Archives For Jewish Roots

Part 1

When I turned the page (actually, I clicked to go to the next chapter), I found something interesting in chapter 36. There are these two guys, Bezalel and Oholiab, and they are super gifted in craftsmanship and engraving. It says that the Spirit of God had anointed them for this task.

That is not the big deal. The big deal is that Moses takes all the money—all the gold and silver—and he gives to these guys and their team. They are tasked with building a tabernacle.

‘Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary.’ (Ex. 36:2-3)

Several years ago, I met a pastor who pledged to support our congregation. I never saw a penny. However, he communicated to me as if we were buds. Now I am friends with many people who don’t support us financially, but it was weird—it was as if he thought he was supporting us. Money is a touchy subject, so I just continued in relationship with him and never said anything.

After more than a year, I received a message from this pastor. He was so apologetic. Apparently, someone was stealing money. He thought they were supporting us, while a staff member was siphoning off cash. Since then, he has been one of our biggest supporters and cheerleaders.

My point is that in the midst of this great move of God, these men, Bezalel and Oholiab, were completely trusted with the funds. How do we know that they weren’t stealing from the kitty? Maybe good ole Oholiab stuck a few gold coins in his tunic every day. We know he didn’t nor did the other because of what we read next.

‘And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.”

Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.’

According to Exodus 38:24, they gave about one metric ton of gold. That alone—forget the silver, bronze and other elements—would be worth $40,000,000 today!

Now, that is biblical giving and accountability.

  1. The people gave with such zeal and joyfulness that Moses had to give an order for them to stop giving.
  2. And the men receiving the funds were so honest in the fear of the Lord, that instead of giving into the temptation to let the people keep giving, they told Moses about the problem of “over-giving.”

The New Testament equivalent of this can be seen in the book of Acts. In the Hebrew scriptures, God uses elements from the earth to build His Tabernacle and then His Temple. Both times the glory of God comes:

‘Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. (Ex. 40:34-35)

When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.’ (1 Kings 8:10-11)

This, too, came after supernatural giving:

‘King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.’ (1 Kings 8:5)

Wow! What I would give to be able to have experienced that. But we see the same thing in the New Covenant. This time God doesn’t need gold and silver, but he builds His house with people. In Acts 2, we see the Holy Spirit fall on the 120 in a similar fashion in Jerusalem, causing a revival that would shake the Roman Empire!

And one of the first hallmarks of this revival is… sacrificial giving.

‘They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts…’ (Acts 2:45-46)

‘There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.’ (Acts 4:34-35)

The first thing that jumps out at me is similar to what we see in the time of Moses. There was no IRS. No one was checking up on them to make sure the money was spent right. In fact, when two of them in the chapter five lied about how much money they received for a property they sold, they died! The fear of the Lord in the midst of revival caused the people to live in integrity when it came to funds.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in accountability. We are a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and have received their highest rating. Accountability has saved many from giving into temptation. What I am saying is that in the absence of the ECFA, the people were honest.

We can’t get away from it. Revival and supernatural, generous giving go hand in hand. We see it when the tabernacle is dedicated, when the temple is dedicated and when the New Covenant community is birthed and commissioned.

This week Christianity Today published an article by two rabbis claiming the Last Supper was no Passover Seder. Here are the facts!

Shares 604
Continue Reading...

Three Reasons we Give

Revival, Giving and the Tabernacle

This week’s Torah reading starts in Exodus 35. The tabernacle, which will become the central meeting and worship site for the Israelites, is going to be built. There is excitement. They have seen the miracles of God—the plagues, the Red Sea, and now Moses coming down from the mountain, shining from the glory of God. He brings them the Ten Commandments.

Moses speaks:

“Take from among you an offering for Adonai. Whoever has a willing heart, let him bring Adonai’s offering: gold, silver and bronze…” (Ex. 35:5 TLV)

The people respond enthusiastically.

“Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit was willing came and brought Adonai’s offering for the work of the Tent of Meeting and for all its service as well as for the holy garments. So they came, both men and women, everyone whose heart compelled him, and brought nose rings, earrings, signet rings, bracelets, and all kinds of golden jewels—everyone who brought a wave offering of gold to Adonai.” (Ex. 35:21-22)

We live in a day and age where we are reluctant to respond to such calls. And rightly so. There is so much corruption in ministries today that people are afraid that their gifts are not going to enrich the kingdom, but enrich some would-be king.

Not long ago, a media pastor asked people to buy him a luxurious jet—for the Kingdom. A few years ago he may have gotten his plane. But one of the beautiful things about social media is that it has given the regular guy a voice. And regular guys all over the internet said, “WHAT? Why in the world do you need a $65,000,000 jet?” Donors were encouraged to give at least $300 a piece towards the luxury jet, but the social media backlash was so intense, they abandoned the project (only to take it up again later).

By and large, believers want to be generous. But they don’t want to be abused. They want to give to the Kingdom of God. But they also want to make sure their giving is going to result in genuine fruit.

In Exodus 35, the people gave freely and liberally. Why? Three Reasons:

Generosity is a fruit of revival

By revival, I mean a visitation by the presence of God. In His presence, it is hard to be selfish. I saw this when I served in Pensacola at the historic Brownsville Revival. Not only did people give, but also they sacrificed in ways they would not have before the move of God, in order to be there. People quit good jobs and took lower paying ones to be in the revival. People moved from beautiful cities to the deep south, so they could go four nights a week to revival meetings. They were so hungry for God, and generous giving was a fruit of that hunger.

They trusted Moses

Because of the lack of accountability, the abuse of funds given by hardworking people and the lavish lifestyles that some in ministry live, many believers do not trust their leaders. Even though the vast majority of leaders in local congregations are accountable and want to do the will of God, we often only hear about the $65,000,000 jets.

The Israelites were a fickle bunch—my ancestors. One moment Moses was a hero; the next, they are talking about killing him. But at that special moment—after the golden calf incident and after Moses had gone back up on Sinai and came down glowing with the tablets—they knew Yahweh was their deliverer. And they gave. They knew that God was doing something special in the earth through them. And “everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit was willing came” and gave cheerfully.

We give to Local Projects

I made a mistake a few years back. We built a beautiful Coffee House at Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv. I didn’t want to be a burden on our people, so I raised all the funds outside the congregation. As a result, even though the project was a great success and we now have regular outreach concerts, the people did not own it initially. I never gave them the chance to. It was Ron’s project. Once it was built, they loved it, but I didn’t give them the chance to be part of the building.

People love to invest in their home congregation—especially if it is the consequence of growth. We are getting ready to embark on a $200,000 renovation so we can double our capacity from 150 to 300, and begin to livestream our meetings in Hebrew to the whole country—and Israelis around the world. Many in our congregation are barely surviving financially, but they will want to give to this. Yes, most of the funds will come from outside of Israel, but they will be a part of it—whether in giving or some other way. They will own it.

The people were excited to give to their tabernacle. This would be akin to their local congregation—except it would be mobile. They lived in a very religious world. They had to learn the hard way that there would no idols, no marking of their bodies in worship, or prostitution and no boiling of kids in their mother’s milk. There would be no child sacrifice. They were eager to worship their God, but they were steeped in pagan traditions. Now, with Moses’ guidance, they would give of their most precious possessions to see a beautiful tabernacle arise.

Take some time and read Exodus 35. It will encourage you.

Part 2

To read more about Tiferet Yeshua enlarging our congregation, click here.

 

Outrage on the Temple Mount

Ron Cantor —  January 4, 2017 —  Comments

Tour guide bullied by Islamic Guards for using the term TEMPLE MOUNT on the TEMPLE MOUNT!

Today, in Israel, a tour guide was leading a group of American students on the Temple Mount—you know, the place where the First and Second Temple stood (according to any historian with an ounce of integrity). In his teaching, Israeli archeologist, Dr. Gabriel Barkay, used the suddenly controversial term, “Temple Mount”. He was confronted immediately by Islamic thug guards.

You see, the Islamists on the Temple Mount not only deny that there ever was a Temple there, but they demand that you deny it as well.

According to the TimesofIsrael.com:

In passing, he once again referred to the site as the Temple Mount; its Arabic name is Haram al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary. Incensed, the guards interrupted once more, ordered 72-year-old Barkay to stand, and marched him over to a cluster of Israel Police officers who were standing beneath a clutch of pines.

Not long ago, UNESCO, the joke of an organization within the U.N. that promotes education, science and culture (but apparently not history!), passed a resolution which proclaimed that the Western Wall and the Temple Mount were solely Islamic sites and denied their Jewish connection.

Islamic guards had been following Dr. Barkay and his group to make sure they didn’t say anything inappropriate such as, Temple Mount. Now, standing with the police, the Islamic thugs wanted Dr. Barkay expelled from the Temple Mount… I mean, Haram al-Sharif. Of course, he was breaking no law, just hurting their feelings and therefore he was able to continue.

You might wonder, if Israel is a Jewish state, why are there Islamic guards harassing people on the Temple Mount? After Israel defeated Jordan in 1967, the WAQF (the organization that oversees the Temple Mount) was created under Jordanian oversight, which then employs Palestinians to run it. This is a direct contradiction to how Jordan treated Jerusalem’s Old City from 1948 – 1967. They destroyed every Jewish symbol, monument and synagogue. Now they cry foul if a Jewish person simply utters a prayer on the Temple Mount. And we put up with it.

This thuggish aggression against Jewish and Christian tourists is not new. Many tour guides will tell you that they have suffered a similar encounter. Instead of defending the tourists, the United Nations, against all logic and intellect, agree with the Islamists that the Temple Mount is really and only Haram al-Sharif. Of course, the Islamic block of nations has sway in the U.N., so truth takes a back seat to myths that are meant to weaken Israel.

The funny thing is that we have no direct evidence that Mohamed ever even visited Jerusalem, but we have tons of evidence of the two different Jewish Temples that stood there.

And to be clear, Yeshua will return to the Mount of Olive directly facing that area. He will enter and I am quite sure that He will acknowledge it as the Temple Mount, as He sets up His kingdom.

“Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem.” (Zech. 14:3-4a)

 

 

A breakthrough discovery was found at Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City. In brief, archaeologists have dug deeper into what some believe to be the tomb of the Messiah and they found a cross on it. If it is the tomb of Yeshua, the cross would have been added much later. At the time of His death and resurrection, the cross was not a symbol of the faith, but rather the fish is probably the earliest symbol. Some of the first Greek-speaking believers turned the Greek word for fish, Ichthus, into a creative acronym for “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.”

Was the Cross a Symbol?

However, at the time of His death, the cross was a symbol of execution. It would be like wearing an electric chair around your neck. It became more popular in the late second and third centuries, finally adopted by the anti-Semitic Emperor Constantine as the official symbol of political Christianity.

Helana

Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, who sought to identify the significant biblical sites in the fourth century.

So what does this conclude? More than likely that Constantine’s mother, Helena, who in 326CE went throughout the Holy Land with a delegation seeking to identify places considered holy, identified this as Yeshua’s tomb. She is also credited with finding the original cross (which of course, she did not). Locals who told the delegation that Roman Emperor Hadrian had built a pagan temple over the tomb to declare the supremacy of the Roman state religion over the New Testament faith led her to this place. This is the emperor who changed the name of Judea to Palestine and sought to destroy the existence of Jewish life and culture in 135CE. Hadrian’s pagan temple was destroyed (though some of its remains have been identified) and Constantine had a church built above the tomb.

It is important to note, that Constantine popularized the idea of building shrines or church buildings, not as dynamic houses of praise and worship, but as memorials.

“The great era of church buildings began with Constantine’s patronage of the church in the fourth century. He commissioned basilicas to signal his support of the new religion and to advertise his reign.” source

The slab on the tomb pictured goes back, it is believed, not to the first or even fourth century, but to the Crusades (1099CE). What this says is that at least a thousand years ago, the Crusaders thought this to be the tomb of the Messiah. “We can’t say 100 percent, but it appears to be visible proof that the location of the tomb has not shifted through time, something that scientists and historians have wondered for decades,” said Fredrik Hiebert, National Geographic’s archaeologist-in-residence.[i]

Definitely COULD be Yeshua’s

Furthermore, this tomb is consistent with the way that wealthy Jews, such as Joseph of Arimathea, buried their dead. However, it doesn’t prove that Yeshua was the Jewish person buried there. Of course, there are no bones in this tomb! Approximately a year after burial (when the body had completely decomposed) the bones would be collected and placed in a stone box called an ossuary.

Ossuary, where bones of the deceased were stored and placed in the tomb.

Ossuary, where bones of the deceased were stored and placed in the tomb.

While I am not a fan of the practice of building church structures over places of significance (often people come from all over the world just to touch a stone or light a candle, assuming there is spiritual power apart from relating directly with the Father through Jesus), I can’t help but be moved at what might be the burial spot of Yeshua.

“We may not be absolutely certain that the site of the Holy Sepulchre Church is the site of Jesus’ burial, but we certainly have no other site that can lay a claim nearly as weighty, and we really have no reason to reject the authenticity of the site.”[ii]

When the researchers removed the marble slab that for centuries had covered the tomb for its protection, that were stunned to find it completely in tact.

First Ever Photographs of Tomb

Clearly the archeologists were moved, as we can see in the short movie. The marble slab revealing the tomb had not be seen by a human for centuries and had never before been photographed. Before resealing, the team will spend the next five months gathering data. It will be interesting to see if they find any markings or graffiti connecting it to Yeshua.

As exciting as this finding may be, nothing compares to the intimate relationship with Yeshua that is available to anyone, anywhere, who puts his or her faith in Him.

 

i http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/10/jesus-christ-tomb-burial-church-holy-sepulchre/

ii ibid

 

Shares 168