From all of us at Tiferet Yeshua Congregation in Tel Aviv—HAPPY PASSOVER!
From all of us at Tiferet Yeshua Congregation in Tel Aviv—HAPPY PASSOVER!
[Note from Ron: I have had a number of people ask me about the current blood moon craze. To be honest I have not paid much attention to it nor have I had time to investigate. But I must say I had an uneasy feeling about the teaching. I was so happy that my good friend Avner Boskey wrote about this in a recent newsletter. As many teachers believe that this Passover is a key date regarding the blood moons, I wanted to share this with you immediately. If you want to learn more about the Boskey's and their ministry here in Israel, please go to: www.davidstent.org]
The prophetic significance of the four lunar eclipses occurring on Jewish biblical feast days in 2014-15 has become a recent focus on the internet and even a best seller on Amazon. A few voices are suggesting that the so-called ‘blood moons’ are a portent of earth-shaking prophetic significance regarding the Jewish people.
The first of these ‘tetrads’ (a grouping of four – in this case, four lunar eclipses) kicks off on the first night of Passover next week. Here are some reflections on this subject.
Though only four specific eclipses are the main focus of these discussions, there are actually hundreds of examples of these tetrads available, and nearly all of them are passed over in silence by the advocates of the current ‘blood moon’ teaching, since 99% of these do not even come close to any major events in Jewish history.
Jewish history has seen many tragedies and victories. Haman’s potential campaign of Persian genocide, the destructions of the First and Second Temples, the defeat of the Syrian Greeks by the Maccabees, Bogdan Chmelniecki’s massacres of Ukrainian Jews, the Holocaust – these were all events of great magnitude. None had blood moon authentication or warning.
The three events currently being focused on in most of the ‘blood moons’ discussion concern –
Why these three events are chosen seems clear: they are the only major Jewish events that fall somewhat close to lunar tetrads.
The lunar tetrads in question actually appeared after the events described – between ten months and sixteen years later! Therefore these ‘blood moons’ were not warnings at all but, as it were, ‘prophecies after the fact.’
The advocates of the current ‘blood moons’ teaching use special pleading in arguing why a lunar eclipse in 1949 is actually connected to 1948, or why a ‘blood moon’ in 1494 is connected to 1492, etc.
This non-professional use of Jewish history reveals a lack of precision and care, as well as a sensationalist and inaccurate ‘proof-texting’ regarding the issues of prophetic fulfillment. There is much smoke but little fire here. It indicates a grievous lack of discernment among some believers.
The only calendar given by YHVH is what is commonly called the Jewish calendar; “YHVH spoke again to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, YHVH’s appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations – My appointed times are these’” (Leviticus 23:1-2). The telling of time was based on the lunar calendar (Number 29:6), and one feast (Trumpets) falls on the new moon while Passover and Tabernacles falls on or close to the full moon (“Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day. For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob”; Psalm 81:3-4).
So it is not surprising that a full moon might occur on a Jewish feast day. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of lunar eclipses do not fall on Jewish feast days and have nothing to do with significant events in Jewish history. Once one inserts these facts into the discussion, there is nearly no more need for intelligent discussion on the matter.
The prophetic passages dealing with the moon turning to blood are Isaiah 13:9-11; 24:21-23; Ezekiel 32:1-10; Joel 2:10-12, 28-32; 3:12-17; Matthew 24:29-30; Acts 2:12-21; Revelation 6:12-16. One of these is specific to a localized judgment on Egypt, but the rest of the contexts deal with the final events on Planet Earth immediately preceding the return of Messiah Yeshua.
Next week’s minuscule pinkish-orange discoloration of the moon falls way short of the stunning biblical context described in these scriptural texts.
According to NASA the lunar tetrads will not be visible over the skies of Jerusalem. So how then could these possibly be a sign to Israel?
One wag once said, “A specialist is someone fifty miles away from home.”
One of the individuals associated with the ‘blood moon’ theory has had many of his teachings recorded and broadcast on public media. For some years he has denied that Yeshua ever claimed to be the Messiah; therefore the Jewish leadership of Yeshua’s day never rejected His Messiahship (he claimed). He also is on public record as stating that the Jewish people already have a covenant with God, and therefore do not need to accept the Messiah that Christians preach.
“Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink. So a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor.” (Ecclesiastes 10:1)
The Scriptures have some helpful things to say about heavenly signs and even about the moon,
“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth;’ and it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day” (Genesis 1:14-19).
“He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down” (Psalm 104:19).
God’s sovereign creative power and order is seen in the created heavens: “Yours is the day, Yours also is the night; You have prepared the light and the sun. You have established all the boundaries of the earth. You have made summer and winter.” (Psalm 74:16-17).
The existence and procession of the moon through the skies is a spiritual sign that the nations recognize: “They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs. You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy” (Psalm 65:8).
The phases of the moon are a nearly incredible expression of His power and glory: “He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his clouds over it … How faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?” (Job 26:9-14).
The constancy of rhythm of the moon is seen as a prophetic reflection of God’s covenant faithfulness to David and to his dynasty: “I will not take My love from him, nor will I ever betray My faithfulness. I will not violate My covenant or alter what My lips have uttered. Once for all, I have sworn by My holiness – and I will not lie to David – that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun. It will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky” (Psalm 89:33-37).
The moon is not only a stopwatch marking out God’s time and His order; it is the basis of the biblical calendar and an expression of God’s majesty. It is a sign in the heavens that causes us all to wonder.
Some in the world are wondering about what the ‘blood moons’ may mean this Passover. They do not mean a fulfillment of Joel, nor do they specifically portend powerful eschatological events concerning the Jewish people. About those the Bible already has a huge amount to say.
An ancient Chinese sage once spoke a parable concerning the dynamics of apprehending truth. He noted that when someone points at an object with his finger, people tend to focus on the finger before they focus on the object in question. Some even develop an obsessive focus on the finger and do not benefit from learning what the finger itself is pointing at.
In the same way, unbalanced emphasis on the ‘blood moon’ teaching could end up skewing important biblical focuses – for instance, the amazing process of restoration of Israel to their Promised Land and their Messiah; the rising violent opposition of the nations to the Jewish people, their restoration and their God; the final harvest of the nations; the coming judgment of God and the return of David’s Greater Son the King of the Jews.
As we enter into the Passover season, let any fears we may have about cataclysmic blood moons subside, and let us wait on God for Him to reveal His mighty hand and outstretched forearm – even as did Moses and the Sons of Israel on the shores of the Red Sea.
For further background I encourage you to listen to Chris White’s helpful 12 minute link on YouTube at http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=–kA2-5z2zI&sns=fb
Hey Friends, Elana and are putting together an amazing tour for March 2015. One of the places we want to give people the option to visit is the Brichat Mishumim—the Hexagon Pool. The video below is in Hebrew, but you can see how amazing this natural pool is.
The Hexagon Pool is located in the center of the Golan Heights it is a natural pool and is situated in the “Yehudiya Forest Nature Reserve”,Israel. The Hexagon Pool is named after the shape of the hexagonal basalt pillars walls of the natural pool. Similar polygonal joint patterns can be found in Iceland, and in the Devils Tower National Monument. The pool’s formation was created by slow cooling of lava layers (over a long time span). The molecules of lava are round but When they cool and become solid they take a polygonal shape which is the closest to their round shape (doing so with the minimum energy loss possible). (amazingplaces.com)
You can also swim in the pool on a hot day. Don’t worry if you don’t want to take the short hike. There will be another tourist option for you!
If you want more information on the tour, sign up here to receive the updates.
At a time when modern Jewish Scholarship is taking seriously the Jewishness of the man Jesus, a new narrative is emerging—one that turns the Gospel it into a fictional Palestinian story, denying the Jewishness of Jesus or his mother Miriam. This version was portrayed in a recent article that embraces the new rage to challenge Christian Zionism—evangelical support for Modern Israel. Many young people in the evangelical community are ditching Israel in favor of Palestine. In fact, the writer’s father has been an ardent supporter of Israel over the years. But the new social justice generation (which we view as good!) sees Israel as Goliath and the Palestinians (backed by one billion Arabs!) as David. Continue Reading…
Muslim extremists attacked Pastor Umar Mulinde by throwing buckets of acid on him. He barely survived. Israel treated him free for these past two years. And now he is going back to Africa to preach the Gospel.Continue Reading...
Israel Messianic Leader Oded Shoshani shares at Christ at the Checkpoint about the people of Israel and the need for security.Continue Reading...
Dr. Stephen Sizer sees Christian support for Israel as evil and and says it’s a root cause that keeps Muslims from embracing Yeshua. He has called Israel a racist, apartheid state. His blog refers to the Israeli Defense Force as ‘the Israeli Terrorist Organization.’ And more recently he reaffirmed the comment of which he formerly repented—calling the Messianic Movement in Israel “an abomination” that has “repudiated Jesus” and “repudiated the Bible.”
So it should come as no surprise that I take issue with him. He is dangerous. Even still, in disagreeing with him, I try to stick to the issues—his comments and actions—as oppose to name calling or publicly questioning his salvation.
I cannot see what Sizer writes on his Facebook page, either because he has blocked me or because I am not a friend. However, someone alerted me this morning, about the following question on Sizer’s Facebook page:
Not trying to cause trouble—It’s just that the commentary coming from the other side of the ‘household of faith’ is somewhat antagonistic, and polarized rhetoric develops a life of its own, which, in one-to-one communication may dissolve? Praying.
This fellow was referring to the picture I posted on Facebook of the recreation of the Sbarro Suicide bombing by Palestinians students at a Palestinian University. (Note: The poster has informed me that he was referring to comments made by folks, not the content I posted and he abhors, with all of us, terror in all forms. To be clear, he was an innocent bystander in this and should be commended for seeking to promote dialogue.)
The poster is seeking to get Sizer and me together—to fellowship and work out our differences. He sees me as the aggressor. Sizer responds:
Steve—sorry but Ron Cantor does not demonstrate sufficient evidence of being a Christ follower to motivate me to want to have fellowship with him.
We are commanded in the Bible, “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.” (Titus 3:10)
“Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” (2 Peter 2:22)
A few thoughts…
1) The person asking the question does not know it, but I have had extensive private email discussions with Dr. Sizer over the years trying to reason with him. It has accomplished nothing. The fact that he reaffirmed his ‘abomination’ statement just a few weeks ago shows that. I don’t believe in calling someone out by name to whom you did not first reach out. I have reached out privately on many occasions to Sizer.
(By the way, despite reaffirming his ‘abomination’ statement on live radio, he is now saying we are lying and denying his comments… you be the judge! Go to 50:20.)
2) The only thing I have ever done regarding Stephen Sizer is ask him if he believes what he has written and stated (like that Islam has a Biblical claim to Jerusalem) and if so, to explain, clarify… or repent. He has requested fellowship with the Messianic Movement here in Israel, but speaks horrible things against us in other venues. I have told him, that unless he repudiates these stands, it is unlikely that we would embrace him.
3) When someone seeks to hold him accountable for his words and actions, he deems that divisive. That is extremely manipulative. The threat of public humiliation is an intimidation tactic to keep people from talking. Indeed he has even sent the police in the UK to confront his opposes and has threatened others with similar actions. Anyone who challenges his declarations is, apparently, contentious.
4) Of course, he takes it one step further in saying, in essence, that I am not even a follower of the Messiah. (I am now smiling.) He bases the condition of my soul on nothing more than the fact that I have reported what he has said. That’s it. Disagree with Sizer, and you too shall perish.
5) He quotes Titus about warning a divisive person, once, twice, then having nothing to do with him (again, divisive means to him: challenging Sizer on his statements). Sizer has never “warned” me. Furthermore, as Sizer often does, he takes this passage completely out of context.
It is not referring to leaders disagreeing over serious theological issues, but congregational government. It is speaking of those causing division in a local context. My friends and colleagues here in Israel have commended me for my stand against Sizer’s behavior and we walk in loving unity. It would be those men who would need to warn me of being divisive, not a lone preacher in the U.K. who knows nothing about me or my ministry, except that we have sought to hold him accountable to his words.
6) Let’s look at the passage in context:
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned. (Titus 3:9-11)
7) Lastly, when you cannot defend your arguments, go personal. Attack the person to shield yourself from having to defend your words. Sizer compares me to a dog returning to vomit or a pig going back to its slime. Of all people, Sizer should know that calling a Jewish person a pig is considered anti-Semitic speech. If not for the fact that formal charges of anti-Semitism, unprecedented by the Board of the Deputies of the Church of England, were brought against Sizer in the past, I would assume it was just a poor choice of words.
Again, can we look at this passage in context? This is what Sizer thinks of me…
These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” (1 Peter 17:22)
WOW!!! Holding Dr. Sizer accountable for his radical statements, according to his theology, get’s you thrust into your well-deserved “blackest darkness.”
Ironically, Sizer claims that he learned from the last time he was accused of being an anti-Semite. He “now realizes the importance of monitoring online posts and avoiding inflammatory language.” “Dog,” “Pig,” Lack of “sufficient evidence of being a Christ follower.” Gee, could have fooled me.
According to the report concerning accusations of anti-Semitism, Dr. Sizer agreed in future, “to have three people check his blog post and said he would respond promptly to future critics.”
While, I doubt anyone checked his post, but he did respond promptly! I guess the assumption was that he would not compare his future critics to dogs and pigs who are awaiting damnation.
Once again I have not sought to personally attack Sizer with insults or misusing the Scriptures, as he has with me. I have only used his own words! If he would like to clarify, he is welcomed to do so.
Photo: Sizer poses with Terrorist General Nabil Kaouk of Hezbollah, their top main in South Lebanon, where Christians were forced to flee to Israel or risk murder. (source)
Several years ago Dr. Stephen Sizer said:
“There are certainly churches in Israel/Palestine that side with the occupation (of the West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights), that side with Zionism. One of my burdens is to challenge them theologically and show that they’ve repudiated Jesus, they’ve repudiated the Bible, and they are an abomination.”
He made this pronouncement at the same time that he was expressing his desire for friendship and dialogue with Messianic Jews in Israel. Sizer has a habit of trashing Israel in one venue (like when he speaking to Islamic leaders) and then oozing love towards us in another.
This paper is a rebuttal to Dr. Stephen Sizer’s (pictured…he is the one of the right) paper, “Jerusalem: The City of God in Biblical Tradition,” that he gave at the Int’l Conference on Jerusalem in Qatar, before a multi-religious group. In his paper, Dr. Sizer seems to suggest that Jerusalem belongs to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. A rebuttal was demanded…
The conference, which took place in February 2012, was organized by the Arab League, a group of Arab states made up of some of the most repressive regimes on earth, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Somalia and Syria. That an Evangelical Christian minister would give a paper at this conference and bring up human rights abuses in Israel, while ignoring these dictatorships and police states, which arrest without warrants and jail and execute political opponents, is enough to give us pause and wonder concerning his motives.
The participants were largely Muslim. (http://www.qatarconferences.org/jerusalem/participants.php) Dr. Sizer, who claims to be evangelical, meaning he believes salvation can only be found in the redemptive work of Yeshua, seems to believe Islam has a religious claim to Jerusalem.
(Note on the Picture: While Dr. Sizer would most likely claim that his relationship with the now deceased Arafat and others like him, is to reach them, it must be noted, that his friendship with them is welcomed primarily, if not exclusively, because of his anti-Zionist, anti-Israel stance. I found no pictures of him with Israeli officials that he is trying to reach.) Continue Reading…