Friday, April 20, 2018

Ezekiel Video March 24 on Ch. 37-38

Students: my apologies, the video for March 17th failed.  FYI - we do plan to cover Ch. 38 again next class as you will see in this video, we did not get to it.  We are taking a 2 week break for the Passover Holiday.  Next class will be on: April 21st (tomorrow)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Sefer Yechezekel ספר יחזקאל Book of Ezekiel Study Lesson 20 (ch. 38-39)

1. Who again is Gog and Magog, Meshech and Tubal & when will the invasion happen; and how is this same invasion described in the New Covenant?

2. Who are the people gathered from the nations; and what is the evil plan – who devised it?

3. Where does Gog come from; and how will Adonai be sanctified through them?

4. Explain the declaration of Adonai-Elohim in vs. 1-5, what are the main points, who is the prince of Meshech; who is Gog, and from what land is it from, why is this significant?

5. What is significant about Fire and the mention of islands, what kind of judgement could this be?

6. Explain the prophecy of Israel’s retribution on Gog, how will they make fires for seven years; what could this prophecy be referring to; and how could weapons serve Israel, why would they need these fires?

7. What and where is the valley of Hamon-Gog (explain the meaning of the name), why does it take 7 months to bury the dead?

8. What is Hamonah and what is significant about this city?

9. Besides burial how else will the bodies of Gog be disposed of; and explain if there is any evidence that this prophecy could realistically be fulfilled in our modern day?

10. What is the real reason God plans to restore Israel back to their land and how does Israel’s restoration impact the world?  Give other Scripture references to back up your answer…

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sefer Yechezekel ספר יחזקאל Book of Ezekiel Study Lesson 19 (ch. 37-38)

Ezekiel 37-38
Dry Bones Live

1. Why did Ezekiel not answer the question posed to him in vs. 3; and only respond the way he did; and is the description of the dry bones the same as what will happen in the Resurrection?  Give biblical evidence…

2. In vs. 4 Adonai says He’ll cause “ruach” to enter, but later in vs. 6 He says He’ll put “breath” into you; why the discrepancy in the TLV, why are both words used?  Define and explain the Hebrew definition of “Ruach” and give New Covenant examples of how this concept is also used…

3. What was the “noise” and the earthquake from in vs. 7; and where else in Scripture do we see this same type of natural phenomena when Adonai moved?

4. What are the 4 winds; and where else are they mentioned in the Scriptures?

5. Who exactly are the “dry bones” as described by Adonai to Ezekiel; and why do the dry bones respond with hopelessness?

6. Has this Resurrection already occurred? give Scriptures where resurrection of the dead has indeed happened already…

7. What is the criteria for being included in this Resurrection? (i.e. who are the ones He resurrects – how are they described?)

8. Explain the symbolic act that Ezekiel was now commanded to perform what does it mean and symbolize; and what does it have to do with the Messiah?

9. Who again is Gog and Magog, Meshech and Tubal & when will the invasion happen; and how is this same invasion described in the New Covenant?

10. Who are the people gathered from the nations; and what is the evil plan – who devised it?

11. Where does Gog come from; and how will Adonai be sanctified through them?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Prepared to Come to the Table? שֻׁלְחַן אֲדֹנ

Seudat Hamashiach "Meal of Messiah" aka (Shulcan Adon) Table of the Lord

What exactly is this ritual that many non-Jewish believers in Yeshua call "Communion"?  How did we go from a full Passover Seder, with 4 cups, a Haggadah that tells the story of the Exodus from Egypt; and 4 Questions and 4 different types of sons... to a bunch of broken matzah on a plate with a cup of wine that is a symbol of the Messiah's Body & Blood?

As Messianic Jewish believers, we can easily see the fulfillment of Yeshua and who He is in the ritual of the Afikomen (the dessert part of the end of the Seder where the hidden matzah is wrapped in linen, buried away; and then brought back and redeemed - "Resurrected")!  We do this year in and year out, and its all great and awesome, right?

But really, should we go so far as to partake in a "goyisha" tradition that has some kind of resemblance to Kiddush, but really isn't "Kiddush"?  If so, what basis do we stand on for doing so other than that we Messianic believers are One with our non-Jewish brothers in the Body of Messiah as One New Man?

Many Messianic Jewish congregations struggle with this concept - some choose easily to do the ritual at home, in the synagogue, all the time, rarely, or sometimes even once a month.  Some Messianic congregations choose not to observe it at all and rather remember Messiah's death and Resurrection only once a year at the Passover Seder.  And while each community is autonomous and does it's own tradition (which is perfectly fine); as long as we are "remembering Him" as He commanded us... (I Corinth. 11:25)... Many unfortunately don't have an answer as to "WHY" they do "communion" or not!  So the purpose of this article is to give some answers as to "WHY" we do what we do here at Tikvat in Cleveland, Ohio.

Certainly, we as Messianic Jews, and Messianic non-Jews who stand with us in faith and in our community as members of our synagogue; DO NOT see Yeshua (i.e. Jesus) as coming to start a new "Religion" or start some weird ritual that transforms the Passover Seder; morphing it into some strange concoction of a hybrid  "Hebrew-Christian" cultish sacrament or "ceremony".  Rather, and for the record, most all Messianic Jewish mainstream legitimate congregations clearly see that Yeshua was observing and celebrating a Passover Seder, as it was observed in the 1st Century.

Now of course, rabbinic traditions have evolved and have been added to the Seder table for the last 2 thousand years, as it is debatable that all Jews ate a "Hillel Sandwich" at the time of Jesus; nor is it likely that a roasted egg was ever on a Seder plate at the "Last Supper".  The egg representing the Hagiggah offerings that once existed on the Alter in the Holy Temple, which at the time of Yeshua, the Temple was still standing and the Mosaic sacrificial system was still in full operation.

So we know certainly that traditions did and do evolve, and God does allow for religious authority to adapt customs that remain faithful to the Biblical narrative. 

With this said, let's tackle the question at hand - should Messianic Jewish believers keep a ritual commonly known as "Communion".  To answer this, I'd like to examine some very old sources that can shed new light on this tradition, and where it came from; namely even early Messianic Jews in the early centuries right after the Resurrection of Yeshua and the time of the Roman occupation. 

The Didache or "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles", is; According to the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906: "[it the Didache is] A manual of instruction for proselytes, adopted from the Synagogue by early Christianity, and transformed by alteration and amplification into a Church manual. Discovered among a collection of ancient Christian manuscripts in Constantinople by Bryennios in 1873, and published by him in 1883, it aroused great interest among scholars. The book, mentioned by Eusebius ("Hist. Eccl." 3:25) and Athanasius ("Festal Letters," 39) in the fourth century, had apparently been lost since the ninth century. The most acceptable theory among the many proposed on the character and composition of the "Didache" is that proposed by Charles Taylor in 1886, and accepted in 1895 by A. Harnack (who in 1884 had most vigorously maintained its Christian origin)— that the first part of the "Didache," the teaching concerning the "Two Ways" ("Didache," ch. i.-vi.), was originally a manual of instruction used for the initiation of proselytes in the Synagogue, and was converted later into a Christian manual and ascribed to Jesus and the Apostles. To it were added rules concerning baptism, fasting, and prayer, the benedictions over the wine and the bread and after the communion meal, and regulations regarding the Christian community (ch. vii.-xvi.). The Jewish student is concerned chiefly with the first part, the title and contents of which are discussed here."

So, even Jewish scholars see this document, first as "very ancient" going all the way back to the very beginning, perhaps even the Apostles themselves; and secondly, they see that initially it is a very, very, "Jewish Document" frankly originally used for conversion into Judaism by rabbis at the time.  If both of these theories are historically accurate; which we have no reason to assume they are not; then what it says about the the traditions concerning the Lord's Table can teach us a lot today.

Like the Brit Chadasha (New Testament); the Didache was originally written in Greek, the common vernacular used by the entire world for use in common everyday business and communication after Alexander the Great's Hellenization of the known world he conquered. Chapter 9 of the Didache gives direction on how the ritual of "communion" was to be observed.  It begins by using the Greek word: εὐχαριστία "eucharistía", which is where we get the word "Eucharist".  This word automatically creates a picture in the 21st Century mind of a Catholic priest wearing a long robe holding up a white (almost plastic) wafer over a brass chalice standing underneath a Crucifix!!!  However, I challenge the reader to exercise your mind and realize that no such thing existed in the first century, and this Greek word simply means "To Give Thanks".  In this definition we can clearly see we are not necessarily talking about the image I just described.  Didache 9 continues with instruction on how to do this and what to say first over the Cup and then over Bread; the Jewish Encyclopedia continues...

"the dependence upon Jewish custom is especially indicated by the following thanksgiving formulas:
(1) Over the cup: "We give thanks to Thee, our Father, for the holy wine of David Thy servant which Thou hast made known to us through Jesus Thy servant." This strange formula is the Jewish benediction over the wine,"Blessed be Thou who hast created the fruit of the vine" Christianized (compare Psalm 80:15 , Targum 116:13 refers to David at the banquet of the future life Pes. 119b John 15:1 compare Taylor, l.c. pp. 69,129). (2) Over the broken bread: "We give thanks to Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which Thou hast made known to us through Jesus Thy servant. As this broken bread, scattered upon the mountains and gathered together, became one, so let Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy Kingdom!" (compare the benediction "Raḥ em" according to Rab Naḥman, which contains a reference to Psalm 147:2 Ber. 49a). (3) Over the meal: "We thank Thee, O holy Father, for Thy holy name, which Thou hast caused to dwell [κ α τ ε σ κ η ν ω σ α ς , reference to the Shekinah] in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality which Thou hast made known to us through Jesus Thy servant. Thou, Almighty Lord, didst make all things for Thy name's sake Thou gavest food and drink to men for enjoyment that they might give thanks to Thee, but to us Thou didst freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Thy servant. . . . Remember, O Lord, Thy Church to deliver her from all evil and to perfect her in love of Thee, and gather her together from the four winds, sanctified for Thy Kingdom which Thou didst prepare for her. Let grace come and let this world pass away! Hosanna to the Son of David" (ix.-x:6).

The original Jewish benediction over the meal was a thanksgiving for the food and for the Word of God, the Torah as the spiritual nurture, and a prayer for the restitution of the kingdom of David. The Church transformed the Logos into the incarnated son of God, while expressing the wish for His speedy return to the united congregation (the Church). It is the prayer of the Judæ o-Christian community of the first century, and this casts light upon the whole Christianized "Didache." (Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906)

Interestingly, it is the Didache that even instructs early believers to say Grace After the Meal in Chapter 10!  This too is completely Jewish!

Therefore, coming back to our original question, should we, today, as Messianic believers observe the Shulcan Adonai (Table of the Lord)?

Well, the evidence shows that truly, the Apostles and early Messianic Jewish believers did keep the custom of giving thanks over bread and wine, and said the Grace after Meals, and it was symbolically connected the vicarious death and powerful Resurrection of the Messiah.  This said, it is indeed our custom here at Tikvat Yisrael to keep the traditions of our Jewish people, including that which has come from the early generations of Messianic Jews.   So ultimately the answer is YES.  But that leads to another question...

If so, "HOW"?  How should a Messianic Jew today observe the Lord's Table (i.e. Seudat Hamashiach)?

The question is NOT about the procedure of just showing up and saying a "Barucha" and then taking a piece of matzah and a sip of wine.  The Didache as well as the Brit Chadasha have much to say about the spiritual "PREPARATION" of ourselves that goes into the ritual of the Shulcan Adonai.  And this is what I'd like to conclude this article on.

I Corinthians 11:27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and then let him eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For the one who eats and drinks without recognizing the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and quite a few have died. 31 For if we were judging ourselves thoroughly, we wouldn’t be coming under judgment.

Most people today - take about 5 minutes to pray and then walk down the isle and pop in that matzah.  When you study the history of Messianic Jews, the Didache, as well as the practices outlined in the Brit Chadasha, we see something different. 

While Didache 9 outlines the procedure of the liturgy and blessings when taking the elements of communion; it is Didache 8 that actually tells us how a person "PREPARES THEMSELVES FOR TAKING THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE MESSIAH YESHUA"...

Didache 8.1 says, "Your fast should not coincide with those of the hypocrites, for they fast on the second day of the week and on the fifth day.  But you are to fast on the fourth day and on the Preparation day."

From this, as well as other Biblical passages, we clearly see that it was the custom of Messianic believers to regularly pray & FAST two days a week!  Yes, FASTING TWO DAYS A WEEK!  REALLY?  YES REALLY!  This was all in preparation for Shabbat (7th Day) - (i.e. Saturday), in the Messianic Synagogues when the believers would come together for the Shulcan Adonai.

According to Janicki, "In the late Second Temple Period, these public fasts were limited primarily to Monday and Thursday, which were both market days and times when public court hearings were held." The Talmud in Ta'anit 1:4 says, " In the seventeenth of Marcheshvan (Cheshvan) came and no rain fell, the Jews begin to fast three fasts, (Monday, Thursday, and Monday).  Some pious individuals took to fasting on Monday and Thursday every week, regardless of whether or not public fasts had been declared.  The evidence for this appears in the Gospels, in which a Pharisee in one of Yeshua's parables boasts, "I fast twice a week." (Luke 18:12). (Janicki, 2017).

It is also common today, for the Torah to be read in public synagogue services on Mondays and Thursdays with the idea conveyed that a person must eat food no less than once every 3 days; so too one must have Spiritual Nourishment, with the Devar Elohim (Word of God), Torah read no less than once every three days.  If you go to Shul and hear Torah on Mondays, Thursdays and Shabbat - you have the basic essentials for staying alive, spiritually.  (Of course we all must eat more than that)!  So the early Messianic Jews while not wanting to separate completely from the Jewish community did yet want to make a distinction by preparing and fasting on Wednesdays as well as Fridays (Preparation Day), getting ready for Shabbat and the Seudat Hamashiach.

So to wrap things up; what are you doing to prepare for the Shulcan Adonai each week or month?  Here at Tikvat, we observe the Seudat Hamashiach (Meal of Messiah) on Shabbat Rosh Chodesh, (Sabbath of the New Moon), which is the last Sabbath that preceeds the first day of each Hebrew Calendar Month. See Numbers 28, which commands Israel to sanctify Rosh Chodesh as a festival unto Adonai.   As I am writing this article, we are only 2 days away from Shabbat HaChodesh!

Shabbat HaChodesh ("Sabbath [of the] month" שבת החודש) precedes the first of the Hebrew month of Nisan during which Passover is celebrated. Exodus 12:1-20 and the laws of Passover. On the first day of Nisan, God presented the first commandment of how to "sanctify the new moon" (kiddush hachodesh) for the onset of Rosh Chodesh and thus Nisan becomes the first month of the Jewish year (counting by months.).


This is not only a new month, this Shabbat... but also a New Biblical Year!

Exodus 12:2 “This month (Aviv) will mark the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year for you.


R' Eric 

Ezekiel Lesson 17 Video March 10 '18

Sefer Yechezekel ספר יחזקאל Book of Ezekiel Study Lesson 18 (ch. 35-36)

1. What is Mt. Seir a reference to; or to whom?

2. Vs. 5-9 speak of the destruction of “Mt. Seir” did this prophecy ever get fulfilled and if so, how, when?

3. What is the reference of “two nations” and “two lands” spoken about in vs. 10 referring to; and what lesson can be learned and applied from this today?

4. What is the scorn of the nations that Israel suffered described by Ezekiel here in Ch. 35?

5. Despite the coming exile and Israel’s punishment, what now does Adonai promise to Israel, and could this prophecy have dual fulfillment?

6. What was Israel’s sin against Adonai and how does He describe it here?

7. After Israel was exiled and punished, did Adonai forget the Jews and choose another people to replace them?  How should vs. 19-21 be applied in Biblical interpretation and application today; is it even relevant anymore or is that just the “Old Testament”?

8. What is the reason that Adonai gives for His mercy and compassion on Israel – why exactly does he promise to restore them and return them?

9. What is the “New Heart and New Spirit” that Ezekiel now describes, how is the Hebrew translated here; what does it mean; and is it any different or the same as the “Born Again” experience that modern believers experience today?

10. What else accompanies this “New Heart and New Spirit” Jewish revival that we see in ch. 36;  are they supposed to happen together, and are we seeing this kind of restoration today?

11. Ezekiel describes the Land as being a “wasteland” – that the Jews will return and describe their land this way – was this also ever fulfilled?... and if so how, describe and give evidence from history…

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Ezekiel 31-32 Video

Sefer Yechezekel ספר יחזקאל Book of Ezekiel Study Lesson 17 (ch. 33-34)

Ezekiel 33-34 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

1. Explain the parable of the Watchman vs. 1-6, what is it’s meaning and how can it be applied today?

2. Who is the “Watchman” – what was his job, how is it the same or different from the “Great Commission” in Acts 1:8, compare…

3. In vs. 11, Adonai says He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, what does he want from them/us, and how is this compared to the Messiah’s teaching on repentance?

4. Vs. 12 says the righteousness of the righteous person will “NOT” deliver him on the day of his transgression; explain what this means and how is Adonai challenging Jewish interpretation of salvation and righteousness; additionally, what was different about how people were saved at the time of Ezekiel compared to how people are saved by God today?  Explain using Scripture passages to back up your answer…

5. Vs. 17 indicates that in Judaism (at this time); Jews believed it wasn’t fair that no righteous deeds were ever remembered when a person sinned, but all the wicked acts were forgotten when a sinner repented.  What evidence is there, if any can you find to support this theological position of Jews at that time or even today?

6. Vs. 20 says Adonai will judge people “according to their ways” – are people still judged that way today in the times of the New Covenant?  If not, how does it differ today?

7. When did the messenger come to Ezekiel, what is significant about the date; and how and why did Ezekiel’s mouth become opened, why was it muted?

8. Vs. 23-24 shows how the Israelites at the time of Ezekiel put their trust in the righteousness of Abraham, and expected to benefit just from that… explain how and why this idea was wrong, and how do people, both Jews and non-Jews make this same mistake today?

9. Explain how Ezekiel is called a “love song”, and how his audiences would come to hear him and express doting “love”, enjoy his beautiful voice and musical instrument, but not respond to his message, explain how this could happen, and does it happen to this day?  How should this be in our congregation?

10. What was wrong with the Shepherds of Israel and what was God’s solution to the problem, what “shepherd” would replace them?

11. Who is the “One Shepherd” that Ezekiel identifies as the one who will save the flock, who is he, what is his identity, and does it have any connection to our Messiah, compare to Yeshua’s words on this issue…

12. What is the covenant of “shalom” what is it a reference to, where else is a covenant like this mentioned in scripture and what is the indication of this covenant (i.e. what will happen prophetically to show that God keeps this covenant)?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

"For Such a Time as This!"

For as long as the Jews and Israel has existed there has been this struggle to survive and our existence has been threatened at every turn.

Not much has changed and even to this day the threat against Israel’s security and safety is ever present. 

The Bible says that in the end of Days, the Kingdom of Persia will once again arise and out of her will come a King who will exalt himself over God…

Dan 11: 2 “Now then, I tell you the truth: Three more kings will arise in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece….

36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. 

40 …... He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. 41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. 42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Cushites in submission. 44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.

We are living in a time where we see today that the kingdom of Persia is attempting to rise once again.  Iran’s threats against Israel are real, and the same struggle that has been going on for thousands of years continues to make the attempt to annihilate Israel.
Looking back we see the same story…

Esther 1: 1 This is what happened during the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush: 2 At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, 3 and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.

This is the same kingdom as modern Iran.  Xerxes’ wife dishonored him in front of his officials at this banquet and he therefore divorced her.  He sought a new wife, and had all of the young women of his kingdom brought before him to compete for the position to become the new queen of Persia.

Esther 2: 19 When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. 20 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up

 21 During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. 22 But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai.

Many times, being Jewish is not only unpopular, but it can also be downright dangerous.  During the holocaust it was dangerous to reveal your Jewish background.  The Nazis made our people wear Yellow Stars of David so that all Jews could be identified.  

There are also times being a believer in Yeshua is also not popular and also dangerous…

10th century Coptic cloth badge incorporating a cross, worn to identify Christians in 10th century Egypt  

The point I am making here is that Esther and her uncle Mordechai knew that she was taking a big risk in stepping out into this cosmic struggle between good and evil.  

Esther, a young Jewish girl, who at first hid her true identity, was thrown to the forefront of politics and government, political intrigue, and the struggle to fight against satanic forces that wanted to commit genocide.

This was not easy for her.  Do you think she felt ready for this challenge? Wouldn’t it be easier for her not to step out into this danger?  Wouldn’t it be easier for her to hide in the shadows of obscurity and wait for someone else to come and save the Jewish people?

Hadassah (her Jewish name) was sent by God for “such a time as this”.  

Even though God’s name does not appear anywhere in the Book of Esther, His name is hidden, but His miracles are not – He designed this young Jewish woman to ascend to the heights of the Persian Empire to enter the very throne room herself – at the risk of dishonoring her husband – the king, the way his first wife Vashti did – and put her own life in danger just so that she could reveal the truth…

At just the right moment for such a time as this...

Mordechai had asked Esther to go un-summoned before the King to plead the case for the Jews – this was against the law of Persia.  She was putting her life at risk.  But her uncle reminded her of her obligation….

Esther 4: 12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?

As Messianic Believers, what is our obligation in this struggle?  When you see the enemies of God and the enemies of Israel lined up – should you remain silent?  

When you witness annihilation and atrocities aimed at the innocent – do you not have an obligation to speak out against it?

Isaiah 62: 1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. 2 The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow….

6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, 7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth. 8 The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: “Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies, and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled; 9 but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the LORD, and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.” 10 Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations. 11 The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.’” 12 They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.

Today we who are believers and proclaimers of the Gospel have a mandate, we have been called to pray and support Israel, the Jewish People.  

We are here today in the 21st century and we have been blessed with salvation given to us by the Jewish Messiah, not so that we can remain silent and hide in obscurity – but rather we have an obligation to step out for the vindication of Zion.

We are called to be Intercessors and Watchmen on the Walls of Jerusalem, to pray and intercede for Israel – and to proclaim to her “See, Oh Zion your God Reigns, Your Savior Comes”…His Name is Yeshua…salvation.

We have an obligation to share the good news with our Jewish People, even today as the kingdom of Persia once again tries to rear it’s head against Israel – where will you be found, for such a time as this?

This is what Esther did…

Esther 8:1 …..Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her. 2 The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate. 

 3 Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. 4 Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him. 

 5 “If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. 6 For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?

Then this edict against the Jews was reversed…

Esther 8: 16 For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. 17 In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.

Notice how there was a revival of faith and many people it says here became Jews.  What would it look like if all believers fulfilled their obligation as Esther did, imagine seeing our entire nation rejoicing and many Americans becoming born-again believers in Yeshua?

Esther 9: 1 On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them…..
20 Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, 21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar 22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor

 23 So the Jews agreed to continue the celebration they had begun, doing what Mordecai had written to them. 24 For Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast the pur (that is, the lot) for their ruin and destruction. 25 But when the plot came to the king’s attention, he issued written orders that the evil scheme Haman had devised against the Jews should come back onto his own head, and that he and his sons should be impaled on poles. 26 (Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word pur.) Because of everything written in this letter and because of what they had seen and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews took it on themselves to establish the custom that they and their descendants and all who join them should without fail observe these two days every year, in the way prescribed and at the time appointed. 28 These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews—nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants.

Nor should the memory of these events ever die out among the spiritual descendants of Abraham.

If you have been grafted in to the rich olive root, Yeshua the Jewish Messiah, then you are a child of Abraham by faith – then you too must never forget the memory of these days of Purim.

At this season, as we observe and celebrate this great deliverance, let us remember Israel today and pray for her deliverance once more.

Come quickly Lord Yeshua. Amen.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ezekiel 2 17 18 - ch 29-30

Sefer Yechezekel ספר יחזקאל Book of Ezekiel Study Lesson 16 (ch. 31-32)

1. Explain the significance and meaning of the first day of the third month of the 11th year?

2. Why is Assyria described with such “greatness” as that of the great Cedars of Lebanon, explain the significance and what does it mean?

3. Who is the ruler of nations and the ruthless barbarians that cut the tree down, what is this all referring to?

4. Who was it that went down to Sheol, who are “they” that all went down with “him” down to Sheol – who are all of these spoken about in vs. 15-17?

5. Explain the meaning of “drenching the land with the flow of your blood up to the hills, and the ravines will be full”, what does this mean?

6. Vs. 17 says the fifteenth day of the month of the 12th year, which month is it talking about; what is the significance of this date, what does it mean?

7. Egypt and Assyria are mentioned in ch. 32, now in vs. 24 Elam is mentioned who are they and what are they guilty of?

8. Who is Meshech-Tubal and what is their guilt?

9. Who is Edom and what is their guilt?

10. Who are the Zidonians, what are they known for, who was one famous descendent of Zidon, and what is their guilt?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Broken Hearts on this Rosh Chodesh Adar

Today, Shevat 30, 5778, we pray for the 17 victims of yesterday's school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and remember their families

We are heartbroken and sickened by reports of yet again another shooting of innocent students in their school.  This Shabbat, I will be addressing the tragedy that our nation just experienced this week at Tikvat's Torah Service; to give insights from the Bible on how believers should react to this, and what we should be doing to prevent such horrible acts of violence and terrorism in the future...

In the meantime, let us all mourn, remember and pray, call on the name of our G-d for Salvation and Peace for our people in this coming New Month.

May the memories of all the students and teachers and other administrators who lost their lives in Parkland yesterday remain and be a blessing to all those who knew and loved them.

And may the survivors find healing from Heaven, both physically, spiritually, and emotionally, and in every way, quickly and soon, in the Name of our Messiah, Yeshua


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sefer Yechezekel ספר יחזקאל Book of Ezekiel Study Lesson 15 (ch. 29-30)

Ezekiel 29-30 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Prophecy Against Egypt

1. What exactly is the 12th day of the 10th month of the 10th year?

2. What is significant about the symbolic language of the hook in Pharaoh’s jaws and the fish that stick to his scales; what does this represent?

3. What does it mean when it says, that Egypt was a staff of reed to the house of Israel?

4. How did Israel take their hand, and how did Egypt snap and tear their shoulders, and broke and wrenched their hips?

5. What else was Egypt guilty of; and what was the punishment decreed against them and how was it ever fulfilled in Egypt’s history?

6. How is Egypt’s punishment similar to Israel’s and did the end result of their punishment also been fully realized in their history?

7. What is the first day of the first month of the 27th year; what is this a reference to?

8. Why does the text say that Nebuchadnezzar made no profit from capturing Tyre, explain?

9. Translate the word “horn” in vs. 21, what does this word mean and what is it a reference to?

10. Ch. 30 starts off by announcing the doom of Egypt, but then mentions other nations in vs. 5; why does it include these other nations, and who are the “children of the covenant land”?

11. Why is Ethiopia described as being “complacent”?

12. Describe who or what these names are: Noph, Pathros, Zoan, No, Sin, Aven, Pi-beseth and Tehaphnehes?

13. What is the 7th day of the 1st month of the 11th year; what is this a reference to?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sefer Yechezekel ספר יחזקאל Book of Ezekiel Study Lesson 14 (ch. 27-28)

1. Describe Tyre’s beauty, what is the symbolism of the description in the text, why did Adonai command Ezekiel to create this Lament for Tyre?

2. Who and what was Elishah?

3. Explain the description of Tyre’s navy, what was significant about it?

4. Explain the description of Tyre’s army, who were the nations that contributed to it’s “splendor”?

5. Who is Tarshish, what is significant about them; and describe Javan Tubal and Meshech, and what horrible crime are they guilty of committing along with Tyre?

6. What is the purpose of describing all the nations who were Tyre’s “customers”; why is this important and also what is important about the mentioning of the “ships of Tarshish” in vs. 25?

7. What happened to Tyre and how was this prophetic judgement fulfilled, and is this description accurate in what actually happened to Tyre?

8. What was the Prince of Tyre guilty of; and why does the text say he was wiser than Daniel, and that no secret was hidden from him; explain how this was true and how he came about this ‘wisdom’?

9. What happens to the Prince, and what was the primary reason for this demise?

10. Who really is the King/Prince of Tyre – what is his identity according to vs. 11-19?

11. Who or what is the briar pricking at the house of Israel; and who is Zidon?

12. What is the prophetic “silver lining” of the conclusion of ch. 28; and does this promise remain in effect today?

Compelling Evidence for God: Jewish History

Announcements 2 3 18

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Sefer Yechezekel ספר יחזקאל Book of Ezekiel Study Lesson 13 (ch. 25-26)

1. What did the nation of Ammon do to deserve this punishment from Adonai and what lesson does this teach the nations today?

2. Who are the people of Moav & Seir; and who is described as the glorious country of: Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim, and what did they do to deserve punishment?

3. Who is Edom, and what exactly did they do to Judah, how do the commentators describe how this played out in history…?

4. What did the Philistines do to Judah; and who are the Cherethites?

5. What is significant of the mention of the first day of the month in the 11th year; and what did Tyre do against Jerusalem, and how did Yeshua the Messiah mention this and in what context did He teach on it?

6. Describe how the punishment of Tyre in vs. 19-20 have actually been fulfilled in Biblical history?

Ezekiel 21-22 VIDEO


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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sefer Yechezekel ספר יחזקאל Book of Ezekiel Study Lesson 12 (ch. 23-24)

Ezekiel 23

1. Who is Oholah, and who is Oholibah, what do their names mean?

2. What happened to Oholah, why are Assyrians mentioned and how in Biblical history was this fulfilled?

3. How was Oholibah worse than Oholah in reference to her acts with the Assyrians, what does this refer to?

4. How did Oholibah summon the Babylonians, how was this done in the Biblical historical narrative, and why did she later turn away from them?

5. Why is Oholibah’s youth mentioned and what is the reference to Egypt represent and what does the text mean by saying their flesh is like the flesh of donkeys and whose issue is like that of horses?

6. Why does vs. 31 say that they have walked the way of her sister, what is this a reference to; why is Adonai now delivering her into the hands of her lovers?

7. What exactly was Oholah and Oholibah guilty of doing according to the text?

8. What is meant by vs. 41 “you set out My incense and My oil”, what is this referring to and how was it a sin?


9. What is the 10th day of the 10th month of the Ninth year, what is this date pointing to and what is significant about it?

10. Explain the meaning and significance of the parable of the rusted pot, explain the symbolism of the corrosion, the boiling, the burning, what does this all mean?

11. Explain the symbolism of Adonai taking Ezekiel’s wife, did Adonai really kill his wife and expect him not to mourn literally, or was this figurative, what do the scholars say?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Sefer Yechezekel ספר יחזקאל Book of Ezekiel Study Lesson 11 (ch. 21-22)

1. Who or “what” is the “South”, and who or what is the “brush/forest”?

2. In vs. 6-12, is appears that the Righteous are punished along with the Wicked.  How is this in line with God’s character in other places in Scripture; and if not, how can this be explained?  Give sources

3. What is the significance of the repetition of the word “sword” in vs. 14 – what two individuals do scholars say this “sword” could belong to?

4. Verse 15 mentions the “rod” and “My Son” how is this interpreted, what does it mean and what is the significance?

5. What are the two paths (or “ways”) and what do they signify or “depict”?

6. What is the meaning of the “meaningless divination” and what does it have to do with the number #7?

7. What is the turban and crown a reference of?

8. Why did Nebuchadnezzar not attack Ammon and attack Jerusalem instead; and why are they now judged so harshly by the God of Israel?

9. What exactly is all the blood that was spilled; what is this a reference of; and what is meant in verse 4 about “your days brought near up to your years?

10. How many sins does Ezekiel now list and what was the final one that sealed the deal for Jerusalem?

11. Why is Israel described as a “dross of silver”; what does this description imply about the Jews?

12. In summary, what is the meaning of the phrase, her Kohanim have done violence to My Torah?

13. Was Adonai concerned about a physical wall when He says in vs. 30 that He searched for someone who would build up the wall and stand in the breach; what is the true intention of this language?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Sefer Yechezekel ספר יחזקאל Book of Ezekiel Study Lesson 10 (ch. 19-20)

Ezekiel 19 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

1. Verses 1-4 describe a lamentation for the Princes of Israel, and it’s “mother”, and they are described as a lioness and her cubs.  Who is the “mother” and who is the first cub, and what did he do?

2. Describe how the cub “devoured people”?

3. In vs. 5-9 a “second cub” is described, who is this cub?

4. What did the 2nd cub do that made him different than the first?

5. What does the text mean in describing him as a “young lion”?

6. How did this 2nd cub do what is described in vs. 7?

7. What is significant about the mention of the cage with hooks?

8. Who or what is the vine that was once fruitful and full of branches and what happened to it; who does this speak of?

9. What is the “fire” that spread?

Ezekiel 20 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

10. What is the tenth day of the fifth month of the seventh year?  What is this count referring to?

11. Who were these “elders” were they coming to sincerely inquire of Adonai and how do we know whether they were or were not sincere?

12. What does vs. 7 mean by saying “throw away the detestable things from his eyes, and not defile yourselves with the idols”?

13. Why did Adonai relent from His anger at Israel while they were still in Egypt, what was the reason?

14. Why did Adonai also relent while the Jews were in the “Wilderness”?

15. Why did Adonai also relent from His anger and punishment on the generation that succeeded the Wilderness; and what is the meaning of vs. 25-26 regarding statutes that were “not good” and ordinances by which they could not live”?  What is the meaning of this?