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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

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