The Clarion, Apr. 2023

Volume 4, Issue 4       www.judeochristianclarion.com               April, 2023


Welcome

This month is a time to remember. Yeshua tells us in the middle of the Seder Meal to now look to Him. The Seder is a memorial or a time to remember Israel’s exit from Egypt. But when you come to the point of the Afikoman, and the cup called Salvation, Yeshua said this as recorded by Luke in 22:17-20,  Then, taking a cup of wine, He made the blessing and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves.  For I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the ‘fruit of the vine’ until the Kingdom of God comes.”  Also, taking a piece of matzah, He made the blessing, broke it, gave it to them and said, “This is My body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of Me.”  He did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, “This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by My blood, which is being poured out for you.” You see we all have our exodus from Egypt,  and we all cross the Red Sea because it is God who delivers us, and parts the water, for we have all been delivered from our bondage, and brought into freedom through the blood of Yeshua. This is what the Seder means to a believer. It now takes on a new meaning, one in which we are told to remember the death and resurrection of our Messiah. Why would I not partake of the Seder Meal when my Messiah tells me to remember Him in the Seder?  If you would like to have a Seder at your home or church, you can find everything you need on our website, just search Seder.


The Mishkan, the House of Holiness, Part 3

In the last two months we have learned a lot about the Mishkan and God’s ways of holiness. The Temple was destroyed in 70 Common Era. So does this mean that God no longer dwells with His people?  No, when the Israelites were carried into Babylon they had to continue with their worship and study of Torah, and so the synagogue was created. The Babylonian Talmud was also written. It contained the teachings  and opinions  of hundreds of Rabbis on the Law and the Oral Law. They did not know if they would ever return, so they had to devise a new kind of worship while they were still keeping God’s ways. We see that Yeshua gave the synagogue His blessing  in Luke 4:16, “And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.”

The Mishkan was a place of holiness, even the garments that the priests wore were considered sacred.  Exodus 28:2 says,And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.” 

Leviticus 8:30 also tells us, “Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood from the altar and sprinkled them on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. So he consecrated Aaron and his garments and his sons and their garments.”

We see that not only Aaron was consecrated (made holy) but also his garments. That is how holy the Mishkan was. Leviticus 6:10-11 tells us just how holy the garments were. “ And the priest shall put on his linen robe and linen undergarments, and he shall remove from the altar the ashes of the burnt offering that the fire has consumed and place them beside it. And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a (ceremonial) clean place.”

You see, even the ashes of the burnt offering were holy, and so it was required of the priest to wear  his holy garments. By now you may be saying after reading part two, and up to this point that God was carrying things a bit too far regarding holiness,  I mean the priest, the garments, the altar, the ashes, everything had to be holy. It just means that God is that holy and set-apart. And yes, He wants us just as holy! We don’t seem to understand the magnitude of God’s holiness and the degree of holiness that He demands of us. We see that the leper went about saying, “unclean, unclean.” It wasn’t like wearing a mask, and you won’t catch it, it was about death, and death was impure. Because God is life, and there is holiness in life, and anything that is not life is death, unholy, and that is unclean or impure, tumah in Hebrew. You see the sin offering is as much about sin, as it is about impurity. Remember, sin brings death and separation from God, and so it is considered unholy or unclean, not pure. Luke 2:22 says this,  “When the time came for Mary’s purification offering at the Temple, as required by the laws of Moses after the birth of a child, his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.”

Any bodily discharge from a man or woman was considered unclean, thus it was considered a sin, only because it was unclean. The life of a person was in the blood, and when that so-called life left a person it was now considered as death, even though that person was not physically dead. So these things were considered unclean and unholy.  We see even today that the Greek Orthodox Church still follows this law. God says that He is holy and we also must be holy, 

1 Peter 1:16.  

1 Corinthians 10:21 tells us this, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.”  God is holy and He can not be where it is not holy. Yeshua took on our sin, which brought about death, and He shed His blood which was His life, and this brought about death, and so He became unclean, and unholy for us, so that we may be made righteous or in right standing, holy and clean. As 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us,  “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

This by no means, means that now we are righteous and holy. This means that we now can be righteous and holy if we continue in holiness, for sin still separates us from God and brings death to our souls. So we must repent!  We must continually come before God, and be washed in the blood of Yeshua for He is our sin offering, and by His blood we are made clean. Why? Because now His shed blood by His sacrifice brings us life. We are still in the flesh, and our flesh still sins, and our sins  brings us into judgment with God, because it separates us from God. And we must repent as we read that John was speaking to believers, those in the congregation in 1 John 1:6-10 saying, If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;  but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yeshua His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His Word is not in us.” 

2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

This is why the priests would have to make atonement for their sins before they could bring a sacrifice on behalf of the congregation, because they too, were human, and they too, sinned and became impure. Paul tells us believers this in   2Corinthians 13:5, Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Messiah Yeshua  is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

Yeshua Himself knew that the Temple must be holy as Matthew 21:12 tells us,  And Yeshua entered the Temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the Temple, and He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.  He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

So we must ask ourselves this question, is my place of worship holy? Does God reside in my church? You may answer this by saying, “Well, we no longer live in the Old Testament times.” And I would say, there is no old or new when it comes to God. God is the same today as He was yesterday, and He will be the same tomorrow. His holiness is not a thing of the past. God is holy, and we must be holy, it is as true for us today, as it was in the days of the Apostles, as it was in the days of Moses.  We must consider this, God asked His  people to bring a contribution to build the Mishkan, a place for Him, a dwelling place, for His Name. He wanted the people to sanctify His name. Mikdash means sanctuary. It comes from the root word Kadash, which means set-apart or holy. He wanted the people to give from their hearts, because they needed to want to have God in their midst. God said, “Build Me a dwelling and I will come and dwell in their midst.” Of course, only if it was holy!  So I ask again, is the place where you worship holy? Today in churches we see people on their phones, drinking coffee, not lifting up holy hands. Our lives are not holy when we watch programs that are not appropriate for holiness in word and deed. You may say, you are extreme in your thinking. No, it is just that we have become so much like the world that we have forgotten that God dwells in holiness. We have forgotten the Word of God. 

Remember we too, are priests as 1 Peter 2:9 says,  “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Yeshua had something to say to the church. Revelation 2:4-5 says, “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and I will remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” 

God addresses things like worship of another god, which could be money, job, activities that keep you from prayer and worship, etc. God addresses sexual immorality, which can be lust, pornography, or even watching programs having such content.  Revelation 3: 15 -19 tells us, “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.” 

We must remember who God is and that He is holy and we too, must be holy. This is what we learn from the Mishkan.

 Join us next month as we continue to look at the Mishkan.


Recipe Corner:  Matzo ball soup by Taste of Home

Ingredients:

1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds)         1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth

1-3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided           1 pound carrots, coarsely chopped

6 celery ribs, coarsely chopped                   1/2 cup coarsely chopped sweet onion

2 garlic cloves, minced                                  1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley


Matzo Balls:     2 eggs        2 tablespoons canola oil    

1 package (5 ounces) matzo ball mix      1/4 cup finely chopped onion


Directions:

  1. Place chicken in a large soup kettle; add the broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 55-65 minutes or until meat is tender, skimming the surface as foam rises.
  2. Remove chicken and set aside until cool enough to handle. Strain broth and skim fat. Return broth to the kettle; add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, pepper and remaining salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk eggs and oil. Add matzo ball mix and onion; toss with a fork until combined. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove and discard skin and bones from chicken; chop chicken and add to soup. Stir in parsley. Bring to a boil. Drop 12 rounded teaspoonfuls of matzo ball dough into boiling soup. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a matzo ball comes out clean (do not lift cover while simmering).
  5. With a slotted spoon, carefully remove matzo balls and place one in each soup bowl. Ladle soup over top

Hebrew Corner:  Why is this Night different?

In the Seder the child asks the Father, “Why is this Night different?”

Today’s father would answer his child like this: We eat unleavened bread because leaven symbolizes sin, and we must clean our spiritual house from all sin. 

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 this,Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened.” A piece of matzah is dipped into horseradish to signify the bitterness of their slavery, but then once again it is dipped, but this time a sweet mixture of apples called charoset is placed upon the horseradish signifying that even though we go through our trials, we can have hope as Romans 5:3 says, “And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;  and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” During the Seder you are to recline, though many people don’t. But this signifies that once we were slaves, but now we are free. Yeshua and His disciples reclined at their Seder, Luke 22:7.  “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them,” Luke 12:37. This night is different because it was on this day that Yeshua died for our sins, and it was on this night that our Messiah laid in a grave. 1 Corinthians 5:7b-8 continues to say, “For Messiah our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let’s celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 

It was here at the Seder that Yeshua said,  “When you do this (the Seder) remember Me,” because it is not like any other night, Luke 22:19.

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