Category Archives: Christ

Hanukkah The Feast of Dedication [by Batya Ruth Wootten]

Hanukkah
The Feast of Dedication
by Batya Ruth Wootten

Shalom
The following article was previously published in a House of David Herald Newsletter. Batya enlarges on the subject in her feast book, Israel’s Feast and their Fullness – Expanded Edition. In it, she points out that the Hasmoneans forced conversions and began a Dynasty that took leadership from King David’s House – so they were opposed by some from his line (See Maccabees). The Hasmoneans also mandated its celebration, which is unscriptural (Deu 4:2). This may be why Messiah Yeshua was watching the celebration off to the side, while walking (treading? Strong’s # G 4043) in Solomon’s Portico (John 10:23). He was from King David’s house and would have been aware of the error of usurping the calling that was upon the House of David.

Zechariah apparently recognized a separation between Judah and the House of David. Speaking of Israel’s endtime return to the land, he said, “The LORD also will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not be magnified above Judah” (Zec 12-7).

Hanukkah began as a late Tabernacles celebration, but later became a symbol of Jewish perseverance (see the Apocrypha, 2 Maccabees 10:6-9).

Hanukkah History

Menorah Nine BranchIn 168 B.C., on the 25th day of Kislev, which falls during November/December, the army of the Greek-Syrian King, Antiochus Epiphanes, desecrated the Temple of the God of Israel. He also ordered the sacrifice of a pig on the Temple altar, had pagan idols brought into the Sanctuary, and forbade all worship of the God of Israel – as well as following the Law of the God of Israel. Those who chose to obey the Holy One rather than man, were seen as violators – the decreed punishment being execution.
Under the leadership of Judah the Maccabee, who was also known as the “Hammer,” a faithful remnant resisted the Syrians. They called on YHVH Tsavaot, the God of the Armies of Israel, and asked Him to aid them in their battle. Although they were greatly outnumbered, the Maccabees managed to regain control of Jerusalem in 165 B.C.

According to tradition, the Almighty then caused a one day supply of Menorah oil found in the Temple to last for eight days, while fresh oil was being consecrated – thus giving light in the Temple. (Note: There is no historical record of this miracle in the early accounts of Hanukkah and it is contested by many.) The Maccabees then cleansed the Temple, and on the 25th day of Kislev, exactly three years after the Syrians had profaned the Sanctuary, a new altar was dedicated.

It is said that in commemoration of this victory over evil, and because they had been unable to celebrate Sukkot/Tabernacles at its proper time, for eight days the Jewish people celebrated – giving glory to their God for delivering them from their enemies.

Hanukkah means “Dedication” and is thus thought to be a “Sukkot” type celebration that ultimately took on a life of its own.

In the Apocrypha, in I Maccabbees 2-4, we read of these zealous Israelites who refused to bow down to false gods. To honor the event in our day, worship services in synagogues around the world include the prophetic passage from Zechariah: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts” (Zec 4:6). For eight consecutive days Jewish people light candles on a nine branched Hanukkah Candelabrum (as opposed to a seven branched Menorah like the one that was in the Temple). Just before sunset, families gather to light the first candle during this “Festival of Lights.” Children are given gifts of gelt (money) and chocolate, and a dreidel game is played using a special spinning top and beans. Hanukkah songs are sung and the story of redemption is retold.

The center, or otherwise prominent candle of the Hanukkia Lamp is traditionally called the shammas or servant. Each night, it is used to light the other candle(s). On the first night, it is used to light one candle (starting on the right), on the second night two; adding one candle each night until, on the last night, all eight are lit by the shammas, which is lit every night. Nine-branched Hanukkah lamps were created for this occasion because the rabbis felt Jews should not reproduce anything that was in the Temple. These should be called Hanukkia lamps, to distinguish them from the Spirit-inspired seven-branched Menorah that was in the Tabernacle and Temple.

Long ago, the Maccabees won a great military victory for our Jewish people. They won because they were faithful to the Almighty alone. Due to their faith-filled actions (coupled with YHVH’s grace), the Temple was rededicated and freedom to worship the God of Israel was restored. In and through them, the God of Israel once again confirmed His desire to preserve His people.
In this story we see a picture of deliverance for those who follow “good shepherds” – leaders like the Maccabees. The focus of the celebration is on faithfulness, on being dedicated to righteousness. We are to be faithful and righteous even as is our God. But how should the non-Jewish Believer in Messiah relate to this Holiday? Are they to simply to follow the traditions of our Jewish brothers, or is there something more for us to see here?
In John 10:22-24, we read, “At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Yeshua was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.”

Some feel these verses prove that Yeshua celebrated Hanukkah. Others feel they portray Him as being off in the distance, looking on, from Solomon’s portico. Regardless, we know He was there, and that, at that time, some from Judah asked Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.

In response, Yeshua affirmed His oneness with YHVH, and He made it clear that He was leading His people. He said, “You do not believe….because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” We read that, when He said this, “the Jews picked up stones again to stone Him.” They told Him they did this, “Because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God” (John 10:24-32). This is the second time they sought to stone Yeshua. The first time was during a Feast of Tabernacles when they were lighting the great menorahs and He cried out, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

When questioned about His Messiahship during Hanukkah, why did Yeshua answer by affirming His Oneness with YHVH, and by talking about His sheep hearing His voice, and about them being protected by the Father?
Because the people were putting great emphasis on physical deliverance from their oppressors. Even Judas Iscariot wanted a Messiah who would crush the Roman oppressors like the Maccabees did with the Syrians. But Messiah Yeshua wanted something greater and more lasting for His followers…

Cleansed Temples and Pure Lights

Messiah Yeshua wants people who do not love their lives even unto death. He seeks those who will focus on cleansing a different temple, one that is being built up by His Holy Spirit. As his people, we are to be temples of the Living God, and we are to allow His Ruach HaKodesh, His Holy Spirit, to cleanse our hearts. In that way, Yeshua’s light will shine forth from our inner man. Messiah Yeshua will pour in the oil (which symbolizes the Holy Spirit) and we will become living examples to all the world of His protection and provision (2 Cor 6:16; 7:1; Heb 9:14; 1 John 1:9; Mat 5:14; John 8:12).
Messiah Yeshua is the “Servant” named “Israel” who was sent to “raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel.” Yeshua is especially “a light to the Goyim (Gentile Nations),” to those who were once destined to become a melo hagoyim, or “fulness of the Gentiles.” He is the Shepherd God of formerly scattered Ephraim Israel, those of the supposedly “Lost Tribes” (Isa 49:6; Gen 48:19).

YHVH said He Himself would search for His lost sheep. He also said. “And I will set over them one Shepherd, My Servant…He will feed them Himself and be their Shepherd… will be their God and My Servant David will be Prince among them…. They will live securely, and no one will make them afraid…. Then they will know that I, YHVH their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are My people….For, I will take…Ephraim and Judah and their companions…and make them one stick in My hand…and they will be one nation in the Land…” (Isa 8:14; Eze 34:11,23-30; 37:15-28; Amos 9:9).
Those who follow the Good Shepherd do not need to fear oppressors. They simply need to trust in Him and be filled with His light (Isa 2:5; 1 Pet 2:9,10; Hos 1:2-11; 2:23; Luke 1:33).

At this Hanukkah season, let us celebrate by rededicating ourselves to our God, to the Holy One of Israel.

Let us ask the Father to empower us to: Better hear the voice of our Shepherd – Help build up His Holy Temple in the Spirit – Be willing to be cleansed when the Ruach shines His light on our sin – Be more dedicated to the restoration of His Kingdom to the whole house of Israel.

So gather family and friends, light the menorah, and meditate on verses of Scripture that have to do with light, such as:
Night one: John 1:1-12; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35-36.
Night two: Psa 4:6; 27:1; 56:3; 89:15; 119:105,130.
Night three: Isa2:5;10:17;Mat5:14-16.
Night four:Luke11:30-37;Acts26:18;2Cor4:4-6.
Nightfive:Phil2:14-16;Isa42:16.
Night six: Eph 5:8-15; Pro 6:23.
Night seven: 1 Pet 1:1; 2:9-10; 1 John 1:5-9.
Night eight: John 3:19-21; 1 John 2:9-11.

Father, we ask You to cleanse us and to help us to walk in a way that causes our internal light to shine before men, so that they too might find hope and safety in You.

During this season of lights, help us to lift up the One Who is both the Light and Shepherd God of Israel. For “in Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of YHVH has risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1).

Batya Ruth Wootten
For the Patrol
batya@mim.net

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A Man After God’s Own Heart !

A Man After God’s Own Heart!!

 [Sermon Notes from 10-24-09]

There have been many different views of the saying that David was a man “after God’s own heart”. Most teach that it was about the “heart of Worship”, which is derived from the fact of David’s worship, musically of YHWH. Some conclude it to be from the time spent in the hillside as a shepherd. What ever you believe from these two may be the truth, BUT, I want to share with you another look at “David, A man after God’s own heart”.

 

Turn in your Bibles to 1Samuel 24.

Here we find David on the run from King Saul, for as we know from previous scripture, that King Saul had a “spirit” enter him, a “spirit of jealousy” or a “spirit of fear”, driven by “jealousy”. David had become famous in the sight of the people of Israel, because of his defeat of Goliath and the Philistines. Saul felt jealous, as David became more popular than he. Later, Saul sought to kill David. This is where we are with this story here in Chapter 24.

Here we find King Saul had went into a cave to rest himself. Little did he know that David and his men were in this same cave. David’s men began to tell him that God had delivered his enemy, Saul, into his hands. They edged David on to get justice by killing King Saul [ver 3&4] Then David arose and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe.

NOW, listen to verse 5; “And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt”.

David’s heart, [ his spirit man, conscience] began to trouble him for what he had done. David told his men that he should NOT do this thing to “my master”, The LORD’S anointed. David’s spirit would not let him kill his enemy.

Beloved, THIS is where David showed that he truly was a man “after God’s own heart”.

In Matthew 5, we find Yahushua, Christ Jesus, giving His famous sermon on the “BE Attitudes”.

 Here Jesus taught us to be “poor in spirit”, that is to say “humble”. David became humble when given the opportunity to kill Saul.

Jesus taught us that if we mourn, we shall be comforted. David’s heart was grieved because of what he had done and was considering doing to King Saul. David found comfort and strength, by not doing what he had all right to do.

Jesus taught us to “hunger and thirst after righteousness” [ Justice] David, in the flesh, had the right to go after and kill his enemy, BUT, the Heart of God is to love your enemy. That is TRUE righteousness.

Jesus taught us to be “merciful”, and in doing so, we would get mercy back. What you sow, is what you reap. If you sow hatred, you get hatred. If you sow love, you get love. David had the chance to sow something, death to an enemy or life to his own soul, by sowing mercy.

Jesus taught us to have a “pure heart”. Boy, that is a hard one, especially when someone is “out to get you”. David’s heart of vengeance was turned into the ” pure heart” of God, by showing love to an enemy, and forsaking the old thoughts of destruction for revenge and gaining the Heart of God, which is Love.

Jesus taught us to be “peacemakers, and they shall be called children of God”. David, knowing that though he had been chosen to be the future king of Israel, recognized that Saul was still The LORD’S anointed one. David became a peacemaker, by walking away from the chance to kill Saul. In doing so, David actually was fulfilling his destiny to be a “child of God” and into his “inheritance” as promised by God.

Jesus taught us that those who are persecuted and reviled by man, for HIS name sake, will be blessed. David certainly had been reviled and persecuted by King Saul, BUT, David knew “who he was and Whose he was”.  Upon discovering the truth of what had happened to him, King Saul recognized that David would become a great king over Israel.

Beloved, we are called to be “the Salt and Light of the earth” [Matt5 :13] If we are who we are called to be, Children of God, then we should strive to become known as a “man after God’s own heart”.

How many times in our own life do we feel that we have been done wrong?

How many times do we feel like “getting Justice”.

A friend of mine once said that, “many people want the God of Justice for someone else, BUT want the God of Mercy for ourselves”.

God’s heart is for us to pray for mercy for our enemy. Then we shall obtain the mercy we want. Then God’s Justice is fulfilled.

When someone has done you wrong, don’t “kill them” by lowering yourself to their standards by gossip, etc. Ask for mercy for them. Father, Forgive Them!!

Can we become like David? Can we get a pure heart? Can we give mercy? Can we become “poor in spirit” which is humble ourself?

When we start doing these things, THEN, maybe we can become known as a “man after God’s own heart”!!!!!!! 

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I am angry!! Halloween on the Sabbath! Christians “trunk or treat”

I think I understand how Yahushua, Christ Jesus, felt upon entering the temple and seeing all the “moneychangers” who were profaning the House of  The Lord.

There has been a “righteous anger” growing in my spirit man over the last few days, as I am hearing more and more so called “Christian churches” having “trunk or treat events or “fall festivals” on October 31. There is something WRONG with this picture, and I, for one am tired of so called “Born Again” people trying to rectify and make excuses for celebrating this PAGAN holiday.

 We have posted several good teachings on our sites and let people know of the truth of this abominable doings. How long will you think YHWH will put up with your contemptible acts?

First, NO TRUE “Born Again” child of YHWH should even WANT  to participate in anything that honors this satanic holiday.

Secondly, and this is the one that gets me personally, is the fact that they are doing it on the very day that YHWH “sanctified ” and “blessed” and for most of the Biblical history of mankind, been considered the Sabbath, as set by YHWH in Genesis 2:2&3.

Jeremiah 15:6, YHWH says, ” I am weary with repenting”!!

If  HE grew weary with the chosen children of Israel for all of their rebelling, what more will HE have to say to those who claim to be “grafted in”??

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Are we “born sinners”?

I just want to post that question for you all to ponder on. I pray that you will seek the Word and The Holy Spirit before just jumping in with what some denomination might say or some commentary.
Let’s hear from you all!!
Are we “born sinners”?

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Rosh Hoshanna or Feast of Trumpets? Which one is for Christians?

While there are some who would say that neither one is for Christians, I will come right out and tell them, “WRONG”. I am going to keep this as simple as possible. Anyone wanting to get into finer points of this subject, feel free to do so. That’s why I posted it as a blog, so it can be discussed.

Rosh Hoshanna was started by man, during the captivity in Babylon.

Feast of Trumpets was instituted by YHWH in Lev.23:24 and called a “memorial” meaning to always be observed.

Rosh Hoshanna points to the sin nature of man.

Feast of Trumpets points to YHWH and the Second Coming of Yahushua, Christ Jesus, who MADE us free from our sin nature.

There are those who say that because Rosh Hoshanna fall on a sabbath this year, that they should not blow the Shofar.

YHWH says in setting up the Feast of Trumpets, “ye shall have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets”!!

Rosh Hoshanna celebrates a “New Year” in the month of Tishrei. Why? In the Hebrew it means “head”, but in the Babylonian language, it means “beginings”. This is in direct conflict with YHWH, as He calls it the 7th month from the month Abib, which He gave to Israel in Exodus 12:2, ” This month shall be unto you the begining of months: it shall be the first month of  the year to you”. So we see that man, because of  the influence of Babylon, turns his back on YHWH and does what is right in his own eyes.

Some of those who celebrate Rosh Hoshanna, believe that the afternoon of Rosh Hoshanna, they are to “cast their sins” into a stream of flowing water, by throwing pebbles into the stream.

Yahushua said to cast them on Him! He already dealt with the sin.

Rosh Hoshanna is an annual “time of reflection”, to deal with sin.

Yahushua has already been Sacrificed ONCE AND FOR ALL who sin. The writer of Hebrews,l reminds us NOT to crucify Christ afresh, not to go back to repentance over and over [Hebrews 6:6]  

I WILL celebrate the Feast of Trumpets, until Yahushua comes back!!

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What if there is no Rapture?

clouds

What if there is No Rapture?

Dedicated to the Memory of Bro. Eli Mast

 

Brother Eli was one of those elderly men of the Church that you will never forget.        

  Most anytime I would visit him, or go to pick him up for fellowship, the conversation would always gravitate to the subject of “The Rapture”.  We talked about this subject quite often and shared similar believes on a pre-trib Rapture of the Church.

  I went to visit with Bro. Eli a couple of weeks ago and as we were sitting on the edge of his bed, as usual the conversation went to what seemed to be his favorite discussion, the rapture. BUT, this time, with a weak and failing body, he said, “I don’t think I am going to get to see The Rapture after all”. Bro. Eli was ready to go home to meet The Father, and had been as long as I have known him. Bro. Eli did just that, in his sleep on the 9th of March, 2009. For those of you who are into numbers and following the Scriptures, 9 is representative of judgment and also completion. Eli has completed his race!!

 

  A couple of months ago, while bringing the message at our fellowship, I was quickened in The Spirit to ask this question, “What if there is no Rapture? “

Are you ready to meet your maker at ANYTIME?

  With all the stuff going on around us in the world, there is a lot of expectation in the Body of Christ, that, MAYBE the Rapture is VERY CLOSE. Maybe, This Year!

  The problem then becomes, that Yahushua, Christ Jesus, declared that NO MAN knows when this will occur. We are not to lose focus of The Kingdom of God, and get so locked up in world events and thinking on The Rapture. Scripture declares that everyone will be going about in their own daily routines, as in the days of Noah. If anyone had known for sure about the flood, PERHAPS they would have paid more attention to what that “crazy old boat builder” was saying.

 

  This morning, in my time with The Lord, He took me to Hebrews 11, “The Faith Chapter”. Listen to this scripture:

  

     8By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

 9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

 10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

As I read that scripture, I was reminded of the question, “What if there is no rapture?” and very much reminded of my dear Bro. Eli.

  As Abraham made his journey into an unknown land, a land of promise and hope for a bright tomorrow, he did so with the focus on “A city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God”. Abraham lived in a strange country, that is to say, a place of unfamiliar surroundings and unfamiliar people. He lived in tabernacles or tent like structures. They were not permanent houses, and that was OK with Abraham, for his Faith and Hope was fixed on a different home.

Here is some more from that chapter of Hebrews;

13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

 14For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

 15And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

 16But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

  All the great “Heroes of Faith” died without receiving the complete promises of God, in this place, BUT they all kept their faith in God. If they had thought about it hard enough, in the natural, they probably would have packed up and went back to their more familiar surroundings. BUT, they all confessed that they were “strangers and pilgrims on the earth”. They knew that this place wasn’t their home and that God “Hath prepared for them a city”. The book of Revelations, Ch 21 describes this city. These people desire a “Better country”, one that is “Heavenly”.

  Bro, Eli desired that same place. At 95 years of age, he was focused on his “Heavenly Home”, with his “Heavenly Father”.

From the Book of Genesis 25: 8Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.

 9And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;

 10The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife

Brother Eli Mast has met his Maker, face to face, and had longed to do so! He was ready!! The question for you today, “Are you”? Are you ready to meet God the Father right now? It could happen at any minute! One way or the other, you will.

 The Rapture might come anytime. For some of us, we may go before the Rapture. We should live every minute of every day “Rapture Ready”, that is to say, you could go

 

 

Just like that! I paused to show you, at any second, your time could come.

I encourage you that are ready, to hold fast to your Faith. I beg you that aren’t 100% sure, PLEASE , get that way.

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The Rapture Revelation event !

rapture-revelation

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