Judeo-Christian Teaching Moments
Every month, you will find a new teaching moment here. These teaching moments are on a variety of topics pertaining to Judeo-Christian beliefs: Yeshua Hamashiach (Jesus Christ), our walk of faith, and the world we live in.
"For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was" (James 1:23-24). We so often think that the Bible speaks only to unbelievers, but the Bible is speaking to believers. You have to ask yourself, how can a person who believes in the One True Living God and who claims to be redeemed forget who he is?
The Bible tells us in James 4:4, "Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? So whoever decides to be the world's friend makes himself God's enemy." So, can we actually believe that we are good Christian people and yet actually be God's enemy? What exactly is friendship with the world?
Many people are keeping Lent at this time, but we need to prepare our hearts not just for this time that remembers the past, but we need to prepare our hearts for what is coming in the future.
February is called the love month. We send people cards and letters telling them just how much we love them. We buy flowers and candy and even expensive jewelry to show just how much we love them. It makes us feel good to do these things and to say these things. So I ask this simple question: when it comes to God, is it enough just to tell God that we love Him?
So the question is, are you a Hebrew? And you may say, "No!" but I'm sure that after you read this you may say, "Yes, yes I am."
Most believers can quote John 3:16, but I don't think that we really grasp the meaning of this verse. This is the time that we traditionally celebrate the birth of Yeshua/Jesus. But do we really grasp what it is that we are celebrating? Let's take a closer look.
As we enter into a time of thanksgiving, a time of celebration, the holidays can be anything but joyful. Our trials and tribulations can bring us nothing but sorrow. So how do we learn to put our trust in God so that we can have that joy, that peace that comes from knowing Him, so that we can trust Him in our times that seem like the only way is for us to help ourselves?
If I am in Yeshua (Jesus) and He is in the Father and I am in God, then how could I ever be alone? Even if I feel alone, I am not because God is in me. He is with me always.
Maybe your family is one of those whose mother saved everything you did in school. She has every one of your school pictures and all of your artwork. Well, this is what God does. He records everything good and bad that we have done and one day He is going to open those books and we are going to stand before Him while it is all read to us.
We have looked at the topic of trees several times this year. We saw that trees play a big part in life. Today we want to look at another tree, the Tree of Life. We saw that Yeshua/Jesus died on a tree that brought us life: Yeshua, the Living Torah, the Word of God. Once again we want to take a closer look at another tree that brings us life: the Tree of Life.
Every year in Israel they celebrate Tu Bishvat, which is celebrated on the 15th of Shevat (Hebrew calendar). It is also called Rosh HaShanah La'llanot, literally, "New Year of the Trees."; We want to look at Psalm 1 and reflect on the lessons we can derive from our botanical analogy.
As Paul spread the good news around the known world, he experienced the joy of fellowship as well as the bitterness of persecution. We can learn a lot about Paul by examining the stories surrounding his trials and his testimonies before the religious and secular ruling bodies, from Jerusalem to Rome.
Paul uses several illustrations to teach his readers about the intent or the purpose of the Torah (Law) in the book of Galatians. Let's go through this and see what Paul is trying to tell us.
In Galatians 2:11-21, we see a little bit of drama between Paul and Peter. There are some parts of this passage that, if not properly understood, could lead to some faulty beliefs. Let's take a closer look.
Some passages in the writings of Paul, such as Romans 14, have been largely used by some who say that these passages permit believers to violate the Biblical dietary laws and Sabbath. Many believe that these are now only matters of conscience and that we are free to either accept or reject them for our own lives, with the preference being toward rejection. We will take a deeper look at this chapter and a few other similar passages throughout Scripture to see if we can find out what Paul was actually saying.
Paul's words in his epistles have led to some confusion among believers about the place that we as Gentiles have in relation to Israel. Most people today don't realize how intricately Christianity was interwoven within Judaism at its beginning. Looking at Christianity and Judaism, one would never guess that Christianity was initially a sect within Judaism. Let's take a look at Paul's words to see what we can find out about the relationship between God, Israel, and the church.
We, as believers in Yeshua (Jesus), have died to the Torah (Law, God's commandments). This is the way Paul describes us as well as all of those who accept the sacrifice of Yeshua on their behalf. What has been a subject of confusion, however, is what exactly this means and what it looks like to effectively live our lives as dead to the Torah. In this brochure, we will examine the context surrounding Paul's use of this phrase to get a good idea what it means and what its implications are for believers.
The main theme of Romans is the justification of sinners. Justification is the way in which God accepts a sinful human being and sets them in a place of right-standing through Yeshua. The relationship between justification, faith, and following the Torah (God's commands) is sometimes misunderstood, so let's look at Romans and see what Paul is really saying.
The Jerusalem council recorded in Acts 15 is a crucial moment in the history of Christianity. Unfortunately, this passage is generally misunderstood. Most people today believe the decision made here by the council declares that Gentiles should not follow the Torah. We are going to go through this chapter to find out if this is correct.
Paul is the number one person who people quote when talking about Christianity. This is likely due to the fact that nearly half of the New Testament is attributed to his authorship. Although this is the case, Paul is probably the most misunderstood figure in the Scriptures. Even his own contemporaries found his words sometimes difficult to understand (2 Peter 3:15-18). Today, in addition to this we have the obstacle of time which separates us from him. For this reason it is essential that we understand who Paul was so we can understand his teachings.
Did you ever wonder why at the time of creation it says that there was evening and there was morning the first day? Why did God start His creation with night? Let's look at the beginning of Genesis and see exactly what it says.
There was a song that we sang years ago that went like this: "Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning." We want to look at the lamp in the temple.
We have been looking at the end times, and we have seen that there will be a great falling away from the truth. We also saw that the man of lawlessness would rise up and rule the world. Paul tells Timothy in the last days people will only want their ears tickled.
Did you ever wonder why Yeshua died on the cross? Couldn't He have died another way? John the Baptist was beheaded. Isaiah was sawed in half. Others were thrown to the lions. Why the cross? Let's take a closer look. In fact, let's go back to the beginning.
We want to take a quick brief look at how the world began its global efforts and then we want to take a look at Scripture to see how this all turns out. Since God scattered the nations at the time of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), man has tried to put back what God has separated.
Every New Years, we begin afresh and anew. It's like taking off the old, the past, and putting on the new, the future. Our hope is for a better future. We make those New Year's promises which many times we never keep past the first week. Our intentions are good, but as they say, "The flesh is weak." But there is one area that good intentions are not good enough, and that is when it comes to keeping God's Word. We want to look at what Paul tells the Colossians about taking off the old and putting on the new.
We want to look at Miriam. You may know her as Mary. I want to take a closer look at the Scriptures to see what the Scriptures tell us about her versus the legend which she has become. Many of the views of the Catholic Church regarding Mary only go back as far as the 19th and 20th centuries, so they are rather new. But is this how Miriam would have wanted her legacy to be told?
November is the traditional month for celebrating Thanksgiving. Over the years we have forgotten what this day is all about. It's no more about the history of the first European settlers in 1620 who came on the Mayflower. It is no longer about the harsh winter that they had to endure where many died. It is no longer about the celebration they had in 1621 after their first harvest.
The Scripture tells us that, ďGod so loved mankind that He sent his only begotten Son to die for us so that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal lifeĒ (John 3:16). We want to take a closer look at this subject of Godís love. I think that this has become such a cliche that we don't really consider the full weight of this statement.
So often when things happen in our lives, there are those believers who want to say, "Oh! God is punishing them for their sins." But is this really true? We want to take a closer look into this so that the next time someone we know is going through a tough time, we aren't quick to judge that person, but that we help them in their walk with God.
There have been spiritual revivals throughout history. After the Dark Ages we had the Renaissance beginning in the 14th century, with the reformation in 1517, in 1906-1915 was a big revival called the Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles, the Charismatic movement began in the 1960s, just to name a few. But what about now, in the 21st century? We want to look at this closer to see if we should be praying now to bring about a new movement, a new spiritual awakening, maybe even a last time revival that will usher in the Messiah.
There is nothing better in July than the fourth. It is foundational to us. It is our heritage and it deserves nothing less than our gratitude to our forefathers and those who came after who have done all in their power to keep us safe and free. But we seem to forget the most important part to this equation, and that is God.
In the month of June we celebrate Father's Day. We give cards telling our fathers how great they are and that they are the king of their castle. It's all great and proper, for we are to give honor and respect to our fathers. But what about the fathers? If children are to respect and give honor to their fathers, and wives are to obey their husbands, then what about these fathers and husbands? What are they to do to receive such honor and respect and obedience?
The Bible tells us that we should count the days starting from the Resurrection to the Feast of Pentecost, meaning fifty. This is called counting the omer (Leviticus 23:15-16). So why do we count? Let's take a closer look.
April is a time when people decorate for springtime, with pastels and flowers and bunnies. We have just gone through a time of darkness and cold and death and now we are beginning to see light and life, a glimpse of flowers and a hope of warmer days. But amongst this joyful time, do we really want to consider death again? Do we really want to consider and meditate on the crucifixion, death, and burial of our Messiah? Even if we want to say "NO," we must say "YES." Why? Because the Messiah has asked us to remember.
In the year 2016, ninety-thousand Christians around the world have been martyred. So we want to take a closer look at this. Yeshua (Jesus) warns His disciples that the world will hate them. He says in John 15:18, "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you." We want to look at the persecuted church and learn from our Master how we should respond to it.
Last month we looked at believing the impossible. This month we want to look at faith that moves mountains. What's the difference? Well, you must first believe to have faith. So we want to look at what the Bible says about faith.
What does it mean to believe, and yet to believe the impossible? We want to take a closer look at this word.
Most people know that the shadow of the Lord is a reference to God's shelter, the safety of His people such as is referenced in Psalm 36:7.But is there more? We want to take a closer look at God's shadow.
November is the month that we give thanks--well, at least we used to. But what should we give thanks for? Maybe our health or our wealth or all that we have attained. James has something else in mind.
Yeshua (Jesus) speaks to us about the table of the Lord in some cryptic words. We want to look at this in light of the Day of Atonement.
There are so many theories about the second coming of Messiah. We want to take a look at what it means to prepare oneself for the coming of Messiah and whether we need to do this in our lifetime.
Isaiah, when he came into the presence of God and saw His holiness, could only cry out, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips." Now, you must wonder: of all things, why did Isaiah consider his words and not his deeds?
July is the month that we celebrate our freedom here in the United States. We are blessed to be citizens of a free country, though the Bible tells us that we are to be citizens not of an earthly country, but a heavenly one.
We want to take a closer look at the role of the father and mother in the family, because today the devil is out to destroy families. He has succeeded over the years in destroying this divine unity, so we need to take our families back, and the Bible tells us how to do that.
John the Baptist calls out to the crowd when he sees Yeshua (Jesus) coming toward him, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Why did he call Him the Lamb of God?
The story of Ruth, from the book of Ruth, is a story of not only survival, but of the power of God's light in the darkness.
February is the month of love--at least, that is what they tell us. February 10 begins the season of Lent. Lent is the church's traditional time leading up to the death of our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). It is a time to give up something we love: candy, TV, something to afflict the soul. But is this love?
As we begin a new year, we want to look at new beginnings, for that is what a new year is all about. We want to look at all of those new beginnings in God's Word.
With the start of the winter solstice, we find ourselves at the darkest point of the seasons. The days are short and the nights are long. Today we are going to look at Yeshua, the Light to the World.
Giving thanks is an essential part of our walk with God. We have things to be thankful for every single day. One day every year, however, we have a day specifically set apart to express our gratitude. During Thanksgiving, we reflect on the past year and are thankful for all the ways God has provided for us. How should we give thanks in a way that honors God?
We want to look at what we need to do to prepare for this most important day of our lives. This is the time to prepare our hearts. We are going to look, at this time, on how to prepare for not only these symbolic feasts, but for when Yeshua comes back to fulfill the days of His second coming.
We want to continue looking at this subject of the marriage supper of the Lamb and who will be invited. We want to see if we can draw anything from Yeshua's (Jesus) parables.
We want to continue with the wedding preparations. Every bride and groom has to set a date for their wedding and then they send out the invitations, so this is what we are going to look at this month.
If we are not the bride then what are we in relationship to Messiah and to Israel? Let's take a closer look at this and I want you to remember that this is all spiritual in nature, metaphorically speaking, for we know that God and Yeshua would not have a bride physically, in human terms. I want you to follow along with me as I go, for at the end I think you will see an interesting concept.
There is a lot to do to prepare for a wedding. Every bride wants her wedding to be perfect for her and her new husband and every parent wants the best for their children. We know that the Bible speaks about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. We want to take a closer look at all of this because we have been taught that the church is the Bride of Messiah, but are we?
We as Judeo-Christians do not understand our roots. We think that the tabernacle, or temple, has been destroyed because Yeshua came. But what we do not understand is that the temple in Heaven still exists, and we are to be a royal priesthood, yet we do not know what that all means. Learn what we have been grafted into so that we can bear much fruit for the Messiah.
The peace offering was never offered for sin, yet Scripture tells us that Yeshua (Jesus) is our Passover Lamb. So as we are approaching Passover, we must ask ourselves, "If Yeshua is our Passover Lamb, how is He our sin offering?" Let's first look at sin to see exactly what it is.
we are going to look at the burnt offering. You could say that this is the love offering. We celebrate Valentine's Day and we give valentines as tokens of our love for each other. Well, the burnt offering is just like that Valentine.
This month we want to look at the guilt offering and again we will see how relevant these sacrifices are in the life of a believer. It may not be quite the same as in the days of the temple and the Levitical sacrifices, but in their own way today, we as believers still need to keep the intent of the sacrifice alive in our lives.
When we understand the sacrificial service of the temple, we can begin to realize that we, as Christians, are very much a part of what this service means or should mean to us. This month we want to look at the grain offering.
We are going to look at the temple sacrifices to get a better understanding of how they relate to Yeshua (Jesus) and to His people. When we understand the sacrificial service of the temple, we can begin to realize that we, as Christians, are very much a part of what this service means, or should mean, to us.
As Christians, we have not been taught the meaning of God's Appointed Times, so we don't understand the significance of these days. If we understood them, we would see that as believers in Yeshua (Jesus) we of all people should be celebrating these days. Let's take a closer look at their meaning.
We have looked at the Holy Spirit, His Baptism, and His gifts, and now we want to look at His fruit. Galatians 5 gives us the list of the Holy Spirit's fruit. It is His orchard of righteous living. Like in any garden, a gardener knows that he must dig up the fallow ground. He must remove the obstacles that will hinder any growth. He must plant the seed, and with water and fertilizer and much care, the seed will grow and eventually bear fruit.
This month, we want to look at the gifts of the Spirit. We want to look at the meaning of each gift, their characteristics, and people's misgivings about them, as well as take a look at a Biblical person with that gift.
Yeshua (Jesus) tells His disciples that they would be baptized in the Holy Spirit and to wait for His coming for when He comes, they would receive power to be His witnesses in Jerusalem and throughout the world. So what is the baptism in the Holy Spirit? Let's take a closer look.
"How lovely on the mountain are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation and says to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'" We want to take a closer look into the good news.
A term we do not hear much about any longer is Judeo-Christian. That means our faith is based upon the Hebrew Scriptures. Christianity begins it's faith at the time of creation. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1
In today's world, we live at such a fast pace and there are so many pressures placed upon us that we don't really have time to think about what is going on around us. The days go by so fast that we have such little time, and so we neglect our spiritual selves. So we walk in our darkness, and we stumble and fall; and many times we don't pick ourselves up, but we stay in our fallen condition. We feel that God is not with us, or doesn't even care; because if He did, we would not have such pressure and problems to deal with. But God so loved us that He made a way for us in the darkness to walk in the light. Let's take a closer look.
In the movie "It's a Wonderful Life," George Bailey is given a special gift to be able to see what life would have been like in Bedford Falls if he would not have been born. As he saw, a lot of good happened because he was born and lived the life that he lived. So with that in mind I ask the question, "What if Moses had not been born?"
If Pentecost was the giving of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church, was the first Pentecost, which was the giving of the Torah, its conception? Let's take a closer look.
We want to take a closer look at discipleship because we need to know in these end times what true discipleship is or else we will not be a true disciple of Yeshua.