Shabbat Shalom!

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Decorations for the Chinese New Year.

Last night was the first set of sessions for the class Baruch is teaching.  It went very well and the students were very eager to learn.  The book of Jeremiah is many times not studied by Bible students, so this is a great opportunity for them to study one of the prophets.

I plan to post pictures from the sessions on Sunday.  We want to wish you all a wonderful Shabbat and ask for prayer for the people taking this class who are preparing to be leaders in ministry.

Below is a brief commentary by Baruch on this week’s Torah Portion, Parashat Tetzaveh.

Parashat Tetzaveh (You shall command) Exodus 27:20-30:10

This week’s Torah reading teaches about the Kohanim (Priests) and their garments. In the midst of the parashah one reads,

And you shall take from the blood which is upon the altar and from the anointing oil and you shall sprinkle upon Aaron and his garments and upon his sons and upon the garments of his sons with him and he and his garments and his sons and his sons’ garments shall be holy with him.” Exodus 29:21

This verse is in the section of Scripture that deals with inaugurating the Kohanim for service. It is very significant that both blood and anointing oil are mentioned here. By means of the work of Messiah Yeshua, believers become a type of priesthood (See 1 Peter 2:9). It is important to note that the blood is not just any type of blood; but the text states that the blood must be taken from the altar. This means the source of the blood is from a sacrifice and therefore the blood is for the purpose of atonement. The idea here is that the priests could not serve HaShem until two things happened. First, the priests needed to come into contact with the blood. This contact involved both their garments and themselves, “…you shall sprinkle upon Aaron and his garments“. In other words, until one receives the blood of atonement, he is not able to serve G-d. The fact that both the priests and their garments received the blood informs the reader that not only does the atonement affect the person, but also one’s deeds (Scripture often mentions garments when symbolically referring to deeds or works). Secondly, the priests needed to be anointed with oil. Just like garments often refer to deeds or actions, oil refers to the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This means that an individual is incapable of serving G-d until first he is cleansed by the blood of Messiah Yeshua and secondly anointed with the Holy Spirit.

The verse concludes with revealing to the reader that after atonement and anointing the person becomes Holy. In this context, the concept of holy is referring to being set apart for a specific purpose. Most of you who read this weekly article have already received by faith the redemptive blood of Yeshua and therefore are recipients of the Holy Spirit. The problem is that some of you have not realized that these two experiences have prepared you for service. Believers tend to walk through their lives without purpose. They fulfill their normal obligations of work, family, etc. but never really pursue the calling that a salvation experience brings about in each and every believer.

It is most significant that the Hebrew word for priest כהן is derived from a word which relates to service. As part of a royal priesthood, believers are called to serve. Obviously the giftedness that the Holy Spirit imparts to the believer is central in determining how one should serve G-d. What gift(s) have you received? This Shabbat, why not concentrate on I Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4:11-12 and pray to discover how you have been equipped to edify the body of Messiah.

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In Singapore

 

We made is safely to Singapore yesterday.  We were greeted by a friendly face, a couple we’ve know for some years now lives in Singapore, and the wife graciously met us at the airport.  It was very nice to see her!

We then went to a meeting with a pastor and his wife, who are interested in partnering perhaps in some way, to get the Word out to as many people as possible.  They truly have hearts for the world and are gracious and kind people.

We then went to another get together, where Baruch taught a Bible study and we were able to meet some wonderful people.  We are enjoying the gracious people of Singapore very much.  This is our first time ever to this part of the world.

This afternoon we have a meeting with leaders from the Bible school where Baruch will begin teaching the short course this evening.

Tomorrow we have another meeting to discuss opportunities for outreach and then Baruch will continue teaching at the Bible school.

The Jewish populations dates back to the 1800s when Baghdadi Jews immigrated here as a result of persecution by the Ottoman Empire.  These were traders who did business with Calcutta and Singapore, which at the time were both ruled by the British.  There has been a continual presence of the Jewish people here since then.

In recent years, the Jewish population has actually grown and now numbers around 2,500.

One of our goals for this trip is to make individuals and institutions aware of our work and the resources we have available.  We would like to see Baruch’s teaching used by home groups, churches and schools of various levels to deepen the understanding and faith of believers here and around the world.

Shavuah Tov!

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Tel Beersheva (ancient) in the foreground with present-day Beersheva in the background.

Last night we studied the end of Isaiah 19 and all of Isaiah 20 at our study center.  We discussed the fact that (v. 19) in the last days “there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan (Hebrew), and swear to the L-rd of hosts; only one of the five shall be called the city of destruction.”  If one reads carefully in the book of Exodus, only 20 percent of the Jewish people actually came out of Egypt. But in the last days, 80 percent will be saved.  We also know that the land of Israel will expand her borders  into Egypt in the South and into Assyria in the North, as  promised by G-d.

It would be hard for the average person today, especially those without faith, to know that in the future the borders of Israel will expand!  This, as the world leaders seek to take land away from Israel. Please pray for Israel today.  There is so much pressure on her leaders to give in to policies which are against the Word of G-d.  Even this past Friday night and Saturday night, there were several rockets shot into southern Israel. These rockets typically cause these world leaders to demand that Israel make foolish concessions, all for an empty promise that in doing so Israel will find peace.

The 20th chapter of Isaiah scolds Israel for trusting in an alliance with Egypt and Ethiopia (Cush) as the threat of an Assyrian attacked loomed ever closer. Israel chose unwisely to rely on the two nations, instead of trusting in G-d as the prophet Isaiah was exhorting. What ended up happening? Assyria took control of both Egypt and Ethiopia and the promise of help from them never materialized. Israel also forgot her call to bless other nations with the truth of G-d; rather, than expecting them to come to their assistance.

Prophecy is so relevant today and wise people study the message of the prophets so as to be prepared for the end times. May our L-rd grant you a blessed week. Shavuah Tov!

Shabbat Shalom!

This week’s Parasha is parashat Terumah.  Below is a brief commentary by Baruch on this Torah portion.

In this week’s Torah portion, there is a verse that summarizes the will of G-d. One reads,

And they will make for Me a Sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst.” Exodus 25:3

An interesting question concerning this verse is “Why is the subject in the third person plural (They)?” It seems more logical that the verse should read, and you shall make for Me a Sanctuary and I will dwell in your midst. The reason for the use of the third person plural is to reveal to the reader that not all of Israel will participate in the building of the Sanctuary. Earlier in the chapter, when Moses is commanded to speak to the Children of Israel about making a donation for the purpose of constructing the Tabernacle, the text states, “everyone whose heart desires to give.”

HaShem does not force Himself upon a person; rather, He calls or invites people to enter into a relationship with Him. There is enough evidence in the created world for all people to know that there is a Creator, i.e. G-d. This being the case, one should seek Him. Even those on a remote island, who have never had contact with the rest of the world, can understand there is a G-d. When one begins to seek HaShem, He will be faithful to reveal Himself and His Son. He may use a person or He may supernaturally reveal Himself to one who has never even seen a Bible in his language, if he can even read. The point is G-d is a righteous Judge and those who seek Him sincerely; He will get the truth to them (Please see Proverbs 8:17).

The problem which I have is with individuals who doubt the faithfulness of G-d and therefore believe that it is necessary to change the truth of the Gospel. Such people say that those who never heard the Gospel have an acceptable excuse. I have even met a person who shies away from giving the Gospel to the lost, because he does not want to make them accountable for having heard it.

The time is short! People need to hear the message of salvation. Please join with me in making a new commitment to be much more conscious and bold in sharing the only truly good news, that Yeshua is the Savior. For when one shares Him with a lost individual, he or she is fulfilling the commandment of making a Sanctuary for HaShem to dwell with them.

Back in the Land

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Baruch and I returned home safely today, thankful for getting the next set of Hebrews lessons taped in Romania.

Today Baruch had a meeting with a friend who works in outreach as well and then he taped a Genesis video.  We are very grateful for all of the positive comments and encouragement concerning these teachings.

Tomorrow Baruch has more taping to do and then we will enjoy Shabbat.  Saturday night, as usual, we will have our study at the Study Center and then our “Midnight from Jerusalem” Live Stream.

Sunday, we leave for Singapore, where Baruch will be teaching a short course on prophecy at a Bible School.  This will be a new opening for LoveIsrael.org and we want to maximize the exposure in Asia.  Our television show is broadcast throughout Asia on Daystar and GOD TV.

Taping Day

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Cluj, Romania, last night.

Today we are at the studios of CredoTV in Cluj, Romania, where Baruch is taping the next set of television programs.  I know that many of you are anxiously awaiting the Hebrews study.

While at the tapings, a leader of one of the denominations in the area approached us about doing a conference in his city.  He said that several people have approached him, asking that he try to get Baruch to come.  We are very happy that the Romanian people are excited about our television program.  It has been such a blessing for us to have this relationship with CredoTV, with Romania and with her people!

The 2018 LoveIsrael.org Study Tour of Israel is now full.  We are looking forward to spending time with each of you who has signed up.  For those of you who missed this opportunity, we have scheduled a Love Israel.org 2019 Study Tour for May 13-22, 2019.  We are working out the itinerary now.  I will post more information when it becomes available.

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This is us with John Petric, who patiently tapes and edits our television shows in the studio in Romania for us.  We appreciate him and his work very much!

 

Shavuah Tov!

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Last night at our study center.

Last night at our study center, we had a great turnout as we continued our study of the book of Isaiah.  We had some new people come, which was very encouraging.  We also were able to learn of some more people who want our Discipleship Manual.  Please pray as we continue to get requests for them.

After we got home last night, we prepared for our Live Stream, “Midnight from Jerusalem.”  There is a group of us who log into the “live chat” on Youtube.  Feel free to join us.  This week we talked about discerning the will of G-d in our lives and we are going to be praying about this throughout this week.  The study of Ecclesiastes has been very meaningful, as we glean life-changing wisdom from the Scripture.

Today, Baruch and I drove to Beersheva, for our first “new Believers” Bible study.  We studied Romans 12, which is a great chapter for instruction on living an obedient life.  We then studied 20 of the 613 commandments and discussed their relevance to our lives today as believers in Yeshua.  We examined how they are not in conflict with our faith, but rather are good for us in our walk with the L-rd and honoring Him.  This is of course NOT in relation to salvation, but living a Kingdom lifestyle today.