOW!!!! Don't tell me God isn't real. Somewhere down the road is a ministry for this young lady. We need to get her out of the woods and back home and healed up first.

So as we move into these next two to three days of ICU time, pray for Eva, for good attitude, hard work to recover, and healing. Pray for Lauren and Jim and the rest of the family. Pray for her staff, surgeons, attendings, nurses, therapists, etc. Pray that her meds work correctly and that she gains strength. Pray without ceasing. The Greek word for "without ceasing" used in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is "adialeiptos". This word doesn't mean "NON Stop". It actually means "constantly recurring". So, in other words we can punctuate our moments with intervals of recurring prayer. This means you can incorporate your prayers into just about anything. Incorporate short prayers into your every day chores... Pray while you're standing in line waiting or sitting at a traffic light... When you break it down like this you aren't really in a long prayer from the moment you get up... but rather, a series LOTS of real small prayers at regularly irregular intervals. Pray without ceasing. The Jeffery and Morrison families are so grateful for your intercession and your specific prayers. We KNOW that God is hearing them. We were ALL praying for her life on Friday. God said "Eva, Im sending you back". He heard our prayers. He is listening. Pray without ceasing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks everyone. ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ✝️♥️

Monday, April 27, 2020

Update on Eva 4-27-20


The update we have been waiting for from my son! Wow! The last paragraph!!! We stand in AWE!!!

SITREP: My niece, Eva Jeffery
Sunday April 26th, 2020
C. Mo - Family PIO

Hello all. I see my sister, Lauren, had a few minutes to post some thank you's. I too thank you all for your continued patience for these reports. I wait until everyone that needs to see Eva each day has been in. This allows me to do one daily report that is detailed, and keeps me from having to do a bunch of mini reports as each practitioner see's Eva and gives their update to Lauren. Here's the specifics of where we are today.

I was at the fire department this morning coming off duty when Lauren called and said that they were extubating Eva (removing the breathing tube from her airway and taking her off the vent). Shortly after, Eva wanted to FaceTime with her Uncle Chris. So I called her on FT and surprisingly she was in good spirits and was rather conversational. She said she was in a LOT of pain. Understandably. We spoke for just a few minutes and then I came home. Since then, all the practitioners have seen her.

1) Endotracheal tube has been removed. Ventilator has been removed. Nasogastric tube (feeding tube through her nose) has been removed.

2) A PICC line (a peripherally inserted central catheter, or... very large IV that goes into larger vessels in your body, frequently under your clavicle) was established this morning. This will mainly be for fluids, nutritional feeding, and maybe certain medications. PICC line may go home with her for a while. This remains to be decided upon. All other intravenous line except one have been removed. It was left specifically for pain control meds. They are considering putting her on a morphine (or other) pump to allow her to control micro doses on a more frequent basis on her own. The pump "caps" the amount you can give yourself into chronological increments.

3) Ortho came down and looked at her knee again. No signs of infection, everything looks pretty good. Even so, they are putting her on a five day antibiotic regimen to be safe.

4) She remains in a cervical collar. The attending examined her neck and pressed around and it is very bruised and sore. The X-rays have cleared her of any fractures, but they are choosing to leave the collar in place for a while yet to just help give her neck support since it is so bruised and sore.

5) Abdominal pressure has decreased from 17 mmHg to 13 mmHg. This is good but they want it down into lower single digits. They are continuing to watch her abdomen very carefully because for several more days, other hidden injuries can still surface. They remain cautiously optimistic regarding her belly.

6) Urinary catheter has been removed.

7) Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy came down to see her this morning and sat her up on the side of the bed and got her into a chair for a bit. This was very slow and very painful, but it is extremely common and been proven as a best practice because these patients tend to do better over all the faster you can get them up and moving. Less chances of developing other complicating factors like pneumonia.

8 ) She has been given the green light to orally take in 2 teaspoons an hour of ice chips. She was thrilled and said she never would have believed that ice chips could be such an amazing thing.

9) They are looking at possibly stepping her down to a different unit this evening which wouldn't require a nurse to be sitting beside her 24 hours a day. This unit would have a nurse in the room every 4 hours but she would have a call button.

Finally to all the prayer warriors... The surgeon during grand rounds this morning told his team that Eva is an extremely unique case. There is no reason she should be healing this quickly. He said she is DAYS ahead of schedule in her healing process. He doesn't know why. We do. This is Gods sovereignty over this situation. We have people and whole churches not only praying, some even FASTING, from all over the world: I have spoken to a number of people and pastors around the globe that have asked me through FB about Eva in the last couple days. Some I know, many others I do not. They have represented: USA, Israel, England, the Philippines, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and India. I am sure there are others. THIS is why she is so far ahead of schedule. Thank you for your continued prayer support. Please keep your prayers coming. God bless you each for interceding.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Legend of the Scapegoat and the Scarlet Thread on Yom Kippur


In the Book of Leviticus 16, the Yom Kippur service that was to be conducted by the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) in the Temple and the Kodesh Kodeshim (Holy of Holies); is described.  The Torah describes a strange ritual in where the Kohen Gadol takes two goats, and casts lots choosing which one is sacrificed for Hashem, and the other the Hebrew says "for Azazel"; which is traditionally interpreted as taken out to the "wilderness". While the Torah does not elaborate further on the goat for Azazel, there are more details about a mystical phenomenon that would take place mostly each year when the goat for Azazel was taken into the wilderness and pushed off a cliff alive and backwards.  The Talmud in tractate Yoma 39 says: "The Sages taught: During the tenure of Shimon HaTzaddik, the lot for God always arose in the High Priest’s right hand; after his death, it occurred only occasionally; but during the forty years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple, the lot for God did not arise in the High Priest’s right hand at all. So too, the strip of crimson wool that was tied to the head of the goat that was sent to Azazel did not turn white, and the westernmost lamp of the candelabrum did not burn continually.And the doors of the Sanctuary opened by themselves as a sign that they would soon be opened by enemies, until Rabban Yoแธฅanan ben Zakkai scolded them. He said to the Sanctuary: Sanctuary, Sanctuary, why do you frighten yourself with these signs? I know about you that you will ultimately be destroyed, and Zechariah, son of Ido, has already prophesied concerning you: “Open your doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour your cedars” (Zechariah 11:1), Lebanon being an appellation for the Temple." (Yoma 39b).

Now there is no denying that Yeshua of Nazareth died and was resurrected and witnessed by over 500 people* approximately "40 years" prior to the destruction of the Temple.  But what does this really mean?  There are basically two polar opposite arguments that ignores the plain and simple truth of this matter.  First, there is the traditional Christian view, that simply because Jesus is our "Sin Offering" and our Atonement therefore God nullified Yom Kippur and there is no longer a need for this ritual or sin offering any longer.  Unfortunately, this does not take into account Yeshua's own words in Matthew 5:17 that nothing in the Torah would be abrogated.  Additionally, Scripture shows Jewish believers participating in the ritual sacrifices of the Temple long after Yeshua's resurrection, (Paul's Nazarite vows for himself and four other Jews in Acts 21 is just one example); and this view fails to consider the sacrifices and offerings that are promised to take place in the millennial kingdom of Messiah in passages such as Ezekiel 46-47.  

Anti-missionaries such as the infamous Tovia Singer (Jews for Judaism), and other Orthodox critics of both Christianity and Messianic Judaism claim that this passage in Yoma 39b proves nothing about Yeshua being the Messiah; pointing to Shimon Hatzadik as the crux of their argument.  This view says that virtually all miraculous phenomena of the Temple appeared to have ceased or became increasingly infrequent as far back as 200 years BCE in the days of Shimon Hatzadik; and that simply by the time of 30-33 CE/AD they ceased altogether.  The argument Singer makes is that Messianic Jews and evangelicals like to quote this passage from Talmud when it is convenient for us; but he claims we reject Oral Law altogether and therefore we can't have our cake and eat it too.  He/they claim that we either accept the "authority" and inerrancy of the Talmud or we don't, but in their view, we cannot use the Talmud only when it supports our position.  

This argument too fails to consider many things.  Number one, Messianic Jews do not outright reject Jewish oral tradition!  We simply keep Scripture as our ultimate Authority for faith, life and practice, and we do not elevate the traditions of the rabbis to the same level as the Bible.  Messianic Jews light candles the same way on Friday nights, we wear tzit-tzit and tefillin just as the rabbis taught us.  We observe the traditions the way the rabbis and sages taught, so long as the tradition does not violate the Scripture we will observe.  Why? For two reasons, we remain Jews and this is what Jews do and this will never change; and because Yeshua our Messiah taught us, "they sit in the seat of Moses, so do everything they tell you, but do not be like them..." (paraphrase)*.  Therefore, we are certainly qualified to use Talmudic and other extra-Biblical literature to support our position that Yeshua is the Messiah with integrity.  The second reason the anti-missionary position against Yeshua having any influence on the cessation of miraculous phenomena in Yoma 39b; is that it fails to explain the primary question at hand.  "Why forty years prior to the destruction?".  Singer makes no attempt to answer this other than pointing to Shimon Hatzadik who actually died 200 years before!  We can't deflect and ignore the obvious.  There is a connection to Yeshua of Nazareth; the question is how does He affect Yoma 39b?

There is a more balanced argument and explanation that keeps the integrity and authority of the Scripture (including Ezekiel 46-47), while not discounting the tradition of Yoma 39b.  First, there is the prophetic word of Hosea:

Hosea 3:4 For Bnei-Yisrael will remain for many days without king, without prince, without sacrifice, without sacred pillar, and without ephod or teraphim. 5 Afterwards, Bnei-Yisrael will return, and they will seek Adonai their God and David their king. Then they will turn in awe to Adonai and to His goodness in the last days.

To add to this, there is also:

2 Chronicles 15 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
15 The Ruach Elohim came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa, and said to him, “Listen to me Asa, all Judah and Benjamin. Adonai is with you as long as you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if you forsake Him, He will spurn you. 3 For many days Israel was without the true God, without a teaching kohen and without Torah. 4 But in their distress they turned to Adonai, the God of Israel, and sought Him, and He was found by them. 5 In those times there was no shalom for anyone coming or going, for there were many conflicts among all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress. 7 But you, chazak! Do not let your hands be slack for there is reward for your labor.”

8 When Asa heard these words as well as the prophecy of the prophet Oded, he took courage and removed the abominations from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns that he had seized in the hill country of Ephraim. He also repaired Adonai’s altar that was in front of Adonai’s entryway. 9 He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, as well as those dwelling with them from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon—for many had defected to him from Israel when they saw that Adonai his God was with him. 10 So they assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 On that day they sacrificed to Adonai 700 bulls and 7,000 sheep from the spoil that they had brought. 12 They entered into a covenant to seek Adonai, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul.

Just as it was in the days of Asa, so it is in these last days.  There would be a temporary cessation of the Temple, the ritual and the sacrifices, and Yeshua Himself even said that "there would not be one stone left standing on another".* But, in the days of Messiah Yeshua's return, we will see a restoration of the Temple and even the sacrifice, for these things must happen to fulfill the prophecies of John's vision in the Book of Revelation.  Messiah cannot return until the Temple is restored.  Yeshua's prophecy and His death and resurrection were (among many other things) a sign that this was all about to take place (the destruction); but also His own prophetic credentials were validated and established according to...

Deuteronomy 18:15 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
15 “Adonai your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your midst—from your brothers. To him you must listen.

and...

18 I will raise up a prophet like you for them from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will speak to them all that I command him.  19 Now whoever does not listen to My words that this prophet speaks in My Name, I Myself will call him to account. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My Name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods—that prophet will die.’

21 “Now should you say in your heart, ‘How would we recognize the word that Adonai has not spoken?’ 22 When a prophet speaks in Adonai’s Name and the word does not happen or come true, that is a word that Adonai has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously—do not be afraid of him.

Yeshua's words and His death and resurrection at the same exact time-period as the events described in Yoma 39b, are indication and evidence that HE IS WHO HE SAID HE IS.  

Though your sins be like scarlet,
    they will be as white as snow.
Though they be red like crimson,
    they will become like wool."
Isaiah 1:18b

* I Corinthians 15:6
* Matt. 23:2
* Matt. 24:2

Friday, August 16, 2019

Do you have a Good Eye or a Bad Eye?


What does it mean to have a good eye, or a bad eye? Yeshua the Messiah answered this very question; and the answer has everything to do with whether we are in the Light or in Darkness.  Yeshua said, "The eye is the lamp of the body. Therefore if your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" (Matt. 6:22-23). Still this doesn't explain what is a good eye or what it means to have a bad eye.  Most people today think this has some kind of supersistious principle, as in giving someone the "evil eye"; but that is not at all what this expression is about.  In order to understand what Messiah Yeshua is asking us; we need to understand the culture behind this expression.

Dr. David Stern, a foremost Messianic Jewish scholar explains: "The eye is the lamp of the body." Apparently Yeshua quotes a common proverb and comments on it. If you have a "good eye." This is in the Greek text, but the explanation, that is, if you are generous, is added by me the translator because in Judaism "having a good eye," an 'ayin tovah, means "being generous," and "having a bad eye," an 'ayin ra'ah, means "being stingy." That this is the correct interpretation is confirmed by the context, greed and anxiety about money being the topic in both the preceding and following verses."

So to look at this in "context" we do see what Stern is talking about.  The pesukim preceding 22-23 speak about money:

...19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[c] destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in or steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matt. 6:19-21).

Then again we see the same theme in the pesuk following verses 22-23:

...24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick by one and look down on the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matt. 6:24).

Obviously, a good eye, or a bad eye simply means you are either generous, or you are stingy.  Why interpret it any other way?

The point Yeshua is making is if you have a bad eye, you, your soul; is full of darkness!  But if you are a generous person, (i.e. having a good eye), then you are in the Light, and your soul is full of light.  Who doesn't want to be in the light with Yeshua?

One of the main characteristics of the righteous is that they are generous, they are givers, not takers.  Nor are they controlled by money, they cannot be bribed!

Infact in Hebrew, the word for righteousness is Tzedakah ืฆื“ืงื”
A good definition for tzedakah can be found here: Tzedakah Definition

As you can see from the definition, the greatest Tzadik was Yeshua Himself.  But we are called to be as He is, and He said our righteousness must surpass even that of the P'rushim.  In order for that to happen, we definitely need the Ruach Hakodesh to change us and give us a "Good Eye".

In a couple of weeks, our congregation will once again have a 5th Shabbat on Aug. 31st.  For years, we have been setting aside those days and all donations on those days to be made "Holy" for the building fund.  This has been a huge blessing as it has provided us a way to finally move into our own place of worship and establish Cleveland's first ever, permanent Messianic Synagogue.

However, repairs are needed, new equipment is needed and we need a new Parking Lot!  The goal for this coming 5th Shabbat is $4,000.00

If everyone in our community who loves and cares for this ministry will give "Above and Beyond their Regular Tithes) for this special offering; not only will the need be met, but your righteousness will be evident to Hashem!  We will all be demonstrating to our Abba, that we, like Him, all have a Good Eye.

Please prepare now, pray and ask Hashem what you should do on 8-31-19.

Gratefully,

Rabbi Eric

Saturday, October 27, 2018

New "Ask the Rabbi" Question:



Subject: Ask the Rabbi Submission

ASK THE RABBI RESPONSE FROM WEBSITE Is this the "Stump the Rabbi" forum? Well I do have a question that bothers me. (Perhaps not new to you.) The prophet Ezekiel talks about a temple to be built. If this Temple is to be in the future, why does it mention daily blood sacrifices as offerings for cleansing of sin when Jesus has already been the sacrificial lamb for all sins for all time? 


Shalom. 

Thank you for your submission and question regarding the Third Temple and sacrificial offerings that appear in prophetic Biblical texts speaking of a future time.  Your question is very common among believers, and even secular people also have interest in this subject. 

The reason questions like this even exist is mostly due to the last 1900 years of Dispensational and Replacement theologies that permeate much of Christian doctrine.  The answer requires a believer to think outside of the dispensational box and also think outside a 21st century individualistic mindset that is so pervasive today within American Christianity. 

The answer also requires an open mind, a teachable heart and a willingness to study the Levitical Sacrificial System in greater detail to understand better what it is, and what it’s purpose was and will be in the future. 

A short email answer from me cannot fully do it justice or completely satisfy your curiosity.  In other words, for a satisfactory answer, I will make suggestions on some studies and books that you may want to consider on the subject.  However, I will give you some “food for thought” that I hope may wet your appetite for more study on the subject.  Ok?  So here it goes…

The future Third Temple, and its rituals and sacrifices will serve the same purposes as both the Tabernacle of Moses in the Exodus, in Gilgal and later in Shiloh, and the Temple’s final resting place in the City of David on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem.  The key to reconciling the Sacrifice of the Messiah and those of the Levitical system is first understanding that everything in the Torah, including the Levitical sacrificial system… all of it points us to the Messiah and who He is.

Romans 10:4  For the goal at which the Torah aims is the Messiah, who offers righteousness to everyone who trusts. (CJB) (Greek for “goal” is “Telos” which means the goal rather than “end”, end of the law is like the “endzone” of a football field, therein is the “goal post” the goal is to get to the “endzone”.  Therefore, the goal of the Torah/Law is to get everyone to the Messiah.  This is what Paul is saying not that the Torah is “ended”.)

In other words, everything done in the Levitical system is all about the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) and was designed to teach and point us all to Him, both Jew and non-Jew.  The purpose of the Levitical system established before the Messiah came on earth points us to Him – and therefore, the Levitical system that will be reestablished will also point us all back to Him and what He has done.  If you understand this principle, you will be able to digest the rest….

Most modern believers forget, discard or look over the fact that the Levitical System operated fully and completely AFTER THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS; for 40 years.  The first disciples Never had a theology that did not include the Levitical system.  Furthermore, they fully participated in the sacrificial system even after the death and resurrection of Jesus as good Jews always did.  And the New Testament gives even more evidence that even the Priests (Cohanim) many, became believers in the Messiah, and yet they continued in their duties as Levitical priests daily making the required offerings.

Acts 6:7 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
7 The word of God kept on spreading, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem greatly multiplied; even a great number of the kohanim were becoming obedient to the faith.

One of the greatest examples of Messianic Jews participating in the Levitical sacrificial system “post-resurrection” of Messiah, is when Jacob (James), commands Shaul of Tarsus, to go and make a Nazarite vow, and also pay for the sacrifices of 4 other Jews, to show the world that the rumors of him teaching against the Law of Moses to Jews, was FALSE.

Acts 21: 18 On the next day, Paul went in with us to Jacob; all the elders were present. 19 After greeting them, he reported to them in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his service. 20 And when they heard, they began glorifying God.

They said, “You see, brother, how many myriads there are among the Jewish people who have believed—and they are all zealous for the Torah. 21 They have been told about you—that you teach all the Jewish people among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or to walk according to the customs. 22 What’s to be done then? No doubt they will hear that you have come.

23 “So do what we tell you. We have four men who have a vow on themselves.  24 Take them, and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. That way, all will realize there is nothing to the things they have been told about you, but that you yourself walk in an orderly manner, keeping the Torah.

Most American Christians have no idea what “vow” Paul was commanded to take here in these verses, nor do they have much of a clue the detailed ritual that went into taking these vows or how financially costly it was for Paul to pay for himself and four others “out of his own pocket”; this was in order to fully establish without any doubt what the truth is regarding our theology towards the Law of Moses as “Messianic Jews”.  To understand this I recommend you study the laws of the Nazarite Vow in Numbers Ch. 6.

Dr. David Stern give an excellent commentary on what was happening here with Shaul from a Jewish perspective:

Stern says: “The accusation against Sha'ul, then, was that he was a traitor to the Jewish people who taught Jews all over the Diaspora to cease functioning as Jews. Here are three points to refute the charges:

(1) Sha'ul himself did not violate the Torah but continued to keep it after coming to trust in Yeshua. He had Timothy circumcised (16:3).  He kept numerous Jewish customs-taking a vow (18:18) observing festivals (20:16) paying for the vow-ending sacrifices of four men at the Temple (here in vs 23-27), evidently fasting on Yom-Kippur (27:9) He regularly attended synagogue services and was welcome to teach in them (17:2).  As a Messianic Jew he remained a Pharisee (23:6), Thus he could say that he believed everything that accords with the Torah (24:14) that he had committed no offense against the Torah (25:8) and that he had a clear conscience in the sight of God and man (24:16) against his claims his accusers failed to make a case in court (26:31-32) At the end of his ministry he continued to assert exactly the opposite of what he is charged with here, saying, "I have done nothing against either our people or the traditions of our fathers" (28:17)  more evidence at 13:9.

(2) Sha'ul's teaching not to circumcise (I Cor. 7:18, Ga. 5:2-6, 6:12-15) and not to observe Jewish laws and customs were never directed to Jews but invariably and only to Gentiles. Gentiles had to be reassured that they were saved and incorporated into the people of God by trusting God through the Messiah Yeshua, not by observing this or that set of Jewish practices or by converting to Judaism; for, although Judaism acknowledged that the righteous Gentile had a share in the world to come, there was in the first century a strong movement for Jewish proselytism (Matt. 23:15)

(3) Sha'ul did not need to instruct Diaspora Jews to observe the Law, for there was no shortage of rabbis and teachers to exhort them (Acts 15:21) Moreover, what in the Tanakh (O.T.) could be clearer than that Jews are expected to keep the Torah? The New Testament does not repeat truths already evident from the Tanakh; it assumes them. Sha'ul assumed them too.

It's important too to understand that Stern does not suggest Jews keep Torah to merit their “salvation”, that is legalism.  Rather, Messianic Jews keep Torah as a “RESULT” of our Salvation.  Israel was given the Sacrificial System and the Torah in order to be a light to the Gentiles, to teach the nations about Salvation.  Everything in the Tabernacle is about Messiah and our Salvation.  By living it and doing it, we are demonstrating to the world – THIS IS OUR GOD AND THIS IS HOW HE DEALS WITH SIN, AND HE EARNS OUR SALVATION.  We (Messianic Jews) keep the Law as a result of our salvation, NOT AS A MEANS TO IT.  We obey because we are saved already by Messiah’s work, and because this is the culture of our people that we remain a part of the nation of Israel as “Natural Branches”.  (Ro. 11:21-24).

In summary, there are also many other examples in the New Testament of Messianic Jews participating in the Levitical system, such as

Acts 3:1 One afternoon at three o’clock, the hour of minchah prayers, as Kefa and Yochanan were going up to the Temple…

Minchah was the “afternoon/evening sacrifice”, it always began at 3 p.m. in the Temple and the evening Tamid offering (see Leviticus 6) was offered.  If the first Messianic Jews believed that Jesus did away with the sacrificial system it would make no sense for them to be going up to Temple at that hour and to participate in those prayers and sacrifices. Nor would it be appropriate for Paul of Tarsus to agree to obey Jacob and go and not only sacrifice his own offerings and shave his head and also pay for the offerings of four other Jews to perform the Nazarite vow – if he really believed that the Sacrifice of Jesus “did away” with the Levitical System!  Furthermore, if he only did it to save face with the Jews in Jerusalem and the Messianic leadership (Jacob, Shimon Peter, & Yochanan John), as some teachers have suggested, then Paul is a “HYPOCRITE”, and everything he wrote (which is half of the New Testament), should be “THROWN OUT” because he says one thing (the law is done away with); yet his actions don’t line up with his words. 

Of course this is not true.  Paul is not a hypocrite, nor was he a traitor to the Jews, nor was he unfaithful to the Torah!  His words have been misunderstood, misapplied, and the rumors that he taught against the Law back then are the same “rumors” that have continued to this day in the Church plagued by Dispensationalism and Replacement Theology. 

The truth was, is and will be, that the Levitical system never took away sins in and of themselves.  As it is written in

Hebrews 8:5 But what they are serving is only a copy and shadow of the heavenly original; for when Moshe was about to erect the Tent, God warned him, “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern you were shown on the mountain.”

Moshe’s Tabernacle and the Levitical system itself is only a copy of, and a shadow of something that is more real that what is here on earth.  Namely, the Heavenly Tabernacle that Yeshua entered by His Own Blood.  As it is written:

Rev. 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

You see, God is not limited by time or space.  Time and space is His Creation, but He transcends His Creation.  Therefore, His Blood and Salvation was existing from BEFORE CREATION.  The same blood that saved you and me, is the SAME BLOOD that saved Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  And it was NOT blood of bulls and goats.  Nor was it the purpose of bulls and goats to EVER TAKE AWAY SINS…

Hebrews 10:3 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

The purpose of blood of bulls and goats in the Levitical system was only a “picture lesson” they were always just “symbols” pointing us to the Real Blood that was already available from before the World was Created!  The job of the Levitical system is to teach unbelievers about this Real Blood, and what God requires, that there must be a death for atonement. 

And therein lies the mystery to understand the purposes of the future Third Temple that will eventually come.  There will be unbelievers on the earth, and even during the Millennial Reign of Messiah, those sacrifices are just a picture of what Messiah has ALREADY DONE FOR US.  The Book of Zechariah says any nation that refuses to observe Sukkot/Tabernacles will be punished at that time (i.e. during the Millennium).  Zech. 14.

They still have much purpose and value, just as Yeshua taught us to pray:  “ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN”  What is in Heaven must be manifested here on the earth, which was why it was necessary for Yeshua to take on flesh and manifest what was already in Heaven, literally here on the earth when He was crucified.  It was One single act, done for all time, but it accomplished atonement for all sins of the past, present and future (during the days of Adam to Abraham) as well as for ALL TIME. 

There is actually much more to all this beyond just the Levitical System, even the structure of the Tabernacle itself has great significance of who the Messiah is and His Work!  I highly recommend if you are locally in N.E. Ohio to register for my class coming up next year in 2019:

Instructor Name: Rabbi Eric David Lakatos Date_Jan. 27 - Apr 28, 2019
Course Name: THE MISHKAN/TABERNACLE (Its Structure, Sacred Vessels, Garments & Sacrifices) Semester & Year_Spring- 2019 @ BETHESDA COLLEGE – Akron Campus. 

I can send you more details if you’re interested in the class.  If you are not in our area or cannot take the class, there is a great book/study I recommend for you.  “What About the Sacrifices”, by D. Thomas Lancaster.  Published by First Fruits of Zion.  FFOZ.org  it is a fantastic resource and will greatly assist any believer to dig deeper into the purposes of the Levitical system and how it relates to the Brit Chadasha.  New Covenant.

My answer may have caused more questions for you, as I said it was only to wet the appetite, and I suggest the class and/or the book resource mentioned.

Again, thank you for your submission, and may you draw closer to Him in your studies and be blessed.

Shalom,

Rabbi Eric