Love Israel Conference in Virginia

Left, Baruch with Conference Coordinator, Patsy Akridge.  Right, note-taking materials and schedule for the conference.

Friday night and Saturday morning and afternoon, we studied the Word of G-d and what it has to say about Reform Theology (also known as Calvinism). It was very informative and there was good participation from the people.

Tomorrow, Baruch will speak at Cherrydale Baptist Church in Arlington, VA (at their 9:15 am and 11:00 am services) and then we will head to the airport to go home.  We are very excited to get home and we have been energized to make progress on some projects and to utilize the great information we learned in our meetings in the States.

IMG_3682 We enjoyed beautiful weather and scenery on our trip!  Our Creator is Great!

We want to thank everyone who prayed for us during this trip, came to one of our speaking venues and/or those who support LoveIsrael.org.  Our goal is to share the truth of the Scripture with everyone and encourage them to get into the Word to know G-d and His will for their lives.

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Shabbat Shalom!

View from downtown Richmond, VA today.

We have had a good day so far.  First, we had a meeting this morning in Richmond, VA, with our media consultant from oneplace.com/LightSource.  He and our technical contact, Kyle, met with us to discuss how we can maximize our presence on the internet through their online streaming website.  We are very excited about some of the information we learned.

We drove to Martinsville, VA, and are ready to begin our conference here soon.  The conference is a critical look at Reform Theology, i.e., Calvinism.

This week’s Parasha (Torah Portion) is Parashat D’varim.

In this week’s Torah reading, the book of Deuteronomy opens with the following few verses,

These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on the other side of the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Aravah, before the (Sea of) Reeds, between Paran, and Tophel, and Lavan, and Chatzerot, and Di-Zahav. Eleven days from Chorev, by way of Mt. Seir, unto Kadesh-Barnea. And it came about in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, in the first day of the month, Moses spoke to the Children of Israel, according to all which HaShem commanded him unto them.” Deuteronomy 1:1-3

The book of Deuteronomy deals with Moses instructing the Children of Israel the Laws of G-d. This is actually the second time that he has done this. The reason for the repetition is simply because those who were adults when they first received the Torah had died out in the wilderness during the forty years of wandering. Now only their children and those who were born during these forty years are present with Moses. Therefore, Moses repeats the Laws to prepare the people to enter into the Land of Israel.

In verse three, Moses was very specific concerning time. First of all, the reader is told that it was the fortieth year. When studying the numerous occurrences of the number forty in the Scriptures, one learns that there is a relationship between this number and the concept of change or transition. Such an understanding certainly fits the context of this verse, as the Children of Israel are changing location. They are transitioning from the wilderness to the Promised Land. Next, the number eleven appears in this verse. Actually the previous verse also mentions the eleven-day journey from Mount Chorev (also known as Mount Sinai) to Kadesh-Barnea. What is the significance of the number eleven? The Jewish sages usually consider the number eleven as a combination of the numbers one and ten. The number one relates to HaShem Who is one, and the number ten expresses wholeness or completion. Therefore, what is being taught in this passage is this: The Children of Israel completing their journey and arriving at the point where they are being made ready to cross into the Land, is completely or thoroughly the work of G-d.

We are told that this process of preparing the people began on the first day of the eleventh month. The first day of any month is called Rosh Chodesh, literally the new month. In this verse, because the number one is used in connection with the new month, then the idea which is being expressed, is newness or renewal. It is of course only HaShem Who can bring true renewal into a person. For believers in Messiah Yeshua, we understand the ultimate renewal is a Kingdom renewal. In the same way that our passage speaks of Israel being renewed for entrance into the Promised Land, we can expect a time of renewal in the Last Days as Paul promised in Acts 3:19.

This Shabbat is also Shabbat Chazon, which means the Shabbat of Prophecy or the Shabbat of Vision.  Perhaps you will want to read a portion from one of the prophets this Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom!

And in the Nation’s Capital

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Today we had some meetings in the greater DC area and this evening Baruch spoke at a home group meeting.  All of the meetings we have are a great blessing to us, as we are able to learn something which will help LoveIsrael.org better serve you, or we are able to connect with partnering churches, organizations and individuals.

This evening, Baruch was able to update the home group on what is going on with LoveIsrael.org and our broadening reach around the world.  We appreciate each of you who help make this work possible.

Tomorrow morning we have a meeting in Richmond, VA, and then we will be heading down to Martinsville, VA, for our conference.  We have heard from some of you who plan to be there.  We are looking forward to a great time!

Blessings on this Trip

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Sunday morning, Versailles, KY.

This has been a very busy, fruitful, blessed trip!  We were able to see a man who was very instrumental in Baruch coming to faith in Messiah Yeshua!  I had heard about him for 32 years, and I finally had the opportunity to thank him for helping to prepare Baruch for me!  What a wonderful day.  Baruch taught twice on Sunday morning and once in the evening service.

At that same service, we also met a couple who follow this blog!  We were thrilled to get to meet them and chat with them for a bit.

There were others who found us on Daystar and came to the venues to meet us (Kentucky and Illinois).  Thank you to those who made the effort to come to one of the events.  Some of you traveled a great distance.

There were other things we have accomplished so far on this trip:

>Baruch taped his 2 hour lecture on the Rapture which will be available soon.  I will give you the details as soon as it is ready.

>We had some meetings which will result in more content available for you. Additional teaching, interviews, etc., which we hope you will find useful.

>We were able to see our parents.

Thank you to those of you who have been praying for us.  Our travels have gone smoothly and we have been blessed with good weather and health.

We continue to pray for the situation in Israel and are looking forward to getting home. We are kept informed by our children, who all live there.

Tomorrow we have a business meeting and then we drive to Martinsville, VA, where Baruch is teaching a conference.

Here are the conference details:

Fri 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
You can go to Www.accic.org to register.  This is so they can plan the space. There is no cost.
Event is being held at the Quality Inn, Dutch Inn Hotel, 2260 Virginia Ave, Martinsville, VA 24112.
276-647-3721 for reservations. But there are several hotels to choose from.  There is no incentive to stay at the conference hotel.

Pray for Israel

israel-countryThis is a very difficult time in Israel right now.  Yesterday, three Israelis were killed in their home in Halamish, which is also known as Neve Tzuf, in Samaria, as they were eating their Shabbat dinner.

Palestinians are upset because metal detectors were installed leading up to the Temple Mount.  This was in response to the killing of the 2 Israeli police officers.

There is rioting and unrest in Jerusalem and we ask that you please pray for  the people of Israel and our leadership.  The UN Security Council is holding a meeting on Monday to assess the situation, and we know that they never side with Israel.

Tonight we went to a home for fellowship and Baruch spoke.  It was a great time of fellowship and learning.  There were about 30-35 people there.  They were all very interested in serious Bible study and had great questions.

We look forward to being at Church of the Savior, 1301 Brannon Road, Nicholasville, KY, tomorrow (Sunday) at 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 6:00pm. The 9:00am and 11:00am services are the same and the 6:00 pm will be a different message.

Shabbat Shalom!

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Last night we were in southern Indiana, where Baruch spoke to a very nice group of people.  Some people had traveled quite a distance to come and we are grateful for everyone who came.

This weekend, we will be in Lexington, KY.

This shabbat there are 2 parashiot, Mattot and Masei.  It is also a Shabbat Chazak, which means we finish reading a book of the Torah.  Here is a brief commentary from Baruch:

This Shabbat we read two Torah portions, Parashat Mattot and Parashat Masei. In the latter reading, one encounters the commandment to establish six cities of refuge. These cities were for when one would kill another, but did not intend to do so, yet it was not purely an accident. In other words, there was some degree of accountability. This accountability might be present because of negligence; that is, had the one who killed another took some reasonable precautions the death would not have occurred. Because the killer is responsible somewhat, the family can avenge the death by in turn taking the life of the killer. The one who avenges the death is known in the Scripture as the “redeemer”. In order that the killer does not also die, he is allowed to flee to one of the cities of refuge, and there he is safe from the “redeemer”, as he may not be killed within the city’s borders.

The question that I would like to focus on is “how long must the killer remain in the city of refuge before he may depart and be safe from the avenger?” One could state the question differently by asking, “How many years must he remain in the city of refuge”? It is this second question that misses the point. The killer is not in the city of refuge as a punishment, i.e. like a twenty year sentence, but he is there waiting for something to take place which will free him and return him to his previous condition. For what is he waiting? The answer is found in the parashah,

“…And he shall stay in it (the city of refuge) until the death of the high priest which one had anointed with holy oil.” Numbers 35:25

Here again there is no mention of a specific time, such as a sentence of twenty years, rather it is a matter of waiting for the high priest to die. Why the high priest and why is it his death that is mentioned? The high priest is related to the Day of Atonement. In essence, atonement does not remove the consequence of sin, but only postpones the consequence of sin. What is the consequence of sin? The answer is death.

It is very important to remember that the family member who has the right to avenge the death of his relative is called the “redeemer”. This fact demonstrates that due to this sin and for that matter all sin, redemption is required. The high priest is mentioned in this passage to provide a context for understanding the issue of the cities of refuge. While the killer remains within the city, the consequence of his sin (death) is postponed. It is the death of the high priest, who is anointed (in Hebrew the same word for Messiah), which provides redemption for the matter. Because of the death of the high priest, the killer now may go free and the relative cannot harm him, because the high priest’s death brought about a redemption that was both substitutional and vicarious.

It is important for the reader to remember that Messiah’s death provided a greater redemption, the redemption that leads to eternal life and the forgiveness of all of one’s sins. Likewise, Yeshua’s death was substitutional and vicarious. Over and over in the Torah, one can find many teachings that point to what Messiah Yeshua has accomplished. These numerous occurrences provide the clues that should cause one to identify Yeshua as the Redeemer and place one’s faith in Him.

An Evening in Indiana

Tonight at House of Prayer Church in Ellettsville, Indiana.

This evening Baruch taught on Psalm 30 at House of Prayer Church, just outside of Bloomington, IN.  On their website, they state that they are sometimes called the “Biker” Church.  Many of their members have been delivered from difficult backgrounds and are now very serious about their faith and relationship with the L-rd.

The front of their church (see bottom right photo) is set up like a street.  It reminds us that we must reach out to those we meet on the street and be a beacon of light to them. While speaking with the Pastor, he told us that he has had a love for Israel for a long time, and that can be seen by the Israeli flag and banner saying (in Hebrew) “Bet T’filah” (which means house of prayer).

We were very blessed to worship with them this evening.  People from 3 different churches were there and it was full.  Thank you to those who came.