What is it Worth?

Did you ever wonder what you are worth?  What would a person pay for you if you were for sale? Would someone pay for your friendship? Would someone pay for your life? You know we all have worth, everyone of us. You may say,  “Yea! a doctor or a scientist maybe, but I have nothing special to offer. I’m not very smart. I am not very good looking. I’m not even outgoing.”  But I am here to tell you that you are so wrong. Everyone likes a story so let me tell you one. There was a man who created toys. He had very expensive toys that people would collect, and put on shelves for all to see, and he also had everyday toys, affordable for those who could not afford to pay  much money. He even had toys that he could not throw away even though they had flaws. People from all over the world would come to his toyshop to buy his toys. Not too far away from his store was an orphanage. When the children were able to go out, they would all run to his store to look inside the window. They all would say to one another, if only I could buy this toy or that toy. Then they would walk back to the orphanage and dream of what they had just seen. The months came and went and many of these children never were adopted, but they never gave up hope that one day they too would have parents that would buy them one of those toys in the window. Well, sure enough, one day a very rich man came to the orphanage, because he loved children so much.  They did not realize that this man was a king from another country.  He knew every child’s name.  The children were amazed and full of wonder. He opened a large bag, and do you know what was inside of it? Yes, all kinds of toys, and he handed them out to everyone. He not only gave everyone a toy, but he adopted every child in the orphanage. He became their father and He gave them his name. Now all of these boys and girls became children of the king and citizens of his kingdom, and they lived happily ever after. You may say that this is a little kid’s story, but I tell you this story in many ways is a true story.

Yes, we do have  worth. There was one man who paid the ultimate price for us, each one of us, because He so loved us that He paid the price with His own life.

He came and gave each one of us gifts, and like the story  we too are all orphans in one way or another, but this man  has adopted each one of us  as His children and He has given us His name. Now we have all become citizens of His kingdom.  Yes, this man exists and His name is Jesus! Jesus has bought each one of us  as 

1 Peter 1:18-19 says,  “You know that in the past the way you were living was useless. It was a way of life you learned from those who lived before you. But you were saved from that way of living. You were bought, but not with things like gold or silver.  You were bought with the precious blood of Jesus.” Today, consider yourself a person who has worth, for God who created you, loves you so much that He was willing to die for you. That is what He thinks you are worth.                                                    

“Safety Zone”/Blog

The Birth Of The Messiah In Creation

Did you know that the story of Creation parallels the story of Messiah’s birth?

Join us, as we take a closer look into the birth of the Messiah.

Colossians 1:15-20 says this about the Messiah, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation:  for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  He is also the head of the body, the congregation of believers; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.  For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,  and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

The fact that Paul says that He was the first born only means that He had supremacy over all creation.  John 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being.”

So let’s start at the beginning and to start at the beginning, we have to start before the foundation of the world, before God created the heavens and the earth. It was then that God created the angels. 

Job 38:4-7 tells us this, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements? Since you know.

Or who stretched the measuring line over it? On what were its bases sunk?

Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

We see that God called the angels “sons of God” because it was God who gave birth to the angels. Scripture does not tell us how the angels were created, but we do know that the angels were created to live in the spiritual realm where God resides.

 We also know several other things about the angels like they are ministering agents for God, (Hebrews 1:14). 

Psalm 104:4 tells us this, “He makes the winds His messengers, flaming fire His ministers.”

Are we not also His messengers and ministering agents?

John 3:8 says this, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so is everyone who has been born of the Spirit.” 

The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Jesus, and we too, become like the wind, God’s messengers bringing the Good News when we are born of the Spirit of Messiah.

Yeshua is also fire as we read in  Revelation 19:12, “His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.”

God is fire as Ezekiel 8:2 tells us,  “ As I looked, I beheld a figure that had the form of a man. From the area of his waist downward, He appeared to be like fire, and upward from His waist, He seemed to have a brilliance like gleaming amber.”

Besides the angels being wind and fire we also know that angels have titles showing rank like the Archangel Michael who is called the Chief Prince as we read in Daniel 12:1.

We see that angels have names, and their names are a reflection of the Messiah.

Michael whose name means “He who is as God

 John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Again in  John 10:38 Yeshua says “ I and the Father are One.”  

The Archangel Uriel who is called the Angel of Wisdom, because he shines light on God’s truth. The name Uriel means “God is my Light

 John 1:4 says,  “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.”

Archangel Raphael whose name means “God Heals,

And who came down and healed? Isaiah 53:5 says, “ He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

Archangel Gabriel whose name means “God is my Strength,”

 Exodus 15:4 says, “ The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.”

Again in Psalm 46:1,  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

Archangel Rophiel whose name means “Beauty of God,”

Psalm 27 :4 says this, “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,

to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.”

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”  Song of Solomon 2:1 

This speaks of Messiah’s beauty and a sweet smelling fragrance as He offered Himself up as a living sacrifice unto the Lord.  Remember frankincense was given to Him by one of the wise men indicating just that.

Archangel Ariel whose name means “Lion of God”,

 Revelation 5:5 says this,  “And one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to be able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Archangel Chamuel whose name means “He who sees God.”

 John 6:46 says,  “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.”

Even though all of these 7 angels may have their name which  speaks about the Messiah, Philippians 2: 5-11 says this,  “ Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Messiah,  who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,  but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross.  For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,  so that at the name of Yeshua every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and that every tongue will confess that the Messiah  is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

 Jesus’s Hebrew name is Yeshua which means “God’s Salvation” and we will refer to Him by His Hebrew name because Jesus does not translate into the Messiah’s given name and His real purpose in life.  Yeshua is also called by many other names as Isaiah 9:6 tells us, “For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Again Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel (God with us).

Isaiah 11:1 says, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

John 15:5 says this of us, “I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

We are the fruit of the Messiah, and when we bring the message of salvation to others, then we too, bear fruit.

Jeremiah 23:5 goes on to say this, “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” 

This of course speaking of the Messiah. The gifts of the Magi give us a picture of  the kingship of Yeshua in the gold, the deity of Yeshua in the frankincense, and the death of Yeshua in the myrrh.

So let’s continue on with the story of the Creation of God’s Salvation.

Luke 1: 26-35 tells us this, “ Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee named Nazareth,  to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”  But she was very perplexed at this statement, and was pondering what kind of greeting this was.  And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Yeshua.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;  and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”  But Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”  The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; for that reason also the holy Child will be called the Son of God.” 

The angel tells Mary that she will conceive in the womb and give birth to a son.

Mary asks, “How can this be so?” He answers, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”

Let’s look at Creation. Genesis 1:2 says, “And the earth was a formless and desolate emptiness, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” 

This sounds like the womb, hidden, formless, darkness, water. 

Psalm 139:13-16 tells us this,  “For You created my innermost parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully formed in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my formless substance; and in Your book were written all the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”

The angel  tells Mary that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and over shadow her. Is this not what we see in the beginning of Creation, the Holy Spirit was hovering over the womb that would give birth to all Creation? Genesis goes on to say in verse 3, “Then God said, “Let there be light,and there was light.” God spoke and there was light, and when the Most High overshadowed Mary, 

God also spoke, and His Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Yeshua is the Light who dwelt among us! (John 1:14

Yeshua was also called the Son of God, because God gave birth to His only begotten Son as John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 

The word in Hebrew for womb is Rechem, it comes from the root word Racham which means compassion/mercy. The womb is a place where one is protected from harm, like the ark that protected Noah and his family, who also were in the water, over the surface of the deep in darkness. Noah also sent out the dove who hovered over the waters, (Genesis 7) and as we know God created once again life.

We too are called the children of God. 

In Psalm 57:8  and 108:2 the Psalmist writes, “ Awake, my glory! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.” And again,” Awake, harp and lyre; I will awaken the dawn!”

Ephesians 2:1-7 says this,   “ And you were dead in your offenses and sins,  in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Messiah and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua so that in the ages to come He might show the boundless riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Yeshua.”

It is God’s compassion and mercy, His Racham that gives us life.

Let’s look at one more, Psalm110:3 says, “Your people will volunteer freely on the day of Your power; in holy splendor, from the womb of the dawn, Your youth are to You as the dew.” 

Every day the womb of the dawn is giving birth to a new day, because God in His mercy and compassion, at the time of Creation gave us a womb that we call earth, our home till we one day will be with Him for eternity.

Let’s end with this . We are dead in our transgressions. So we must become alive in our souls. During the High Holy Days between The Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, we blow the shofar and say, “Awake you who are sleepy and consider your deeds and return to God.” In  John 3:3-8 Yeshua tells Nicodemus that unless He is born again, born of the Spirit, he will not see the kingdom. It is Yeshua who makes us alive. We are new creations in Him,  2 Corinthians 5:17 says,  “Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” We must die to ourselves and be born of the Spirit. We must come out of the womb, a place of darkness, and let God’s light shine upon us during this Season of Light.

Did you know that when the people of Israel left Egypt that they stayed in a town called Sukkot, which means booths, and they built these booths for their livestock, and slept in them that very first night. Yeshua was also born in a booth or what we call a manger, also with the livestock, and it is strongly believed that Yeshua was born on the first day of Sukkot, which we call the Feast of Tabernacles. He was also born in Bethlehem as Micah 5:2 tells us, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

Not only was Bethlehem the city of David, but Bethlehem means the “House of Bread.” Yeshua is the “Bread of Life who has come down from heaven, John 6:35. The bread of life is the Word of God

We saw in Job 38:7  that the angels were also called the morning stars.

Revelation 22:16 says, “I, Yeshua, have sent My angel to testify to you of these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

It was the star that led the wisemen to the Messiah.  Matthew 2:1-2 says, “Now after Yeshua was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,  “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

Could the star have been an angel who led these men to the Messiah? We too, are suppose to let our light shine so that people will be drawn to Him as 

Matthew 5:14-16 says. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;  nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Now let’s read the story about that night when the archangel came with his glorious message, along with a heavenly host, praising the newborn king, the anointed one of God, the Messiah, our salvation

“Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And all the people were on their way to register for the census, each to his own city.  Now Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,  in order to register along with Mary, who was betrothed to him, and was pregnant.  While they were there, the time came for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock at night.  And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood near them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  And so the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army of angels praising God and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased.” When the angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem, then, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.  When they had seen Him, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.  And all who heard it were amazed about the things which were told  them by the shepherds.  But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.  And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.” 

Out of the womb Creation was born, a word that was spoken, a word that became our salvation. 

The Mercy’s Of The Lord

We want to take a closer look at Psalm 118, because it speaks of the mercy of God.

When people go through their trials, they tend to think that God does not care about them, or that He is mean and cruel. But the psalmist speaks differently.

We know by Scripture that David had many low points in his life. But as he wrote most of the psalms, we see that he always turned to God for he knew about God’s mercy.

Psalm 118 :1-4 says,  “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy is everlasting. Let Israel say, “His mercy is everlasting.” Oh let the house of Aaron say,

“His mercy is everlasting.” Let those who fear the Lord say, “His mercy is everlasting.”

Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations 3:22-24 this, “The Lord’s acts of mercy indeed do not end, for His compassions do not fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I wait for Him.”

David continues to write in Psalm 118:5-9, “From my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and put me in an open space. The Lord is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me? The Lord is for me among those who help me;

therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the Lord

than to trust in noblemen.”

King David knew trials and distress, for Saul tried to kill him, and even his own son was trying to overthrow him from the throne. Many people wished him ill, and would not come to his aid. But one thing David knew was that he could always run to God. God was his refuge, his shelter and only in God did he trust.

Psalm 62:1-9,  David writes,  “My soul, wait in stillness, only for God from Him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress I will never be moved. How long will all of you assault a man, to crush him, like a leaning wall, a fence to be torn down? They only plot to topple him from his rank. Delighting in falsehood, they bless with their mouth, but inwardly they curse.  My soul, wait in stillness, only for God for from Him comes my expectation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my strong tower I will not be moved. On God, my salvation and my glory is the rock of my strength. My refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people. Pour out your heart in His presence. God is our refuge.”

Our trials, our struggles, our sorrows, can push us beyond our limit, and it seems as though the whole world is against us.  David understood this, that in all of his distress, God was with him. 

David continues in Psalm 118:10-14,  “All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I will certainly fend them off. They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I will certainly fend them off. They surrounded me like bees; they were extinguished like a fire of thorn bushes; in the name of the Lord I will certainly fend them off. You pushed me violently so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.”

 In  the midst of his trials, Psalm 139:23-24 tells us that David asks God to examine his heart. “Search me, God, and know my heart;    test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me,    and lead me in the way everlasting.”

David knew that unless he was right with God that he would be separated from Him, for sin separates us from God, and he would not, or could not have the victory. And though David was disciplined by God, God in His great mercy did not turn him over to death, which would have been a victory for his enemies. Psalm 118:15-18 goes on, “The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; the right hand of the Lord performs valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord performs valiantly. I will not die, but live, and tell of the works of the Lord. The Lord has disciplined me severely, but He has not turned me over to death.”

Yeshua tells us that He is the door ( John 10:9) for all to go through, and David knew that Yeshua (God’s Salvation) was the only way to a life in God.

Psalm 118: 19-21 tells us this, “Open the gates of righteousness to me; I will enter through them, I will give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous will enter through it. I will give thanks to You, for You have answered me, and You have become my salvation.”

Psalm 118 : 28-29 ends the same way in which it started.  “You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I exalt You. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy is everlasting.”

Today if you are struggling and you feel the whole world is against you, do what David did, as he writes again in Psalm 61: 1-4, “Hear my cry, O God,   listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to You   when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock   that is higher than I, for You have been my refuge,    a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever!   Let me take refuge under the shelter of Your wings!”

The Clarion, Nov. 2022


Welcome

As we find ourselves in the middle of autumn and with the change in weather, we often start putting our thoughts on the holidays that are quickly approaching. Thanksgiving to New Years become a very busy time for us, but after coming so far in the year, it is hard not to begin to reflect on all that has happened this past year. It is amazing just how much really does happen in a year. We have so much to be thankful for as we have lived through this past year. Good or bad, happy or sad, either way, God was there. God saw and He knew, every moment of this past year. So today we are here, only because God has brought us to this point in time. We tend to diminish the time we take once a year to celebrate, not us, not all that we have accomplished, but all that God has accomplished. But for some people they do not have a problem going shopping or watching sports, instead of being with family or friends. The first Thanksgiving was held in 1621 by the Pilgrims in Plymouth. They came through a hard winter with many people dying, and they were thankful that they had made it through the year with a bountiful harvest.

Though it was not called thanksgiving, it was a time of prayer and reflection on all that God had done for them, and so as it was the custom, they  shared a meal. President Abraham Lincoln, in 1863, proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, calling on the American people to also, “with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience  fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation…”. Lincoln declared it for the last Thursday in November. Lincoln  was thankful that our country survived the Civil War, with so many lives lost, and so many who lost all, that like the Pilgrims, he saw fit to have a national time of thanksgiving unto the Lord. We have gone through a pandemic, a time of great sorrow, and death in the world, and we also have seen our country so divided over this last year. We have seen shortages, and inflation, and crime soar, so we too, need to come as a country, and  be thankful for all that God has brought us through. Thanksgiving should be a National Day for all Americans to come together and be thankful that we have made it this far.


Before Honor Comes Humility

Proverbs 15:31-33 tells us this, “One whose ear listens to a life-giving rebuke will stay among the wise. One who neglects discipline rejects himself, but one who listens to a rebuke acquires understanding. The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.”

No one likes to be rebuked, and no one likes to be disciplined, but as we see, both are necessary before honor can come. So let us take a closer look at what God’s word has to say about all of this. 

2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us,  “All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness;  so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work.”

Then he says it again in, 2 Timothy 4:1-2, “I solemnly exhort you in the presence of God and of Messiah Yeshua, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction.”

Titus 2:11-15 also says, For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people,  instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and in a godly manner in the present age,  looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Messiah Yeshua, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, eager for good deeds. These things speak and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. No one is to disregard you.”

So we see that God is telling us to rebuke those who need to be rebuked, but we must rebuke them with great patiences and in love and of course, by the Word of God.  Scripture shows us that discipline and rebuke often go hand and hand.

Proverbs 12:1 says, “One who loves discipline loves knowledge, but one who hates rebuke is ignorant.” Proverbs 13:18 also tells us, “Poverty and shame will come to one who neglect discipline, but one who complies with rebuke will be honored.”

And once again in Proverbs 15:5,  “A fool rejects his father’s discipline, but he who complies with rebuke is sensible.”

Proverb 3:11-18 says,  “My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His rebuke, for whom the Lord loves He disciplines, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights. Blessed is a person who finds wisdom, and one who obtains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver, and her produce better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are those who hold on to her.”

So we see that God our Father has to discipline us for our good as  Hebrews 12:7-12 also tells us,  “It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.  Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?  For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.  For the moment, all discipline seems not to be pleasant, but painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble,  and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is impaired may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.”

In Revelation 3:15-19 Yeshua is speaking to the church in Laodicea, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.  So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have no need of anything,” and you do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked,  I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to apply to your eyes so that you may see.  Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” 

So we see that there are times when we must rebuke, and times when we must discipline, even in the church. James 5:20 tells us, “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” 

To rebuke someone may be difficult, but if it is done in love, and not in malicious intent or pride or even in anger, then it is for the person’s well being.

Matthew 18:15-17 says, “Now if your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have gained your brother.  But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that on the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be confirmed.  And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the congregation; and if he refuses to listen even to the congregation, he is to be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector,” (as a non-believer).

Today we do not deal with sin within the church.  2 Timothy 3:1-5 tells us, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,  unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,  treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these.”

These are people who are, or even were, believers who sat in our pews. So how can we go to one and tell them of  the speck in their eye, when we have a plank in our own eye? Matthew 7:3-5, says we must first get the plank out of our eye!

Galatians 6:1-10 also says, “Brothers and sisters, even if a person is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you are not tempted as well. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Messiah. For if anyone thinks that he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.  But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting, but to himself alone, and not to another. For each one will bear his own load. The one who is taught the Word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap.  For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.  Let’s not become discouraged in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not become weary.  So then, while we have opportunity, let’s do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

There is a great reward for those who endure discipline. They yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness  and riches and honor, and those who listen to a rebuke, wisdom, but what about humility?

Proverb 22:4 tells us this, “The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord

are riches, honor, and life.” Again in Matthew 5:5,  “Happy are those who are humble;  they will receive what God has promised!”

True humility leads to repentance.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says,  “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, (repentance), then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Finally,  James 4:8-10 tells us,Come close to God and He will come close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into gloom.  Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”

Today, open your hearts to what people may say that seems like a rebuke. Don’t be afraid to let yourself be disciplined, and most of all acknowledge your sins before God and He will bring honor from humility.


Recipe Corner:         Apple Coffee Cake by My Baking Addiction

Ingredients:  

 FOR THE CAKE:   

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature.  

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar                   2 large eggs, room temperature

2 cups all purpose flour                                           1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons apple pie spice                                     1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup sour cream                                                      2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith apples

FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING:

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar                        1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice                           4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

FOR THE BROWN SUGAR GLAZE:

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar                  1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract                              2 tablespoons warm water

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray.

FOR THE CAKE

  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; about 3 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, apple pie spice, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream. Stir in the vanilla and fold in the apples until evenly incorporated into the batter. 
  • Pour into the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. 

FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING

  • In a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, apple pie spice, and butter, and combine with a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes. 
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

FOR THE GLAZE

  • In a bowl, combine the sugar, apple pie spice, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth. Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let it harden slightly. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
  • Enjoy!   HAPPY THANKSGIVING…

Hebrew Corner : The Month of Cheshvan

Cheshvan also known as Marcheshvan is the eighth month counting from Passover. Marcheshvan means “bitter Cheshvan” because there are no festivals, feasts or fasts in this month. This month marks the beginning of the cold and rainy season in Israel. The Torah records this about the month of Cheshvan, remember, God had not yet changed the order of the months which was done at the time of the first Passover. Genesis 7:10-11 says this about the flood and the month of Cheshvan, “After seven days the water flooded the earth.  On the seventeenth day of the second month of the 600th year of Noach’s life all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of the sky were opened.”

We also see this in Genesis 8:13-14, one year later about Cheshvan, 

“By the first day of the first month of the 601st year the water had dried up from off the earth; so Noach removed the covering of the ark and looked; and, yes, the surface of the ground was dry.  It was on the twenty-seventh day of the second month that the earth was dry.”

I guess that could be another reason why Marcheshvan is called bitter for it was a time of judgment and hardship. This month is also known for the infamous  “Die Kristallnacht” (Night of Broken Glass) when the Natzi’s began their terrorizing of the Jewish people. Also in this month the pogrom that initiated the Holocaust began with it’s purpose to disarm all German Jews, which was the pretext of genocide of all the Jews. But many Jewish people are hopeful, for they feel one day this month will lose its bitterness when the third Temple will be inaugurated in this month. Many Messianic believers believe this will be the Temple that the anit-christ will defame and Yeshua will restore. 

Revelation 21:3-4 tells us of the time that will follow the Messianic Age when God will remove the bitterness from our lives, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

This is the eight month, the month of restoration.

Secret Societies

“Clarion Call”

“Blow the trumpet in Zion;

    sound the alarm on my holy mountain.”(Joel 2:1)

It’s time for all people to awaken from their slumber. 

This is a time to see clearly the signs of the times.

No.24                            JudeoChristianClarion.Com         “Secret Societies”


Secret Societies are just that secret, and you have to ask yourself why are they so secretive?  Why this shroud that covers their meetings, and yet they are so open about the good things that they do?  It is like a storefront business that covers for the crime that takes place in the back room. Can anything be good that is done in secret? God tells us to let our light shine before men, and not hide it under a bushel, Matthew 5:14-15. But this is just what they have done, they let us see the good things, but they hide their darkness under a bushel basket.

Luke 12:2 says, “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.”

There are many secret societies like the Freemasons, (Shriners, Knights Templar, the Cross of Lorraine) Illuminati,  the Order of Skull and Bones,(which many of our modern day presidents belong to) and the Bilderberg, just to name a few. We also caution our college students, for many schools have their own secret societies in which they do their oaths and rituals. The Knight of Columbus also has its degrees where one can work up to becoming the 14th Supreme Knight and do it all shrouded by doing good works.

According to Joe Carter, senior writer of the Gospel Coalition writes  this on  February 2020

“Freemasonry is the teachings and practices of the secret fraternal (men-only) order of Free and Accepted Masons, known as Freemasons or Masons. The Freemasons are the oldest and largest worldwide secret society, with an estimated 3 million members around the world, including 1 million in the United States. In addition to the main body of Freemasonry, there are various offshoots, such as the Shriners (known formally as the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shriners, they are also required to be Masons).” Today there are women’s groups, and youth groups, and people of all races and creeds that can now join many of these societies.

The definition of Freemasonry as they sell it is “a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.”  Freemasonry was designed to make a man a moral man as found in Aristotle’s Nicomachean ethics. “Moreover, the good man is not the one who does a good deed here and there, now and then, but whose life is good, ‘for as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy.’” 

Freemasonry today is a place where some people just make friends and acquaintances, and for some, it is a place or a way to discuss the philosophies of life, and yet for others, it is a way to do goodwill and charity. Many may have one or more of these reasons for joining the fraternity, but no matter the reason, Freemasonry is considered a “society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values,” according to the Grand Lodge of North Carolina. The Grand Lodge of North Carolina also explains that “Freemasonry seeks to unite good men of all backgrounds and make them better husbands, fathers, and citizens by encouraging and cultivating friendship, morality, and brotherly love. They also charge that “Freemasonry is the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, nonpolitical, fraternal and charitable organization.” 

But let’s uncover the truth, to be in most secret societies you have to believe in a god, because then they tell you all will be saved, so all is well. They have a narrative of salvation that is not in God’s Word. This is a universalist approach and it begins the appeal to the conscience. Anything that happens later, well you can tell yourself that it must be alright because these people believe in God and all will be saved.  Unfortunately, they may believe in a god, but it may not be your God, and going forward it all will only take you down. These societies are their own religion, it is nothing but idolatry. God does not do things in darkness, and He does not have you taking worldly oaths, and doing demonic rituals. Christians in Masonic Lodges who sit under these teachings and perform these rituals of Freemasonry that are antithetical to the teachings of Jesus claim, for example, that the “bloody oaths” they take are non-binding and shouldn’t be taken literally—and yet they will reject recommendations that such oaths be done away with. Also in these rituals they use the name of three different gods all from false religions, and it is upon these gods that people take these oaths. One must ask themselves, am I bringing glory to the One True God?

John 3:19 tells us, “And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil.”

Many denominations have condemned secret societies, and yet, today  what started as a prestigious  organization of businessmen has developed into an organization of all sorts of men, including clergy from all denominations and men from all walks of life. Their front is their good works. 

Ephesians 5:11 tells us,  “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”

Many of these societies have different levels to obtain. The deeper you go into their false religion, the higher you go up the ladder, and this illustration is used as they refer to Jacob’s ladder in their first ritual to make it easy on Chrisitans to begin their indoctrination. They speak of faith, hope and love to entrap the person into thinking that this is a moral organization and now that you are convinced and you have fallen hook, line, and sinker, they trap you to go to the next level. Every level requires taking oaths and having rituals that are not of the One True God, but only of the god of darkness, for this is what it does to a person, it brings them down deeper and deeper until they no longer believe in the One True God. Today many pastors do not believe in God. They do not believe in what they preach, and so because of this their preaching is shallow.

1 John 1:6 says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” 

 Also 2 Corinthians 6:14 says,  “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?”

We must also remember what it tells us in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15,  “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”

Pastors who belong to secret societies most often will not condemn organizations such as the Freemasons, or other secret societies. They will shut down Biblical  truth or twist the truth, which only leads to a congregation that will not accept the truth either. Pastors who condone secret societies may do so if there are congregants who he knows belong to certain societies and are big financial  givers to the church which is just as bad as if he himself was a member.

The purpose of this podcast is not to delve deep into these secret societies, but to warn the flock of  the wolves that prowl around in congregations today including the pastors and deacons who head up their congregations. Today over half of the pastors in America do not have a Biblical worldview. Only about half of the American people consider themselves to be Chrisitan. Truly a result of false teaching and shallow teaching in our churches today.  But you have to wonder, how well are these secret societies doing today?  They are doing well feasting on men’s souls.

In Acts 20:28-30 Paul says this,  “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.  I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;  and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them.”

If you would like to know more about the lies of secret societies and the people who live in the shadows of their deep darkness, and who put on sheeps clothing to do their good works, you can go to several websites or YouTube videos. Read the written transcript of this podcast for a few  more web addresses.

https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3800&context=doctoral
https://www.preachtheword.com/sermon/cults15.shtml

http://www.emfj.org/pastors.htm

Fun Facts About The Feast Of Tabernacles

THE FOUR SPECIES

The hidden message behind the four species is very interesting. 

Leviticus 23: 39-40 tells us, “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have brought your crops in from your fields, celebrate the Feast of God for seven days. The first day is a complete rest and the eighth day is a complete rest. On the first day, pick the best fruit from the best trees; take fronds of palm trees and branches of leafy trees and from willows by the brook and celebrate in the presence of your God for seven days—yes, for seven full days celebrate it as a festival to God.”

We will start with the etrog. We are commanded to take fruit from the citrus tree, a tree lovely to look at, a new leaf from a palm tree,  boughs of a leafy tree, and willow branches, and shake them with joy as we celebrate the feast. 

So what is all this really about ?  Well, this takes us back to another time, and that time is in the Garden of Eden. Exodus 3:6 says,  “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband with her, and he ate.”

This resulted in great sadness for Adam and Eve. The four species create a picture of the Garden. God told Adam that he could eat from any tree, except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.   So now God has us  putting things back together, with the fruit, the leaves, the branch, and the trunk (symbolized by the willows that grow in water.) If you continue the progression you then come to the Creator. By taking these in your hand and waving them in celebration, you now have joy and not sorrow. God is a redeemer, He is a restorer, reconciliator  and renewer of all things. Yeshua redeemed us from the sin of the Garden and He restored us to the joy of our salvation by renewing us as Titus 3:5-7 says, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we did in righteousness, but in accordance with His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,  whom He richly poured out upon us through Messiah Yeshua our Savior,  so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  Also in  2 Corinthians 5:17-19 it says, “Therefore if anyone is in Messiah , this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.  Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Messiah and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Messiah reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their wrongdoings against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

Why Palm Branches?

The Bible records in Matthew 21 Yeshua riding on a donkey into Jerusalem and when the people saw this they got very excited. Why? Zechariah 9:9 gives us the answer. “Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is righteous and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

The people saw this prophecy being fulfilled right before their eyes, and they believed that Yeshua was their coming King, their Messiah whom they were waiting for. 

Matthew 21:8-9 records this, “Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road.  Now the crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!”

So why the palm branches? Because the Jewish people have always believed that their Messiah would come during the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). But it was not Tabernacles,  but Passover that was before them, so all they knew was to cut down the palm branches, which were used during the Feast of Tabernacles, and wave them like part of the four species, waving them in joy.

In retrospect- The Spring Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First-Fruits and Pentecost all have been fulfilled by Yeshua, that is why we celebrate in remembrance, like when we celebrate an anniversary,  but the Fall Feasts have not yet been fulfilled, for they all have to do with Messiah’s second coming. The Jewish people did not realize that Messiah would come twice, once as a suffering servant and once as the true coming King, but they are nonetheless waiting for the Messiah. 

The Water Drawing Ceremony

The water drawing ceremony was held on the 7th or last day of the Feast. One of the names for this day is “Hoshana Raba”, which means Great Salvation. This is the meaning of Yeshua’s name – God’s Salvation. Shimcha Torah is on the 7th day of Sukkot, it means the joy in the Torah. Isaiah 12 says,  with joy you will draw water from the wells of Yeshua! Yeshua is the Word made flesh, He is our joy!

Isaiah 12: 2-4 says, “ Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation. And on that day you will say, “Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His name is exalted.”

The water pouring ceremony was the most joyous occasion of the Feast, and this is how the Talmud describes the ceremony:

It was called the “Simchat Beit Hashoavah” – the water-drawing festival. The priests would go down to the pool of Siloam in the City of David (just south of where the Western Wall is today) and they would fill a golden vessel with the water there. They would go up to the temple, through the Water Gate, accompanied by the sound of the shofar, and then they would pour the water so that it flowed over the altar, along with wine from another bowl.  

They also had a light ceremony as it tells us this, “He who has not seen the rejoicing at the place of the water-drawing has never seen rejoicing in his life. At the conclusion of the first festival day of Tabernacles they descended to the court of the women where they had made a great enactment. There were there golden candlesticks with four golden bowls on the top of each of them and four ladders to each, and four youths drawn from the priestly stock in whose hands were held jars of oil… there was not a courtyard in Jerusalem that was not illumined by the light of the place of the water-drawing. Men of piety and good deeds used to dance before them with lighted torches in their hands, and sing songs and praises. And Levites without number with harps, lyres, cymbals and trumpets and other musical instruments were there upon the fifteen steps leading down from the court of the Israelites to the court of the women, corresponding to the fifteen songs of ascents in the psalms…” (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sukkah 51a and 51b)

Those three golden candelabras stood about 75 feet high.

The priests would also carry large palm branches up to the altar waving them as they walked, reciting Psalm 118:25 “Save now (hoshanah), I beseech thee, O LORD! O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity!” and the sound of the large palm branches was like the sound of a mighty blowing wind.  Acts 2:2 tells us this about the day of Pentecost. “Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind and it filled all the house where they were sitting.”

The priests  would then place the branches against the altar, and they would form a sukkah. It was on this last day, during the water ceremony that John 7 :37-38 says, “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Yeshua  stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 

The light ceremony which was called the Great light symbolized God who is light. The candelabra in the Temple was called the Light of the World. Yeshua tells us in John 8: 12 this, “I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

We could go on and on with the symbolism as we could with everyone of God’s Appointed Times, but we will end with this from Zechariah 14.

“On that day there will be no light; the luminaries will die out. For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at the time of evening there will be light. And on that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. And the Lord will be King over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.”

“Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of armies, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.  And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of armies, there will be no rain on them.  And if the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.  This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. On that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the Lord.” And the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the bowls before the altar.  Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the Lord of armies; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of armies on that day.”

What was great sorrow and sadness in the Garden of Eden will turn to great joy when the Messiah returns and restores all things like in the day of the Garden of Eden. This is why we celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles as we wait for our King.

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