Saturday, March 28, 2020


Shalom Fellow Israelite,
How many of us could have imagined that at the beginning of this biblical year we would find ourselves locked down in our homes with many of our freedoms gone over night?  No one seems to know what tomorrow will bring.  We wake up in the morning and find ourselves still in a twilight zone.  But as Pesach draws nearer, we remember what happened at "twilight" on the last night before the exodus. This Pesach will be the closest to the one that our forefathers had in Egypt, that is, each family stayed in their own home and ate the Pesach lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.  The doors were tightly sealed and smeared with the blood of the lamb, so as to stay away the plague. Therefore, "come my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past" (Isaiah 26:20). No matter what lies in the future, we can be confident that the Almighty One and His Son are very much in control having sovereignty over our lives and destiny.  It should be one of the most exciting times that we have ever lived in as redeemed Israelites.  Maybe it is time to think about a statement that was told to Israel (right at the same time of year as ours) before they crossed the Jordan into the land: "However, there shall be between you and it [Ark of the Covenant] a distance of about 2,000 cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before."  Then Joshua said to the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow YHVH will do wonders among you" (Joshua 3:4-5).
Wow!  What a way to start this New Year!  May you and your family be at peace and be confident in faith that you are in good hands, under the shadow of His wings (Ps. 91).  YHVH -  Your kingdom comes and Your will, will be done on earth through your chosen nation and people, a united Israel. 
Rosh Chodesh Same'ach and Shabbat Shalom in Yeshua's love,
Ephraim and Rimona

Friday, March 20, 2020

Time to Seek...and Find

Shalom Fellow Israelite,

It seems that almost overnight our life’s circumstances and conditions have changed drastically.  Not that it came as a surprise.  Many have been warning that life in this world of iniquity and sin could not go on without suffering the consequences of what is stated in the Torah. How interesting that all at once much of the anti-Torah-anti-Elohim activities have been forced to come to a screeching halt! Just think, the markets in the Far East, selling the meat of animals which are an abomination if being consumed by humans; the pollution of the planet has been reduced considerably; Shabbat observance has been ‘forced’ on us; activities of lewdness and debauchery can no longer take place; incidents of crime and car accidents are much fewer, and the greed which marks so much of the economic activity is lessened to a large degree, as much of the economic activity is at a standstill. In Scripture we find this principle in Leviticus 26:33-34, and its fulfillment described in 2nd Chronicles 36:20-21: “And those who had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon … to fulfill the word of YHVH by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until seventy years were complete”. Hence, during this season there is a form of restitution (TIKKUN in Hebrew) which is taking place, and may it signal the fulfillment of YHVH’s Word with many willing participants.

Therefore this is a time to rejoice, as it is written:  “With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9).  I might add, ‘the hard way’.

As I was pondering this scripture four words came bursting out at me, “I will seek You”.  Indeed at a time of crisis many start seeking for help, especially from their “God”.  Others may see it as an opportunity for a “Messiah” to come and save them out of a given difficulty.  We, as believers in the redemptive work of YHVH through Yeshua, may view this time as (the beginning of the) birth pangs of His coming, in accordance with Yeshua’s own words in Matthew 24 and Mark 13.  In this address Yeshua cautioned that when “…anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Messiah'; or, 'Behold, He is there'; do not believe him;  for false Messiahs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order, if possible, to lead the elect astray (Mark 13:21-22 emphasis added). 

One of the main reasons that the elect could be so deceived is that they do not have a firm foundation of knowing Yeshua’s presence in their innermost being.   A scriptural example of this are the Corinthian believers.   They were so ‘fleshly’ that at first they could not even ingest “the milk of the gospel”.  Paul’s letters to this congregation (teachings, exhortations and encouragements) were the longest of any of his letters to the other assemblies.  He also found it necessary to visit them at least three times, as did also Apollo and Timothy.  The content of his letters to them is permeated with a great deal of frustration, as he was trying to get through to them the good news, especially that they, as believers, were in Messiah and that Messiah Yeshua was in them.  They heard him say that they are the corporate temple of His presence (see 1 Corinthians 3:16), or “the body of the Messiah” (see 1 Corinthians 10:16; 12:27), and that they have a treasure (of His Spirit) in their earthen vessels (see 2 Corinthians 4:7).

Upon Paul’s third visit with them, and because of their continued lack of maturity and unbelief, his patience ran out and in an almost outburst of anger he exhorted them to examine their faith:  “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves that, Yeshua the Messiah is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test” (2 Corinthians 13:5 emphasis added).  We, as those who believe in His indwelling presence, should have no problem to seek Him.  “I in you and you in me” (see John 14:20) is our reality 24/7.  What’s more - we cannot be deceived when someone says:   'Behold, here is the Messiah'; or, 'Behold, He is there'.  Because we are living in a very dark hour of history, knowing His presence within and the purpose for our election is extremely important to our Elohim and to His prophetic plans. Read carefully the following:
“For Elohim who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of Elohim in the face of Messiah.  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of Elohim and not from ourselves…” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7).   

Friday, March 6, 2020

Compromising YHVH’s Orders

I was reading this week in 1st Samuel 15, where YHVH commanded King Saul to completely annihilate the Amalekites.  Saul was told to not even keep any spoil that belonged to them.  Saul, however, disobeyed. “And he captured Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.  But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed” (1 Samuel 15:8-9 my emphases).  When Samuel came to Saul to enquire as to why he did not kill Agag and destroy everything that YHVH had commanded him, Saul’s answer was seemingly very honorable and religious: “I have carried out the command of YHVH" (1 Samuel 15:13). But did he?  This was a distortion of the truth, preceding the excuse: "They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen, to sacrifice to YHVH your Elohim” (1 Samuel 15:15 my emphases). In this statement Saul disconnects himself from his disobedience, and blatantly sheds off all responsibility: “they, the people did this (hear the echo: “the woman that You gave me, she…” Gen. 3:12?)… for your Elohim”. Why not our Elohim? 

What does this scene and its ramifications have to do with us today?  We too have an enemy who hates us, and a command from YHVH to destroy, cut off, tear down and eliminate any evidence of Satan’s influence and rule in our new creation life: “don’t let Sin rule you!” (Romans 6:12).  “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness” (Romans 6:11-13). “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of Elohim” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). 

Saul’s biggest problem was his pride, coupled with greed that was covered up by a self-righteous attitude that typically denies culpability, thus leading to a critical compromise.   Preserving Agag’s life and all the things that appeared to be of value, was really a sacrifice to his prideful self-righteousness and greed, followed by an inability to come to grips with his actions and heart motivations.

Pride is the king that sits on the throne of men’s hearts and the most difficult to discern, as it is cloaked in false humility.  But what exposes pride is its own greed.  Like sheol, it can never be satisfied (ref. Proverbs 30:16). 

With the festival of Purim right around the corner, we have here an example of how one generation’s critical compromise (in this case by Saul), can cause catastrophic consequences way down the line (Haman, a descendant of Agag, persecuted  Sauls’s descendant – Mordechai - and ultimately all the Jewish people in the kingdom of that day).