Archives For Isaiah 2

God did not waste any time in revealing His triune nature to us. It can be seen in the very first chapter of Genesis. The first person to point this out to me was actually an ultra-Orthodox rabbi. His name was Yankel Kranz, and he was the leader of the Lubavitch community in Richmond, VA. The Lubavitcher rebbe or ‘pope’ died in 1994, amidst claims that he was the Messiah.

After telling Messianic Jews for years that Isaiah 53 didn’t refer to the Messiah’s suffering (He will come as a reigning king, not a suffering servant—I was told), suddenly Rebbe Menachem Mendelson Schneierson was the fulfillment. Except, to the shock of his followers, he did not rise from the dead. For years, the Lubavitchers stood watch by his grave, but he did not appear. To this day, some believe he will rise.

“In Our Image”

Rabbi Kranz was a kind man. We met weekly, at my parents’ behest, to study the Scriptures. On one of our first meetings, he pointed out Genesis 1:26:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”

“Ronnie,” he said, “this does not prove the trinity.”

Being just a new believer, I was not claiming that it did. I was largely ignorant to the Bible.

“What we see here,” he continued, “is God speaking to the angels. He is not speaking to any Son or Holy Spirit, but the angels.”

What did I know? This was all new to me. Buuuuut…. it got me thinking. Is he right? Isn’t he just repeating what the anti-Messianics rabbis taught him to say?

Dominion

The fact is, Genesis 1:26 is definitely a reference to God’s triune nature. And I can prove it.

Let’s read the whole verse:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Gen. 1:26-27)

God says to someone, or to some ones, “Let us make man in our image.” So, in their (their being to whomever he is speaking) image, man will be created.

But it could not be the angels. The angels were not given dominion to rule.

“And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Angels, according to Hebrews, are “ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation.” Angels serve us, as believers, in carrying out God’s will on earth. They are not rulers. Therefore, he could not have been speaking to the angels.

Image of God

And it says, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him.” In case there was any confusion, He adds, “in the image of God—not the angels—He created him.” So, to whom was God speaking?

Clearly, the Godhead—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—made this decision in complete unity.

One in Hebrew

Even the Hebrew word for one that is recited in the Shema—“Hear O’ Israel, the Lord your God is one”—connotates unity or plurality. To mean one, you could use the work yachid, which means an individual or a single unit. But yachad, as is used here in the Shema, means one in unity. For instance, if you add the prefix ‘be’ to the word, you get “beyachad” —it means together, or more literally, in unity.

If I were preaching on the importance of unity, I would not say that we need to be yachid—a single individual unit—but that we need to be yachad—one in unity.

Let me give you a better example. Yachad emphasizes unity, where as yachid emphasizes singular entity. If I were to say that someone is the one and only something, I would use yachid. But, if I were to say that the elders of the congregation act as one, I would use yachad. God tells the Israelites that He is yachad, not yachid, in the most famous passage in the Hebrew Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4.

While the triune nature of only true God is complex and difficult for our finite minds to fully comprehend, there can be no question that God is revealing this to us, and He begins immediately in the very first chapter of the book of Genesis.

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Much as happened in the last week in Israel and in the nations surrounding us.

Hamas Reaches a New Low— Arson Birds

Gilad Gabai, who works for Israel’s Park and Authorities, discovered a falcon in a tree not far from Gaza. The bird was dead, but flammable materials were tied to its legs. It had been sent by Hamas into Israel, with the hope that it would start a fire.

Gabai said, “Animals are already being burned as a result of the fire kite and balloon terrorism. Now we see that [Hamas] have moved on to using animals as a weapon. This is very distressing.”

On the same day, a balloon carrying a flammable device was sent from Gaza and landed in a preschool courtyard while the kids were outside. The children were taken inside, but it could have turned out differently, if the balloon landed near one of the children.

The world is largely silent regarding Hamas’ terror against Israel. Maybe they will speak out, now that they are torturing animals in their efforts to harm Israel. While PETA would never side with Israel over Hamas, I imagine they will have something to say about this.

Since March 31, the terrorists’ burning kites and balloons campaign has claimed more than 8,200 acres of Israeli lands—forests and farms—with over 1,000 attempts. The damage is costing Israeli citizens tens of millions of dollars.

Russian Forces Attack Innocent Syrians—200 Syrians Come to Israel’s Border

Russian forces attacked (by air) a school that was being used as a shelter for displaced Syrians. There were 10 causalities. More and more Syrians are fleeing to the south, as the Russian-backed Syrian army plows through the country. Already, tent cities have been erected in the ceasefire zone—a narrow 80-kilometer strip on the Israeli/Syrian border. In 1974, Israel and Syria agreed that this would be a demilitarized zone, if Israel would cede lands back to Syria that it won after Syria attacked Israel in the Yom Kippur war.

Some 200 civilians, who survived the attack, fled to the border, holding up white flags. The IDF soldiers told them to go back, as there are still live mines that Syria planted many decades to ago. Israel is committed to getting aid to the innocent civilians as part of their Operation Good Neighbor. Israel has treated more than 5,000 wounded Syrians, both in field hospitals set up in the Golan Heights, and in Israeli hospitals.

Israel Targets Iranian Base in Syria

The Israeli Defense Forces are staying true their promise that they will not allow Iran to gain a foothold in Syria. Last week, Netanyahu urged Putin to get the Iranians out of Syria. Putin does not want Israel involved in the conflict because of her superior military power. He needs Syria to remain a paying client of Russia.

But, just a few days ago, Israel reportedly bombed a military base housing Iranian soldiers. According to rebel forces, 22 soldiers were killed – including nine Iranians. But the Syrian official news agency denied the deaths saying,

“The Zionist enemy (Israel)… targeted with its missiles one of our military positions north of the Nayrab military airport, but the damage was only material.”

“The Israeli missiles targeted an Iranian Revolutionary Guard center, near the Nayrab military airport,” said the spokesman for a Syrian human rights group.

Note to Tourists

Despite what you read here, Israel is safe! I live here and have no plans to leave. If you are considering coming to Israel for a tour, you should! All of the violence is way in the north or deep in the south. Fortunately, it is does not touch Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or the Sea of Galilee. Since we built the Security Fence, starting in 2005, terrorist bombings in Israel have virtually ceased.

In the past two years, Israel has broken all of its tourism records. If you are interested in coming on our next tour, the dates are May 29th through June 8th. We have added an extra day in Tel Aviv, without raising the price! Click here for more info.

Help Us Help Tel Aviv!

Messiah’s Mandate seeks to support our congregation each month with roughly $10,000. This goes to pay salaries, our building rent, outreach, gives help to the needy, renovations and more. This year, we have had three months where we could not give or only give partially. We are seeking to raise $10,000 in fixed monthly support for Tiferet Yeshua. As our way of saying thank you, anyone who pledges $20 a month or more, will be included in a raffle this November, where we will give away a free trip to Israel on our 2019 tour. Just go to www.standwithmmi.org to make your pledge!

 

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Crisis on the Border

Ron Cantor —  July 12, 2018 — Leave a comment

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Disclaimer: Believers fighting over names and pronunciation, letting it divide us is something Paul warned against (2 Timothy 2:14). But that doesn’t mean that we should not be educated.

While English versions of the New Covenant refer to Yeshua by His Greek name, Iesous, which, when transliterated into English, becomes Jesus, His parents never called Him either of those names. Joseph, His stepfather, was given very specific instructions as to what His name was to be and why.”

An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Miriam home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Yeshua, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:20-21).

The name Yeshua, in Hebrew actually has a meaning. Just about every Hebrew name has a meaning and the angel, was very specific about the name that the Son of God, the Messiah, should have: His name should be Yeshua. Pronounced slightly differently, putting the emphasis on the last syllable instead of the middle, Yeshua means salvation.

The angel told Joseph, “His name is to be ‘salvation’ because He will bring ‘salvation’ to His people.”  It is impossible to pick up on this prophetic word play in the Greek or English versions.

And that of course was the mission of the Messiah, to bring salvation to His people and to be a light to the nations. Indeed, Simeon, the old prophet who had been told he would not die until he saw the Messiah, prophesied as much.

Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, 
and the glory of your people Israel. (Luke 2:29-32)

His name was salvation because He would bring salvation.

Jesus vs. Joshua

The name Yeshua is really the same name as Joshua, which in Hebrew is pronounced Yehoshua. Over time, the pronunciation changed. In later books in the Hebrew Bible we find the Hebrew name Yeshua and it is translated in English as Joshua or in the KJV as Jeshua. Joshua means The Lord is Salvation or The Lord Saves. Now, as someone seeking to present the gospel in its original Jewish context to Jews, the name Joshua sounds a whole lot more Jewish than Jesus.

In the Greek both Joshua and Jesus are exactly the same, Iesous. But when referring to the Messiah, they translated Yeshua the Messiah’s name as Jesus. Why? They took the Greek word Iesous and transliterated it to English, Jesus. When Joshua is mentioned in the New Covenant, they do not translate his name as Jesus, even though in the Greek it is the same, but they use the Hebrew transliteration—Joshua—leaving us to think they are two different names. As a result, we lose the Jewish character of Jesus’ name. Joshua is seen as Jewish, and the Jewish Messiah appears as something other.

Yeshua or Yehoshua?

Now, some have claimed that his name was never Yeshua, but Yehoshua all the time. Indeed, the original name was Yehoshua. However we see that it was shortened to Yeshua in the later books of the Hebrew Bible. The name for the high priest to which Zechariah refers, is spelled Yeshoshua in Zechariah, but the same high priest is referred to as Yeshua in Ezra and Nehemiah. (See Nehemiah 7:7 and Ezra 2:2 for examples).

So it appears that the name changed over time from Yehoshua to Yeshua. Yehoshua appears over 200 times and Yeshua appears 29 times in the Hebrew bible. But here is the real proof that the named changed in pronunciation and spelling. Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ successor is referred in Nehemiah, no as Yehoshua son of Nun יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֗וּן but as Yeshua son of Nun יֵשׁ֨וּעַ בִּן־נ֥וּן. By the time Yeshua was born, it is probable that Yeshua had replaced Yehoshua completely. But the meaning remained, Yahweh is salvation/Yahweh saves.

Just a quick closing comment. My goal is not to get everyone in the world to refer to the Messiah by His Hebrew name. For someone who has been communing with Jesus for years and loves that name, it would be the height of arrogance for one to expect them to stop using the Greek/English version. I am confident that Yeshua receives all praise from pure hearted believers in whatever language in which they worship him.

 

 

 

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