Luke 9—Nuggets of Wisdom from Yeshua’s Life

Luke 9:1–2, Gave them power. (See also Luke 10:19.) Spiritual power and authority over demons and sickness is manifested in no greater way than when exercised in conjunction with the preaching of the gospel. It is here on the ragged edge between the kingdoms of light and darkness that YHVH wishes especially to demonstrate his power through his servants in an effort to draw outsiders into his spiritual kingdom. Healing from sickness and deliverance from demonic powers is a great enticement for those on the outside to become part of YHVH’s kingdom, where they will experience freedom resulting in joy, peace and hope and eventually eternal life.

Luke 9:28, Eight days. Eight is the biblical number of new beginnings and the symbol for infinity. When Yeshua comes back in power and glory to establish his kingdom universally on this earth of which the transfiguration was a prophetic foreshadow, it will be a new beginning lasting for eternity.

Luke 9:41, Faithless and perverse. Faithlessness and perversity go hand-in-hand with the ability to cast out demons and to heal the sick. To the degree that one is faithful to and has faith in YHVH and his Word and is in sync with it is the degree to which one will be able to exercise power over demon spirits and sickness.

Continue reading
 

A Gift for Yeshua: Why I Love Him—Reflections on His Nativity

In December, many people think of the birth of Jesus (Yeshua). Most people who are knowledgable know that he wasn’t born in December, but in the early fall. But nine months before the actual time of his birth puts us at the end of December when Yeshua was conceived—when the life of our Savior began in Mary’s womb. It was at this time that the heaven-sent Yeshua, miraculously pierced the spiritual darkness of the this world at the darkest time of the year. This divine spark of life in the womb of a woman would become the spiritual light of this world to lead men out of the darkness of sin and evil and to the supernal light of his Father, Elohim, and to eternal life.

Whether you celebrate the birth of the babe in the manger in December or in the fall, Yeshua’s arrival is still heaven’s ultimate love gift to humanity as John 3:16 says. “For Elohim so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Please stop for a moment and quiet your heart and mind to reflect on the significance of this momentous event that occurred in the tiny town of Bethlehem some 2000 years ago.

For years since I was a child, my mind fully believed what the Bible tells us about the birth of Yeshua. But it wasn’t until much later, as an adult, that, while I was alone one night and quietly seeking Elohim, that the revelation of the priceless nature of Elohim’s love gift to me literally pierced my heart like a lightening bolt from heaven. As a result of this supernatural revelation and an overwhelming sense of Elohim’s love that accompanied it flowing through me like warm oil, I fell to my knees in worshipful and reverential awe as my heart came alive to just how much Elohim loved me personally—a sinner who deserved death. That night changed my life forever. They say that the eighteen inches between the head and the heart is the greatest distance in existence. My head and heart know this is to be true. Now they were united!

Continue reading
 

“Let there be light” in your life…

Psalm 67:1–2, Face to shine…that your way. In analyzing this biblical passage, let’s apply some mathematical logic and discover the wonderful place to which it leads us. It’s a place that’s higher and better than any other! Here we go…

YHVH’s face or countenance shines like the sun in its full strength (Rev 1:16). He is the Sun of righteousness (Mal 4:2). The sun is the greater light that shines in the darkness of this world (Gen 1:16). The physical sun points to and is a representation of Yeshua who isn’t the greater light, but the Greatest Light that shone on this earth before the physical sun was created on the fourth day, and will shine once again on the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:23) as he shone on the first three days of creation (Gen 1:3). 

Presently, Yeshua is the Light of the world (John 8:12) that is contained in his Torah-Word, which is truth, and which is revealed by the Spirit of Elohim (John 16:13) to those who humbly and repentantly seek it like little children (Matt 18:3–4). 

Moreover, Yeshua is the Word of Elohim that was made flesh (John 1:1, 14), and he is a spiritual light that shines in the darkness of this world to show men the way out of the darkness and to his Father in heaven (John 1:4;–5; 8:12, 9:5 cp. 14:6) who himself dwells in supernal light (1 Tim 6:16; Dan 2:22; 1 John 1:5; Jas 1:17). 

Light in the Scriptures is also a metaphor for truth (John 3:21) and the Torah (Prov 6:23 cp. Ps 119:142, 151). Light is also a metaphor for the Word of Elohim (Ps 119:105). Yeshua was and is that Word (John 1:1, 14). 

Now let’s go back to Psalm 67:1–2. When Elohim causes his face to shine on us, we will be blessed and receive his mercy (verse 1). The result will be that we will know his ways and his salvation, which is Yeshua (salvation is the Hebrew word Yeshua in verse 2). 

Can the truth of Elohim’s word be any clearer than this? When we understand these simple biblical truths, and humbly submit ourselves to them and walk in the light of this glorious truth, our lives will be in perfect alignment or in sync with the plumb line of YHVH’s laser light-like truth. This puts us on the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life, and it places us in the middle of YHVH’s river of life (Ps 1:3) that flows from his throne and a tree of life (Prov 3:18 cp. Ps 1:3, read vv. 1–6 for context). 

This spot is where it’s at—the sweet spot of life (see Ps 1:1–6)! Yet men are so hard-hardhearted, stiffnecked, rebellious and arrogant that they refuse to see these simples truths because they love the darkness of their sin and refuse to come to the light of Yeshua (John 3:19–20). 

Those of you who are privileged to have the light of YHVH’s countenance shining on you, give him the glory he deserves for his wonderful merciful grace in your life, and take a moment to offer up a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving!

 

No man can redeem his brother from sin except Yeshua!

Psalm 49:7, None…can…redeem his brother. In that all men are of equal value before Elohim, a man can’t redeem his brother from the penalty of sin, which is death. One can only atone for his own sins by dying, and once dead, there is no more possibility of living, since the wages of sin is death. So there is no possibility of a man atoning for his own sins, much less those of another; this verse makes this truth clear. 

Even if a man could live a sinless life, he could at best save only one other individual—that is, give his life in exchange for only one other sinner. Only Yeshua who was the Creator of all humans life (Col 1:16; Heb 11:3) could exchange his sinless life for all humanity, since common logic tells us the one who creates something is of more value than the sum total of all that he creates. This is why verse eight states that the redemption of men’s souls is costly, since it cost the life of the Son of Elohim, the Creator of all things. Only this costly sin sacrifice could redeem men from the pit of the grave and give men the gift of eternal life (verse nine).

Another point to consider in this discussion is that since Yeshua was born of a virgin and not of the seed of man, his nature wasn’t polluted or defiled by Adam’s sin nature. If he had not been born of a virgin, this would have disqualified him from being the perfect and blemish-free Passover lamb sin offering for the remission of men’s sins before the judgment seat of Elohim. Since the life of man is in his blood (Lev 17:11), and man’s blood was defiled by Adam’s sin nature, and since Yeshua’s blood didn’t derive from man, but from his Father in heaven, Yeshua’s blood was acceptable to a holy Elohim as the required atonement for the redemption men’s souls (Lev 17:11 cp. Isa 53:10). No man except Yeshua has ever met these criteria, thus no man other than Yeshua is qualified to atone for another man’s sin. 

Because Yeshua was the blameless and sin-free Passover lamb, those who spiritually identify and unite with his atoning death through faith and the ritual of baptism for the remission of sins can now be presented as blameless as well before Elohim in heaven (Col 1:21–23).

 

Uncovered: More Rabbinic, Anti-Yeshua Jewish Fables

Psalm 45:6–11, A messianic prophecy. This passage (verse 7) is difficult for non-Messianic rabbinical scholars to deal with since it seems to indicate so clearly the deity of the Messiah. For example, the Orthodox Jewish The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach renders this passage as follows: …therefore has Elohim, your Elohim, anointed you …(emphasis added)—a translationwhich, in effect, changes the whole meaning of the passage to deflect off of the Messiah any connotations of deity. Yet the word has does not appear in the original Hebrew.

In fact, in The ArtScroll Schottenstein Edition Tehilim (The Book of Psalms With an Interlinear Translation) under the Hebrew word Elohim (Strong’s H430), which in English is translated simply as God, and means nothing more nor nothing less, appears the word has alongside of God. Quite clearly, as noted above, the word has was added, though it does not appear in the original language. 

What is the upshot of this discussion? Very simply stated, Elohim is addressing Elohim-Messiah as Elohim. This passage witnesses to the fact that Elohim in Heaven is addressing Messiah-Elohim as deserving of the worshipful title of Elohim all of which speaks of the deity, incarnation and virgin birth of the Messiah.

Furthermore, in verse 11 we see the imperative command to worship the Messiah as Lord (Adon), again showing the incarnation and deity, and by implication the virgin birth, of the Messiah.

Psalm 45:14, The virgins and her companions. This may be a prophetic picture of the bride of Yeshua (the wise virgins in Yeshua’s Matt 25 parable) accompanied by her non-bride companions (the foolish virgins in the same parable).

 

Who appeared to Abraham?

Genesis 18:1, Then YHVH appeared to him. 

YHVH Calls Abraham

And YHVH appeared [ra’ah the common Hebrew word meaning “to see, look, behold, show, appear, observe, have vision, present oneself, be seen”] unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there built he an altar unto YHVH, who appeared unto him. (adapted from the KJV)

There God became visible to Abram and said … (as translated in S. R. Hirsch’s Genesis commentary)

How and in what form did YHVH appear to Abraham? This is the question the Jewish sages have been pondering for two thousand years. On the one hand, the language of Scripture is clear and seems literal enough: “YHVH appeared unto Abram … and said …” Yet let’s now note what some of the most notable Jewish sages have to say about this verse.

Rashi, the greatest Jewish Torah commentator of the modern era, has nothing to say about this verse in his commentary. Baal HaTurim, another notable Jewish commentator, in his Torah commentary, does not discuss the nature of the appearance. The Soncino Edition of the Pentateuch has no comments on verse seven. The ArtScroll Bereishis/Genesis Commentary states the following:

And [YHVH] made Himself visible to Abram: The stress is strongly on this visibility. The expression states that, not only was the Voice of God heard, but God Himself, so to speak, appeared, emerging from invisibility to visibility; revealing Himself. This is of far reaching importance because the Torah thereby specifically refutes the view of those who deny actual revelations and consider them products of human imagination and ecstasy. The means by which God spoke to human beings is an eternal mystery. It is enough to recognize that He did indeed speak and reveal Himself to them in some tangible way. (Hirsch, p. 439; emphasis added)

Samson Raphael Hirsch, the great nineteenth orthodox Jewish scholar, in his commentary states,

God made himself visible to Abraham, and said etc. The whole stress lies on this visibility … Far from wishing to give even the very slightest idea of how God spoke to Abraham and to those chosen men to whom He revealed Himself, we still have to note what is actually told us here. The expression used says that not only was the Voice of God heard … but [He was] made visible to Abraham. (Genesis, p. 231)

Here the Jewish sages agree that YHVH literally appeared and spoke to the patriarch Abraham. If he could do this here, then why could he not send a “part” or “extension” of himself” (if you will) in the Person of Yeshua the Messiah?

YHVH—Yeshua Appears to Abraham and Sarah and Promises Them a Son

Continue reading
 

Did the pre-incarnate Yeshua appear to Hagar?

Genesis 16:7–13, Hagar and Ishmael encounter Messenger of YHVH. The first place in Scripture that the term “Angel [Messenger/Malak] of YHVH is used is in Genesis 16:7. Here Hagar flees into the wilderness with her son, Ishmael, escaping from Sarah, her mistress and is resting by a pool of water when the Heavenly Messenger (Hewb. malak) of YHVH suddenly appears to her. He commands her to return to Sarah and then proceeds to pronounce a prophetic blessing upon Ishmael:

10 And the angel of YHVH said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. 11 And the angel of YHVH said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because YHVH hath heard thy affliction. 12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

What was Hagar’s response (Gen 16:13)? Christian translations of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) record that she believed that she had (incredibly) seen YHVH and lived:

So she named YHVH who had spoken with her El of Seeing, because she said, “Have I really seen the One who sees me [and stayed alive]?” (adapted from the CJB)

Then she called the name of YHVH who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me? (NKJV)

Then she called the name of YHVH who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees”; for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?” (NAS)

So she named YHVH who spoke to her, “You are El-roi”; for she said, “Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?” (NRSV)

As we can see, the Christian translations give the impression that Hagar actually saw YHVH.

The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash (the modern Orthodox Jewish translation) translates verse 13 in this manner:

And she called the Name of HASHEM Who spoke to her “You are the God of Vision,” for she said, “Could I have seen even here after having seen?”

The Jewish Soncino Edition of the Pentateuch translates it this way:

And she called the name of the LORD that spoke unto her, Thou art a God of seeing; for she said: ‘Have I even here seen Him that sees me?’

Nineteenth-century Orthodox Jewish sage Samson Raphael Hirsch in his commentary translates this verse as follows,

Continue reading