The Clarion, Sept. 2022
Volume 3, Issue 9 www.judeochristianclarion.com September, 2022
September is a time to say good-bye to Summer and hello to Fall. The kids go back to school, football begins once again and the leaves begin to turn and fall. It is quite a time for change. Many people may be ready for that change, but so often people are never ready for any kind of change. But we can say, thanks be to God who never changes, Hebrews 13:7-8,tells us, “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their way of life, imitate their faith. Messiah Yeshua is the same yesterday and today, and forever.” He is for sure a Rock and a Stronghold. When changes come or uncertainty shows itself, we must know that we can always depend on God. Psalm 33:11 says, “The plan of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation.” He is our anchor, and when you drop your anchor, you know that you will not drift away. As the days get shorter and cooler, we can trust God to be long suffering, and faithful. We no longer have to fear the darkness, which can also bring loneliness, because Yeshua our Messiah, is closer than a brother, Proverbs 18:24.
I’m Going to the Mountain
I’m going to the mountain. I’m going to rendezvous with my Beloved. I’m going to praise the Lord. The Lord is calling me to the mountain. He beckons me to be with Him. I can feel His strength in the mountain. I can feel His love for me. There is beauty in the mountain. There is peace and joy for me. I will lift up my arms and praise the Lord, and I will thank Him for His blessings. The Lord will commune there with me, and I will be filled with joy. I am on my way to the mountain. I am going to the Lord.
Sandiegrams/Holy Ground/copyright 2010
The Mountains of Jerusalem
We want to take a closer look at the center of our faith, Jerusalem. It was here that Yeshua ministered to people and He also stood trial, and was crucified here, and resurrected on the third day, and the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost here, and we could go on and on. Jerusalem is the most fascinating and renowned city in the world, it is the place that God chose to put His name (Deuteronomy 12:12).
One day Yeshua will sit on the throne of David right here in Jerusalem, the city of David as Isaiah 9:7 tells us, “Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”And again in Luke 1:32-33, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.”
Jerusalem will one day be the capital city of the Kingdom of God. Jerusalem is located roughly in the middle of a range of low mountains running north to south throughout central Israel between the Mediterranean and the Jordan Valley, stretching from the Jezreel Valley in the north all the way to Beer Sheva in the south, but Jerusalem is not built on a mountain. Rather, it is built in the mountains, and the city is, in fact, surrounded by seven mountain peaks higher than itself. These seven mountain peaks surrounded the ancient city of Jerusalem (which was then much smaller than modern day Jerusalem which has greatly expanded in recent generations). These peaks are (1) Mount Scopus, (2) Mount of Olives, (3) Mount of Corruption (all three are peaks of a ridge stretching east of the City itself), (4) Mount Ophel, (5) the original Mount Zion/Moriah (today’s Temple Mt.), (6) the New Mount Zion (where the traditional Upper Room is located), and (7) the peak upon which the Roman Antonia Fortress was built just north of the Temple.
The entire area of Jerusalem is called the “Land of Moriah.” Genesis 22:2 says, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 2 Chronicles 3:1 tells us, “Solomon began to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite…”
Mount Moriah also is called the “Land of Myrrh” because the Hebrew word for Myrrh is mor. Myrrh was an ingredient in incense, which was used in the Temple service, thus indicating the worship of God. Mount Moriah was also called the land of worship because of the Temple. The word Moriah comes from two words, Mori which means my teacher and Ya which is Yahweh. So then the whole area means God is my teacher. Isaiah 2:3 tells us, “Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” We also see this in Micah 4:2.
Yeshua once gave a sermon called the Sermon on the Mount, (Matthew 5-7) which foreshadowed not only Isaiah’s prophecy, but also the fulfillment of it, at the time of the Messianic Era when Yeshua, our Teacher, will teach us not only the Torah, every jot and tittle of it, but also the deep truths of God’s Word.
Those mountains remind us also of the boundaries that we are to set around God’s Word as we see in Exodus 19:12, “ But you shall set boundaries for the people all around, saying, ‘Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall certainly be put to death.”
God had the people set up boundaries to safeguard them from touching His holy mountain. God’s Word is holy and His commandments are holy and we too, must set boundaries so that we walk in His ways and not drift off His path.
Romans 7:9-12 tells us this about sin, “I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin came to life, and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it, killed me. So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.”
Sin kills and the Commandments bring life, so we want to make sure that we do not wander off into sin, so we set a perimeter around the Commandments to leave us the room we need not to cross the line. Here is one of those teachings from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:13-14. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Those mountains that surround Jerusalem also reflect God’s compassion for us as Isaiah 54:10 tells us, “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My favor will not be removed from you, nor will My covenant of peace be shaken,” says the Lord who has compassion on you.”
We also see just how true these words are in Psalm 125:1-2 which says, “ “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore.”
This Psalm was sung by the Levites and the people who ascended on Jerusalem during the time of the pilgrimage feasts: Passover, Pentecost, Sukkot (Tabernacles). They would climb up the Temple steps singing, and even though there is no Temple today you can still hear the Psalms of Ascent being sung during these feasts. So what does God as our teacher have to do with the mountains around Jerusalem? When we trust in the Lord we too are immovable, and can not be moved as 1 Corinthians 15:58 tells us, “Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord,” just as God is immovable in Psalm 144:1, “Bless the Lord who is my immovable Rock.”
Just a few more things about those mountains, Revelation 14:1-2a “Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder.”
Isaiah 40:9 speaks of the Second Coming of the Messiah, “Go up on a high mountain, Zion, messenger of good news, raise your voice forcefully, Jerusalem, messenger of good news; raise it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”
So the mountains surround Jerusalem to protect it, and we too, have God who surrounds us and protects us. Psalm 32:7, “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.’ Psalm 34:7, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.”
Let’s thank God for those mountains, for they remind us, and teach us, of God’s faithful protection around us.
Recipe Corner: Mom’s Apple Fritters by Allrecipies
1 quart vegetable oil for deep-frying 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ⅔ cup milk 2 eggs, beaten 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups apples – peeled, cored and chopped 1 cup cinnamon sugar
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or electric skillet to 375 degrees F
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour in the milk, eggs and oil and stir until well blended. Mix in apples until they are evenly distributed.
Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and fry until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes depending on the size. Fry in smaller batches so they are not crowded. Remove from the hot oil using a slotted spoon and drain briefly on paper towels. Toss with cinnamon sugar while still warm.
Hebrew Corner: The month of Elul
Elul is the sixth month after Passover. We see at the time of the first Passover that God changed the months around. God spoke to Moses as Exodus 12:2 records. “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you,” (this being the month of Nissan, the time of the Passover). On the civil calendar, Elul is the last month, which precedes Rosh Hashanah, that begins the seventh month and the beginning of the civil New Year. Elul is a time to prepare for the Fall Feasts, mainly Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur. The Fall Feasts represent the Second Coming of Yeshua, our Messiah. We are to prepare and be ready for His coming as Matthew 24:44 tells us, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” And of course, in Matthew 25:1-13, with the parable of the Ten Virgins, see this, “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
We seem to forget that these virgins represent believers…who else would be waiting for the Bridegroom? During this time we must consider our deeds. 2Corinthians 13:5 says, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Messiah Yeshua is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” When we do, then we must make a change, we must repent of our sins. Matthew 7:14 tells us, “From that time on Yeshua began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
This 40 days of preparation is like the 40 days of Lent as we prepare to remember the crucifixion of Yeshua, except we are not giving up candy or goodies, but we are giving up our sinful nature,and dying to ourselves, by repenting and returning to the ways of the Lord, so that we too, can have our resurrection day in newness of life, when Yeshua comes in all of His glory. This is the sixth month. The month of preparation.