Another Great Article (Long)

 

 

Even though Baruch wrote this awhile ago, most of you have not seen it.  I think you will really appreciate reading this long article.  It will add to your study of the Passover season.

Enjoy!

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Shabbat Shalom!

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I know nothing compares to the picture of the lamb the other day, but these beautiful flowers on this bush couldn’t be passed up.

This week’s parasha is Parashat Vayikra.  Here is a brief commentary from Baruch.

In this week’s Torah portion, Moses teaches about the various sacrifices which were offered first in the Tabernacle and then in the Temple. One of these sacrifices was called a “sin sacrifice“. It is important to note that the sin sacrifice was only for one who sinned unintentionally. For one who sinned, knowing in advance that such behavior was against HaShem’s will, the sin sacrifice was to no avail. What atoned for such a sin? The answer is the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) sacrifice.

According to tradition, based on Lev. 16:34 (…to atone concerning the Children of Israel from all their sins once a year…) the Yom Kippur sacrifice covered a person’s sins, all sins, including intentional sins, from one Yom Kippur until the next. The question which must be asked is why does the Torah seem to be more lenient regarding intentional sins compared to unintentional sins? Human reason would expect the opposite. The answer is that the Torah purposely emphasized the sacrifice in which the people had no role in offering, but rather were only recipients of, in order to manifest to the people the power and outcome of the grace of G-d.

In the prophetic passage that goes with the Torah reading, Isaiah emphasizes that the people were not concerned with bringing before HaShem the various offerings that He commanded. In this section, G-d is revealed in a most telling manner,

I, I am He Who wipes your transgressions for My sake and your sins I will not remember.” Isaiah 43:25

Just because one may bring a sacrifice, he should not think that he has earned atonement by means of this act. The animal that is killed simply reminds one of the consequences of sin, i.e. death. In addition to this, the blood placed upon the altar reveals that it is blood which is necessary to atone for sin.  But once again, it is not the blood of this animal that deals with the problem of sin. Rather, this blood only points to the blood of Messiah Yeshua, Whose death and blood earned on behalf of believers, eternal redemption. The sufficiency of Messiah’s death is clearly revealed in the book of Hebrews,

But This One, for sins, He brought a sacrifice, sufficient for all time, (then) He sat at the right hand of G-d.” Hebrew 10:12

A very important phrase in this passage is εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς. It literally means “for perpetually“. I translated it, “sufficient for all time“. The implications of this verse is that Yeshua’s death on the tree achieves for the believer eternal redemption and now He sits at the right hand of G-d the Father to make intercession for us. What is the relationship between the first half of this verse and the second half?  The answer is that only through a redemptive relationship with G-d, can the believer pray in a manner that his or her life will reflect HaShem’s purposes. It is important that one remembers that an aspect of Yeshua’s work is to transform the believer’s prayer life, once again emphasizing the importance and the necessity of prayer.

LoveIsrael.org Conference Update

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When I was in high school, one of my teachers put a sign up next to the classroom clock.  It read, “Time passes, will you?”  Time does indeed pass–quickly–and I want to remind you that our Eighth Annual LoveIsrael.org Conference will be here before you know it!

I want to give you an update concerning the Conference.  If you read the information on our website, you will see that the first 120 people who make reservations at the Conference hotel will receive the free Shabbat lunch.  Everyone always enjoys it very much.  Half of the free lunches are now taken!  If you are interested in receiving the free lunch, you need to register for the Conference and make your reservation for the Conference hotel.

The Conference we have planned for this year will be another great opportunity for you to come participate in some serious learning.  The topic this year is Yeshua:  His Earthly Ministry.  You can see the topics for each of the sessions listed on our website.  The praise and worship will be provided by the Seed of Abraham music team again this year.

One of the most common comments we hear is that the people love to come to our Conference to meet other like-minded believers–those who want a serious Bible Study experience.  Many people have become friends through this Conference.  I really want to encourage you to try to make the trip.  The Conference is totally free.

If you have attended one of our conferences, leave a comment below and let us know about your experience.   I’m sure others would like to hear from you as well!

A Passover Article from Baruch

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The very first commandment related to observing Passover is bringing the lamb into one’s home on the 10th day of Nissan and keeping him there until the 14th day, when he would be sacrificed. What was the purpose of this commandment? Why not simply select the lamb on the very same day he would be killed? In order to answer these questions, one must pay close attention to what is said in Exodus 12:6, “And he shall be for you for a למשמרת”. This Hebrew word is most significant. If one reviews the most common English translations, he will find that nearly all render this word as a verb, rather than as the noun which it is. Normally one reads in English, “And you shall keep it….” The Young’s Literal Translation is the only one of the twenty-two translations which appear on Biblehub.com that renders it properly, “And it shall become a charge to you,…” What is the intent of the word “charge”? This word is derived from the Hebrew verb which means “to guard, keep, or watch.” The same form of the word is used in regard to the priestly rotation when certain priestly families would go up to Jerusalem to serve. The word in question is used in relationship to something that has great significance and/or value.

It is not enough to simply keep the lamb in one’s home for four days and then sacrifice him. The family must guard and pay close attention to the lamb and see him as having great significance. He must not receive any injury while inside the home or he will become invalid for the Passover offering. Just imagine a year old lamb living four full days inside one’s home. Think of the children who would be the primary caretakers of this lamb. It would not take long for the children and even the adults to develop affection for this lamb. Naturally, in the back of everyone’s mind would be the recognition that on the 14th day of Nissan this lamb would have to die.

It is incumbent upon us to rightly understand the use of the term Passover. While both in the Bible and in the vernacular, Passover can be understood as referring to the entire festival period including the Feast of Unleavened Bread; however, in a technical sense, Passover is only the 14th day of Nissan and is not thought of as a festival. In the New Covenant, Passover is properly referred to as the day of preparation (see Matthew 27:62, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, and John 19:14,42). It is not a day of rejoicing or celebration, but repentance. On this day, one also burns up the Chametz (leaven).

The burning of the Chametz relates to judgment. Paul makes it very clear in First Corinthians 5:6-8 that leaven is symbolically connected to sin. Hence, when one burns the Chametz, it conveys a coming judgment upon sin. This burning of the Chametz is done immediately prior to the time which the sacrificing of the Passover lambs began. The message is obvious, the killing of lambs corresponds to the judgment of sin.

It is easy to understand how in just four days each family would become attached to the lamb and how difficult it would be to take their new friend to the Temple, knowing he was to be killed and then bringing home his dead body to roast, and then consume him. The point is the Passover meal was not eaten with joy, but with great sorrow. Today, when most families sit down to partake of the Passover meal, there is an absence of sorrow and it is a time of celebration, focusing on what the holiday brought about rather than the means of this liberation, i.e. the blood of the lamb.

Let’s consider for a moment believers in Yeshua today. Sadly, most followers of Yeshua do not even associate His death with Passover. Failing to make this connection hinders a person from properly understanding Yeshua’s work. Similarly, most believers do not link the Exodus from Egypt to Yeshua’s work of salvation. It is was not a mere coincidence that in the same way that the blood of the Passover lamb freed the Children of Israel from slavery to Pharaoh, so too does the Blood of our Passover Lamb, Yeshua, free the believer from the bondage of sin. Here is the truth that one must remember: This freedom that Yeshua earned for us is so that we can obey the commands of Messiah.

Faith and obedience work together; in fact, true faith always leads to obedience to the word of G-d. Israel was not delivered from Pharaoh by obedience. Neither is the believer saved by works of obedience. It is faith that saves! However faith, when applied to a person’s life, will manifest itself with works—works which are rooted in the Scriptures and reveal the glory of G-d.

I would like to suggest that each of you begin on the 10th of Nissan, April 6, to study passages about the life of Yeshua. Pray to G-d that He reveals to you in a deeper manner, the Person of Yeshua over the next four days. On the 14th of Nissan, April 10, read those Scriptures that deal with the sufferings of Yeshua when He was flogged and while He was  upon the Cross. All too often, we tend to ignore the tremendous price that He paid for each of us, and we focus mostly on what He achieved for us, the forgiveness of our sins. This forgiveness and the salvation that we have are truly marvelous, yet one must properly esteem the means of these precious gifts.

I was told about a family who purchased a lamb a few days before Passover and did exactly what the Torah commands. They brought him into their house where he became an instant friend of the children and, for that matter, the parents as well. The father had shared that on Passover he would take the lamb to be butchered and they would then eat him on the evening of the first day of Unleavened Bread. The family was Christian, but the father wanted to use this experience to teach his children how they should feel about Yeshua. The father had shared his plan with all the family. The oldest son was seventeen years old and thought the whole thing was foolish. Yet, when the day came for the father to take the lamb to be butchered, not only were the younger children protesting with tears, but this seventeen year son had hidden the lamb and refused to bring him to the father, unless the father would promise that the lamb could live. The lamb remained the family “pet” for several years until he died at the old age of 14 years.

If we can have such feeling for a lamb which we only knew for four days, how much more so should we have for our Savior?

May you have a meaningful Passover.

Exciting New Offer!

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http://www.1335kingdom.com/about#videoseries

Click on the link above to order today!

Baruch has a new video series available only by purchase through the link above.

This series came about due to the suggestion of several people who wanted Baruch to expand his explanation concerning the major themes of his booklet 1335Kingdom. Although there is some overlap, the information is new and clarifies what is going to take place in the End Times.

These videos were produced in a studio with a special set that was created by Credo TV in Romania. This complete 4-part video study series (four 28:30 minute videos) is now available for download and streaming at a price of $8.00 which allows us to pay the production costs.

There are no plans to air these programs on television or via the internet. They are only available in this manner.

You don’t want to miss this series.

This and That

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Sweet flowers from Eilat.  Notice the 5 hearts in each one!

This past Saturday night, we had several return visitors to our Study Center!  They all have said that they want to attend regularly.  It is such an encouragement.  They are eager to study the Scriptures verse by verse.  April 5 we are having a pre-Pesach get-together with all of the study attendees.  We are hoping to foster community amongst the group.

This week Baruch has a meeting with some men from our city, to see how we can work together to broaden our reach in the community.  We are hoping to get some of the books Baruch has written in Hebrew (the Discipleship Manual and 1335 Kingdom) distributed.

We also have Skype meetings about a couple of conferences to be held in the future.  Please pray for us as we make decisions.  We want to be the most effective, yet be in Israel as much as possible.  Our primary commitment is to Israel, but G-d has opened the door for us to reach others with the Scripture as well, and we want to be obedient to share G-d’s Word.

If you have something you’d like to know and would like for me to blog about it, leave me a message in the comments section.  I’ll do my best to answer it.

Oy! Pesach Cleaning Time!

It’s that time of yecleaningar again!  Have you begun thinking about cleaning for Passover?  Keep in mind that cleaning for Pesach is not the same thing as Spring cleaning.  With Passover, we are removing the Chametz from our possession.  The main emphasis is not making our home, car, etc., clean, but rather ridding it of all leaven.  So, with this in mind, I thought I’d give you a few tips that I have used over the years to simplify this process.

First, it is important to evaluate your circumstances.  What I mean by that is, do you live alone?  Are only adults living in the home?  Do you have small children?  All of these factors weigh heavily on how you will mobilize your efforts.  When our children were small, I would clean all the bedrooms first and then no food was allowed in the bedrooms (when they were very small, all 3 shared one bedroom, so it was not that difficult).

Bathrooms are cleaned regularly and probably food is not taken into them 🙂

So for us, the living room, dining room and kitchen are all that is left.  We have always lived in apartments/condos, so we don’t have a garage, basement, family room, etc. Therefore, my next step is to thoroughly clean the living room.  With a few days left, I will clean the living room.

On a side note, as Pesach is drawing closer, I quit buying any food with chametz in it.  No pasta, breads, cookies, etc.  I use up all of my food.

To clean the kitchen:  I take all of the food out of the refrigerator and freezer.  I wash it entirely, taking out all of the shelves, etc., and was them with soap and water.  Then I put them back in and cover them with aluminum foil.  Any food that is kosher for Pesach I put back in.

Oven:  I take out the racks and clean thoroughly with soap and water.

Cooktop:  Our’s is gas, so I take it all apart and clean every surface.

Cabinets:  I clean the outside and then take everything out of them and clean the insides.  Put back only food items which are kosher for Pesach.

This is just a brief overview of how I clean our home for Passover.  May your cleaning go smoothly!