#BabyHenry & Passover

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“Passover is a season of life and healing, and a restoration of power and holiness.” Don Finto

“..this same night continues to be a night when ADONAI keeps vigil for all the people of Isra’el through all their generations” [Exodus 12:42].

 

Friends and Family!

It is with great joy that Charity and I are preparing for the birth of our firstborn son in the coming weeks!

As I was reflecting on the past week and asking the Lord to prepare me for the following week,  I was made aware that our son will probably be born during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:6, Num 28:17).  There is a chance though, that he will be born earlier on Passover (Pesach) or  later on the Feast of Firstfruits!

This is beyond exciting for Charity and I, as the significance of this time of the year is incredible!  We have felt the fear of the Lord in regard to naming our son the name he already has in Heaven, the name his heavenly Father has given him.  Now that we are in the season of his birth and facing the reality that it is most likely going to fall during a Spring Feast, our expectation for what the Lord is doing is through the roof!  Stand with us in faith and agreement for the perfect plan the Lord has for our son!

With that, I felt compelled to dive into the Word and search out both the obvious and hidden truths concerning Passover specifically.  This is the greatest time in the history of mankind.  Yeshua, the “radiance of the Sh’khinah, the very expression of God’s essence” [Hebrews 1:3], died and was resurrected,” stripping the rulers and authorities of their power, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by means of the stake” [Colossians 2:15]. COME ON!  If this time of the year doesn’t get you excited to be a son or daughter of God then you need to check your pulse!

 

Here is what I found in the Word concerning Passover:

Passover, called “Pesach” by Yeshua and the rest of the Jewish people, is the feast which celebrates the Exodus of the Jewish nation from Egypt, under the leadership of Moshe (Moses).  It is, along with Shavu’ot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Tabernacles), one of the three pilgrim festivals, when Jews were to go up to Jerusalem.

It was established in Exodus 12:1-13:16 when the Lord spoke to Aaron and Moses while they were still in Egypt.

Sh’mot (Exodus) 12:1  “ADONAI spoke to Moshe and Aharon in the land of Egypt..”

As you read on, you will learn a few things that you might not have known.  One is that the Lord considers “this month”, which is called Nisan or Aviv, to be the first month of the year.  In the West, we use a Roman calendar named after false gods, but according the Word, God is on a different calendar.  In the West, we celebrate good holidays but name them after pagan idols (“Easter” comes from “Ishtar”, the pagan god of fertility, hence the eggs and bunny).  In reality, the Lord has already given appointed feasts to Israel, to whom we are “grafted in” (Romans 11).  These feasts were fulfilled and will be fulfilled by Messiah.  Why should we give our own names to what the Lord has already named?  Why should we try to create our own ways to supersede the plans God made even before the earth was created?

The blood of the Lamb placed on the wooden doorposts delivered Israel from the angel of death, who passed over God’s people when he saw the blood.  God took away all of Egypt’s firstborn sons because Pharaoh would not return the house of Israel to God so that they, His “firstborn son,” could worship Him.  It is amazing to think that God punished Egypt’s firstborn sons to deliver Israel from slavery, but he was setting the stage for the time when He would give up his own firstborn Son to make an eternal atonement for Israel and the world!

Another thing you might not have noticed before is that God STILL keeps watch over Israel, especially during Pesach.  “This (Passover) was the night when ADONAI kept vigil to bring them (the people of Isra’el) out of the land of Egypt, and this same night continues to be a night when ADONAI keeps vigil for all the people of Isra’el through all their generations” (Exodus 12:42).

 

Passover Cont.

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:4-5    “These are the designated times of ADONAI, the holy convocations you are to proclaim at their designated times.  In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between sundown and complete darkness, comes Pesach for ADONAI.”  Passover is a celebration of God’s salvation!

B’midbar (Numbers) 28:16    “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, is ADONAI’s Pesach.”

D’varim (Deuteronomy) 16:1-8   “Observe the month of Aviv, and keep Pesach to ADONAI your God; for in the month of Aviv, ADONAI your God brought you out of Egypt at night.  You are to sacrifice the Pesach offering from flock and herd to ADONAI your God in the place where ADONAI will choose to have his name live… You may not sacrifice the Pesach offering in just any of the towns that ADONAI your God is giving you; but in the place where ADONAI your God will choose to have his name live — this is where you are to sacrifice the Pesach offering, in the evening, when the sun sets, at the time of year that you came out of Egypt.  You are to roast it and eat it in the place ADONAI your God will choose;  in the morning you will return and go to your tents.”

As you can see, Passover is a big deal to God!   He gave these instructions because his desire was and still is for Israel to be a holy people, set apart for himself.

 

Yeshua, our Passover Lamb.

  • 1 Cor. 5:7   “..For our Passover lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed.”
  • John 1:29 (again at verse 35)   “The next day, John saw Yeshua coming toward him and said, “Look! God’s Lamb!  The one who is taking away the sin of the world!”
  • John 19:33-36  (See Exodus 12:46)   “..but when they got to Yeshua and saw that he was already dead, they didn’t break his legs… For these things happened in order to fulfill the passage of the Tanakh: “Not one of his bones will be broken.”
  • Acts 8:32 (Luke is quoting Isaiah 53:7-8)   “He was like a sheep led to be slaughtered..”
  • 1 Peter 1:19   “On the contrary, it was the costly bloody sacrificial death of the Messiah, as of a lamb without defect or spot.”
  • Revelation 5:6-9   “Then I saw standing there with the throne and the four living beings, in the circle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been slaughtered… They sang a new song, ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals; because you were slaughtered; at the cost of blood you ransomed for God persons from every tribe, language, people, and nation.’”

*Passover is not just a celebration for the Jewish people, but for everyone who believes and thus was ransomed by God!

During Passover, thousands of years later, Yeshua, the unblemished “Lamb of God”, gave up his spirit and was sacrificed for the sins of all mankind.  Previously, Yeshua was examined and anointed in accordance with the Torah, was declared “innocent”, and then prepared and slaughtered at the same time as all the other Passover lambs in Israel.  That night, Shabbat Passover begins.

His blood on the door frame of our heart saves us from death, and through union with Him we are justified!  At his own expense, because of his relentless love and mercy, He did what the blood of rams and goats could not do.  All to make a way for them, for us to enter the throne room, the Holy of Holies.

The Son experienced complete separation from the Fathers so that we would never have to,  so that He could be our God and we could be his people forever.  Yeshua, you are the only Way to the Father!

 

Join with what God has already done and with what he is still doing every year!  Celebrate Passover!

 

Love,

B&C

 

 

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Intercession for Tel Aviv (תֵּל־אָבִיב)

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I cannot stop listening to this short and intense spurt of anointed intercession coming from an International House of Prayer KC prayer set led by Matt Gilman!

Yes Lord!  Save Tel Aviv!

Link: Matt Gillman and IHOP Prayer Set

 

Shalom!

Brett&Charity

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Sukkot

PikiWiki_Israel_14882_Western_Wall_in_Jerusalem“You are to keep the festival of Sukkot for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing-floor and winepress. Rejoice at your festival — you, your sons and daughters, your male and female slaves, the L’vi’im, and the foreigners, orphans and widows living among you.  Seven days you are to keep the festival for Adonai your God in the place Adonai your God will choose, because Adonai your God will bless you in all your crops and in all your work, so you are to be full of joy!

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“Three times a year all your men are to appear in the presence of Adonai your God in the place which he will choose — at the festival of matzah, at the festival of Shavu‘ot and at the festival of Sukkot. They are not to show up before Adonai empty-handed, but every man is to give what he can, in accordance with the blessing Adonai your God has given you.  Deut 16:13-17

“You are to observe it as a feast to Adonai seven days in the year; it is a permanent regulation, generation after generation; keep it in the seventh month. You are to live in sukkot for seven days; every citizen of Isra’el is to live in a sukkah, so that generation after generation of you will know that I made the people of Isra’el live in sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am Adonai your God.’”   Lev 23:41-43

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It’s my favorite time of the year! Sukkot is here and with it a season of celebration! This 8 day feast was /is a time for all of Israel to be “full of joy”, which is a huge shift from the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, where the Lord instructed the people of Israel to “deny themselves”.  Sukkot was/is a “permanent regulation” for ever citizen of Israel.  Sukkot is observed by eating and sleeping in small temporary dwellings built by each family and making different offerings to the Lord, culminating with a Shabbat of complete rest to the Lord.  Today in Israel, it is still a joyful celebration of being delivered from Egypt and a harvest blessed by the Lord. I don’t know if you have been to Israel lately, but the Lord is STILL blessing their harvest and they are STILL free from the hands of Pharaoh!  The nation of Israel, home to almost half of the house of Israel, is a leader in agriculture technology (e.g. water efficiency) and one of the leading citrus exporters in the world.  The Lord is still blessing his land and people to which he has staked his very Name.  Sukkot is a special feast because it is not just a feast for Israel, but for all the “foreigners” living among them! It is a festival of celebration for the nations!

The prophet Zechariah prophesied of a time to come when the Messiah reigns over the earth from Jerusalem, and everyone from all nations will come up to Jerusalem to keep the festival of Sukkot, or else no rain will fall on their land.

Finally, everyone remaining from all the nations that came to attack Yerushalayim will go up every year to worship the king, Adonai-Tzva’ot, and to keep the festival of Sukkot.  If any of the families of the earth does not go up to Yerushalayim to worship the king, Adonai-Tzva’ot, no rain will fall on them.  If the family of Egypt doesn’t go up, if they refuse to come, they will have no [annual] overflow [from the Nile]; moreover, there will be the plague with which Adonaiwill strike the nations that don’t go up to keep the festival of Sukkot.  This will be Egypt’s punishment and the punishment of all the nations that don’t go up to keep the festival of Sukkot.  Zech 14:16-19

Sukkot is a festival for all people who have submitted to Yeshua as their King.  It is a festival that will find its fulfillment in Revelation 21:1-22:17, when God’s Sh’khinah is “dwelling” with mankind forever!  The traditional themes of Sukkot for the Jewish people are light and water.  It is important to pay attention to Jewish symbols because most of the time they are given by God and a shadow of future fulfillment.  The last day of Sukkot is called “Hoshana Rabbah”.  The Jewish people enter the temple courts and pour water on each other in preparation for the “latter rain” season.  They blow shofars, offer wave offerings to the Lord, sing songs of praise for the harvest, and the high priest pours a gold pitcher of water at the foot of the altar.  It was on this day (likely at the peak of the celebration) when Yeshua entered the Temple courts and shouted out “IF ANYONE IS THIRSTY, LET HIM KEEP COMING TO ME FOR DRINKING!  WHOEVER PUTS HIS TRUST IN ME, AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, RIVERS OF LIVING WATER (the Holy Spirit) WILL FLOW FROM HIS INMOST BEING!”  (John 7).  Many of the Jews were expecting him to be there, but their response to this specific act and these words was “This is the Messiah”!  This was not a case where the people were confused at what he was saying. Why not? Because he is the answer to Israel’s prayers, and many of these people knew the prophecies about the Messiah being “water for a thirsty land“!  They had read Isaiah 55 and Isaiah 58.  According to the prophets and promise of God, his is what Yeshua was offering the house of Israel at this very moment with all the 24 priestly divisions present and at attention! When we drink the water Yeshua offers, we will never be thirsty again.  And on Sukkot, with this in mind, He is worthy of all our celebration and praise!  I love this song as a joyful sound for the Sukkot celebration: “Trees” by Stevie Lujan

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After a short walk to the Mt. of Olives, Yeshua returned to the Temple courts as the final day of Sukkot was breaking. It is a beautiful picture if you close your eyes and imagine Yeshua spending the night just eastward on the Mt. of Olives overlooking Mt. Zion and the massive Temple. Then, while it is still dark, he walks down the steep hill through the garden of Gathsemane perhaps, and into the Kidron Valley.  Halfway to the Temple, I can see him stop in the valley and quote the prophet Ezekiel about the river of God that will one day flow down from Mt. Zion and through this valley out to the Dead Sea.  As He begins walking up Mt. Moriah, the same mountain that Abraham traveled up with Isaac, I can see the Father speaking to the the Son about the approaching day when he will walk with him up this mountain. I can feel the Father’s heart breaking as he tells the Son that on that day he will not withhold his hand as he withheld Abraham’s. He is telling the Son that there is no other way. Yeshua reaches the entrance to the Temple courts as the sun in beginning to peak up over the Mt. of Olives.  He turns to see it, and quotes the prophet Isaiah:

The people living in darkness have seen a great light; upon those living in the land that lies in the shadow of death, light has dawned.  Isaiah 9:1

Then as the day is breaking he does a ritual cleansing bath, a mikveh, and enters into the Temple courts.  The people see him and gather around him.  He is tired from his walk, so he sits down to teach them.  I can see all the people sitting down and getting comfortable, they are eager to learn from the Messiah.  The Pharisees, with many young Sauls alongside them, see Yeshua teaching the people and are struck with jealousy and selfish ambition.  They wanted to trap him in his words and teaching, so they bring a woman to stand in the center of the sitting group.  She has been unfaithful to her husband, breaking one of the biggest commands from the Lord.  There she is, standing alone and ashamed, expecting this Rabbi named Yeshua to order her to be stoned in accordance with the Torah he is claiming to fulfill.  Yeshua stands up beside her as her accusers persist, and then bends down to write in the in the dust with his finger.  Maybe he is writing directly beside the feet of the adulterer.  The words are clear for the standing woman and the sitting crowd. Growing annoyed at his mercy and lack of attention to them, the ultra religious men question even louder.  Yeshua straightens up and looks them in the eyes.  “The one of you who is without sin, let him be the first to throw the stone at her.”  Then Yeshua bends back down and finishes writing what he started.  The Word made flesh is writing words of life and truth.  I’d give anything to know what he wrote in the dust that day.  One by one, beginning with the oldest and ending with the young Saul perhaps, the Pharisees retreat to their legalist observance of Sukkot.  Yeshua watches them leave out of the corner of his eye, then stands back up with the woman.  “Where are they?  Has no one condemned you?”. “No one, sir.” she replies.  Yeshua answers with the answer, love, mercy, and authority of the Father.  “Neither do I condemn you.  Now go, and don’t sin any more.”  The crowd is awestruck.  Who has the power to forgive sin but God alone?  Yeshua spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light which gives life.”  Many in the crowd hear his words and trust in Him.  I trust in Him.  He is the great I AM.

It is not a coincidence that light is the other traditional Sukkot symbol.  Psalm 113-118 is read by the Jewish people every year during Sukkot, proclaiming that “Adonai is God, and he gives us light.”  In the Jewish Scripture (now ours too) there is a strong connection with Israel, the Messiah, and light:

The people living in darkness have seen a great light; upon those living in the land that lies in the shadow of death, light has dawned.  Isaiah 9:1

It is not enough that you are merely my servant to raise up the tribes of Ya‘akov and restore the offspring of Isra’el.
I will also make you a light to the nations, so my salvation can spread to the ends of the earth.   Isaiah 49:6

But to you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will break out leaping, like calves released from the stall.   Malachi 3:20

Many Scriptures including the words of Yeshua and his disciples support these verses, like 1 Peter 2:9,  John 1:4-9, 3:19-21, 5:35, 9:5, & 12:35-36, Luke 1:78-79, Acts 9:3 & 13:47, and 1 John 1:5-7 & 2:8-10.

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I love the nations!  As a man or woman of God, there are non-negotiable beliefs and callings.  One of these is a love and hunger for the nations to see the Glory of God, for them to repent and be saved, and for entire nations to be discipled in the Way.  Yeshua spoke to his Jewish disciples about “sheep from another pen” that he would later bring into one flock.  Isaiah (Yesha’yahu) prophesied of a time when God would “gather together all nations and languages” and that they will see his Glory!  God is concerned even with wicked nations, and it is his heart’s desire that they would not perish.  Isaiah doesn’t stop there.  In chapters 6, 12, 42, 45, & 49, God calls Israel to be a light proclaiming his Name and Glory to the nations, that they would turn from their wicked pagan ways and receive his salvation.  According to Micah, Yeshua will one day judge and rule many nations from the “most important mountain” (Zion) in Jerusalem, establishing justice on the earth forever.  His heart for the nations is not something that began 2000 years ago when Yeshua sent his apostles to “every nation”.  It was not the first time Israel was called to the nations, or the first time we see God’s great love for all people.  “Praise our God, O People, let the sound of his praise be heard!” (Psalm 66).  King David and the other psalmists understood this well.  They had direct revelation of God’s love, desire, and kingship over the nations of the earth (Psalm 9, 22, 46, 67, 96, 105, 113,  & 117 to mention a few).

The emissary to the nations was Paul, a Jew and Pharisee (P’rushim) who maintained his religious Jewish identity long after his relationship with Messiah began.  The Lord Yeshua revealed himself to perhaps the most religiously devout Jew in Israel and then sent him to a “nation not called by my name.”  In Romans 9-11, Paul quotes the Lord speaking to Moses in Deut 32:21 that he would later use these nations to “arouse [Israel's] jealousy with a non-people and provoke them with a vile nation.”  It is humbling to remember that my forefathers were not a people set apart to the Lord, called by his name, or chosen by him.  I am that non-people whom he revealed to in his great mercy and as a result of Israel’s disobedience.  Actually, Paul said that the Lord hardened Israel’s heart as part of his great plan to bring me in!  Of course the hardening was only “in part” and tens of thousands of Jews believed in Yeshua while he was alive on earth, but the Lord is still concerned with “all Israel”, that they would all be saved (even the most religious and legalistic, like Paul).

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Fun fact: Behind God’s name (YHVH) and “Yeshua”, the word “Israel” is the most used word in the Bible.

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Death, where is your victory?

Image “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, all the tribes of the Land will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with tremendous power and glory.  He will send out his angels with a great shofarand they will gather together his chosen people from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31, see also Isaiah 27:13)

As I begin to put into words what the Lord has been speaking and teaching me for the past 2 years I am intensely aware of the Fear of the Lord concerning this matter.  I do not want to attempt to explain or understand all that has happened or will happen in the coming days, but I do want to be obedient in staying alert, “always praying that you will have the strength to escape all the things that will happen and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.” (Luke 21).  Yeshua, give me grace to not be “startled” by your return, as many nations and kings will be (Isaiah 52).  I feel to write to 2 audiences (other than myself, because I need this revelation to hit my heart more than anyone).  The first is to unbelieving Jews, to whom this “Good News of the Kingdom” was first revealed by our beloved Jewish Messiah, Yeshua (“Salvation from God”).  Your call is irrevocable. Based on the sovereign election of God, Salvation was and is first to you and it is my heart’s cry that God’s “firstborn” turn back to the Lord and be saved.  If we are in union with Messiah, and his Name and reputation is staked to Israel, then we too are called to “show them the same mercy that God has shown us” and “give ourselves and the Lord no rest until he makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” (Isaiah 62, Romans 11).  God, save your people Israel!  Second, I want to write to my fellow brothers and sisters in Jesus.  We know that the love of many will grow cold in the last days because of increased wickedness (Matthew 24), but we are called to “encourage one another” (also see Hebrews 10:25) and overcome because He overcame!  My prayer is that this post will be a spiritual shofar that awakens anyone who has “lost their first love”.  In this season of High Holy Days, let’s together as one body “remember where you were before you fell, turn from this sin, and do what you used to do before”!

Today is September 4, 2013 on the Gregorian calendar, which has the origins in Roman gods, goddesses, and emperors.  However, God has a calendar of his own, and we need to be aware of it’s importance.  We need to be like the sons of Issachar who understood the time and what Israel ought to do.  The Father has kept the dates and times under his own authority, and the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night,  “But you, brothers, are not in the dark, so that the Day should take you by surprise like a thief; for you are all people who belong to the light, who belong to the day.  We don’t belong to the night or to darkness, so let’s not be asleep, like the rest are; on the contrary, let us stay alert and sober.”  So we see that, though we do not know exactly when Jesus will return a second time to rescue Israel as the7 cry out to Him, save his entire church, judge the world, and establish his government (He doesn’t even know!), we are called to be aware of the times and the seasons!

30th of Elul, 5773   God gave a calendar to Israel long ago and filled it with months, feasts, and himself! God does nothing by accident, and he made the calendar with the Messiah of Israel, the Son of God, Yeshua, Jesus, the very expression of God’s essence and the radiance of the Sh’khinah, on his mind.

Spring Feasts:

Passover (Pesach), Nisan 14-15 .   Yeshua, the unblemished Lamb of God, gave up his spirit and became our Passover on Erev Passover (“Preparation Day” – Nisan 14 in the afternoon).  Previously, Yeshua was declared “innocent”, examined and anointed in accordance with the Torah, and then prepared and slaughtered at the same time as all the other Passover lambs in Israel.  That night (Nisan 15), Shabbat Passover begins. His blood on the doorframe of our heart saves us from death, and through union with Him we are justified!  Tanakh (Torah, Writings, Prophets – “Old Testament”): Lev 23:5 specifies Passover, a celebration of God’s salvation.  The blood of the Lamb placed on the wooden doorposts delivered Israel from the angel of death, who passed over God’s people when he saw the blood.  God took away all of Egypt’s firstborn sons because Pharaoh would not return the house of Israel to God so that they, His “firstborn son“, could worship Him.  It is amazing to think that God punished Egypt’s firstborn sons to deliver Israel from slavery, but He gave up his own firstborn to purify them and save them from death.  At his own expense, because of his relentless love and mercy, He did what the blood of rams and goats could not do.  All to make a way for us to enter the Holy of Holies. So that we would not have to taste death, to feel it’s sting. So that He could be our God, and we could be his people forever.  Jesus, you are the only Way to the Father.

Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot), Nisan 15-22.    As Passover begins so does the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The day before, Jesus was crucified and placed in a tomb.  The Feast of Unleavened Bread started shortly after Jesus was placed in the tomb, and it represents our sanctification when we identify with his death and allow him to bury our old nature! Yeshua is the Bread of life and no sin (leaven) is found in Him! He is the Way (derekh), the Truth (emet), and the Life (chayim), and no man comes to the Father except through Him.  Tanakh: Lev 23:6 (Num 28:17) specifies Unleavened Bread as a time to eat only bread without yeast, which symbolizes sin.  Eating only matzah for these days represents God’s desire for Israel to walk with the Lord as a people without sin, set apart for his purposes.   Even today, the matzah eaten by the Jewish people during these days is “striped” and “pierced” with holes. The tradition is to break one (echad) piece of matzah into 3 pieces, and hide one (buried) that is be later searched for and found (resurrected)!  Without being aware of the meaning behind their traditions, the Jewish people are prophesying to themselves every year at this time that Jesus in the “Lechem HaChayim”, the Bread of Life!

Firstfruits (Yom Habikkurim), Nisan 16-17 (begins at sundown).    Yeshua was resurrected from the dead before morning, becoming the “firstfruits” of those who are to be resurrected!  Because of Him, we will be resurrected! Tanakh: Lev 23:9-11 schedules the Feast of Firstfruits as beginning the day after Unleavened Bread began.  It acknowledges the fertility of the land of Israel that the Lord gave to the house of Israel.  It is a time of celebration of the Lord of the Firstfruits and his replanting of the earth.  He is making all things new! At sundown when the Feast of Firstfruits begins, the counting of the “omer” begins and lasts for 49 days until Shavu’ot arrives on the 50th day!

Pentecost (Shavu’ot), Sivan 6-7.   Yeshua poured out the Holy Spirit on Shavu’ot as he promised, writing his Torah on the tablets of the hearts of his people! Tanakh: Lev 23:16 Shavu’ot marks the summer harvest in Israel, and when the Holy Spirit was poured out on Shavu’ot there was an incredible harvest of souls, Jews from all over the world who had come up to Jerusalem as prescribed by the Lord!  It was also on this day that the Lord gave the Torah (“teaching”) to Moses, accompanied by fire, many tongues being heard, and the appearance of the God of Isreal.  The Holy Spirit is our “Teacher”, and a result of Him being poured out is seeing fire, hearing various tongues, and being in the manifest Presence of God.

Season of drought:  Between Pentecost and the Feast of Trumpets, there is a 4 month gap where no feasts were prescribed by God. In the land of Israel, this is a time of absolutely no rain.  The spring rain (malkosh) has ended with Shavu’ot, and it will not rain again in Israel until the fall rain (yoreh) comes with the Feast of Trumpets.  This is the time we are living in right now!  The Holy Spirit was poured out signaling the beginning of the Last Days, but we have yet to hear the final shofar blow and see our King coming on the clouds! But we can hear and see and feel the rain coming!  The rain clouds are off in the distance, and when we are full of the living water of the Holy Spirit we are like trees attracting those rain clouds!  We can bring them, Him, close!  Let us together work to hasten the coming day of our Lord by bringing the Good News of the Kingdom first to Israel and also to the nations!

Fall Feasts:

Shofars/Trumpets (Yom Teru’ah), Tishrei 1, 5774 = September 4, 2013 at sundown.  Tanakh: In Lev 23:24, the Lord establishes this Feast as a Shabbat (Sabbath rest) and memorial for blowing shofars! Every year, this is a time to examine yourself in light of the coming Day of Atonement.  It is a time to allow the Lord examine your heart and reveal hidden sin, and then seek His forgiveness. It is a great time to remember that our names are written in His Book of Life because we are in union with Jesus, and thank Him for his salvation!  This was also the day the high priest would blow the trumpet to signal the laborers to stop harvesting and come to the Temple to worship.  This is in perfect alignment with the Great High Priest, Jesus, who will come at the sound of the last shofar and gather His laborers from the harvest! Then we too will cease our laboring, enter into eternal Shabbat rest, and worship Him forever. Until that day we must continue to harvest! The field of the world is ripe!

!000shofar_still_life Shofar: The shofar is blasted 100 times during this feast, with the last blast being the longest. The shofar has incredibly rich symbolism in Scripture, such as signaling Shabbat, warning, battle and victory (Jericho), the arrival of a king, ingathering from exile, final judgement, revelation (at Sinai), & God’s mercy and resurrection of the dead (Abraham and Issac)! In Matthew, 1 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, and Revelation there is no doubt that God will signal the second coming of his Son with the sound of the shofar blast. Also according to Jewish tradition, the Messiah will return during this season. It is a great time to wake and and stay alert because “surely he is coming quickly”! The Lord is not slow in fulfilling his promises. The 10 Days between Yom Teru’ah and Yom Kippur are called the “10 Days of Awe” or “10 Days of Repentance”. Could this equate to the 1000 year reign of Yeshua? After all, a day is like a thousand years to the Lord. Regardless, I encourage you to spend this time in repentance, turning you heart back to the Lord, and being washed clean by the blood of Jesus! Even if you have a relationship with Jesus, ask him to search you and know you, see if there is any offense in you, and lead you in righteousness along the eternal Way.

Atonement (Yom Kippur), Tishrei 10.    The Day of Atonement is the holiest day on God’s calendar. Tanakh: In Lev 23:7, God established Yom Kippur for Israel as a “permant regulation throughout all generations”.  A Sabbath to the Lord for denying oneself. When Jesus returns a second time, he will restore Isreal, and eternally judge the Adversary and the entire world.  Yeshua, you are our atonement, and we worship you.

Tabernacles (Sukkot), Tishrei 15-21.   Tanakh: Lev 23:34 shows that Sukkot was established to remind Israel how the Lord sheltered them in the desert after he brought them out of Egypt.  Jesus will fulfill it when He returns and establishes his Kingdom on earth in the world to come! According to Ezekiel and Zechariah, the Lord will establish his Tabernacle among us (in Jerusalem) and we will go up every year on Sukkot to appear before the Lord and worship him!

Again, this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what, how, and when the Lord will do all that he has planned.  We do know this, He will restore all things and He will accomplish his purposes.  All we have to do is join with Him.  He will not leave us in the dark.  Press in to him, for he has the answers, and definitely don’t take my word for it but be like the Berean Jews and check the Word of God to see if this is true!

Shalom, Joy, and righteousness in the Holy Spirit!

B

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Jerusalem, Day 8

First day of camp was…..Yep! It was an incredible blessing to serve these children, all 460+ of them. We made really sweet connections with many of the children and counsellors. Roth is a little boy originally from NY who now lives in Israel. He is a good basketball player and runs football routes better than Wes Welker! He thanks us for being here every chance he gets and made sure he came and said goodbye 3 times before he left today. Talia is a beautiful little girl who is always surrounded by her friends and waving at me (Brett). She is a natural leader and from what we have seen has a heart of gold. Pray for salvation and a new relationship with the Jewish Messiah!

Tonight, Charity and 2 good friends on our team (Jamie and Ally) went to Zumba with 3 of the counsellors who begged them to come! They are very curious as to why we are here serving them without pay. The 3 girls now know we love Yeshua and they still love us! That right there is an open door for Jesus to be revealed! 2 of their names are Noi and Tal. Pray, pray, and pray again!

After camp we got to spend almost 2 hours with our amazing Korean women at Aroma Espresso Bar. It was so encouraging and refreshing after a long day at camp! We went through Psalm, Matthew, Zech, 2 Chronicles, and 1 Kings and uncovered the heart of the Father for the city of Jerusalem, the City of the Great King! His plans for this place are exciting and terrifying at the same time, but we don’t have anything to worry about because God is in control and se are hidden in the shadow of his wings!

Pray for day 2 of camp tomorrow. It is like nothing I have ever seen. Nearly 500 young kids in one place is more challenging than Organic Chemistry 2! We need supernatural strength, energy, patience, and endurance from the Holy Spirit!

Shalom and goodnight :)

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Jerusalem, Days 2-7

The last 6 days have been incredible! If we mention any names that you are not familiar with then refer to our last blog to find out who they are. We had trouble uploading all our pics, so here is a link to our album: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjGw1x3c

We got to revisit the City of David and learn about the recent archaeological digs proving the existence of King David, which has long been debated by Jewish archaeologists. Then we traveled for 45 minutes through Hezekiah’s tunnel with fresh spring water flowing over our ankles, with the tunnel ending at the Pool of Siloam (Isaiah 8:6, Isaiah 22:9, John 9:7) where an angel would stir the water and then where Jesus healed a man blind from birth. (Here is an excerpt from Charity’s notes at the tunnel: Dug 530 m from both sides, connected tunnel going to Gibson Spring, prevent Assyrian army from having fresh water while trying to siege city, 185,000 Assyrians killed by the Angel of the Lord).  Just north of the City of David was the southern steps of the Second Temple where Yeshua taught his disciples. There is an old gate there that has been sealed up that was used to enter the Temple courts. It is the original gate that Jesus and his disciples would use to enter and exit. The last thing we did before he headed for Northern Israel was help set up the facilities we will be using for the sports camp in Jerusalem. Shira could not thank us enough for our hard work. Eventually, Charity’s dad asked her to stop thanking us! Her response was, “Ok. Thank you. Ok, now I’m done.”

In the north, here is a list of where we traveled to:

1) Caesarea: This is the ancient port city from where the Gospel spread to the western world thanks to Paul of Tarsus and many others. It is also where Peter came to meet Cornelius and his household and there the Holy Spirit was poured out to the first Gentiles who would receive him! The beauty of the blessing to Cornelius is that he was a God-fearer and worshipper of the God of Israel in the midst of Roman soldiers persecuting the Jewish people in Caesarea. Cornelius chose to be “righteous” by his prayers and generosity, and the Lord stored them us as a memorial in heaven!

2) Mt. Carmel - overlooking Jezreel valley. This is where Elijah had the showdown with false prophets of Baal. The view is insane! For lunch we ate in a Druze village and had sweet fellowship with the team. We talked about eating kosher, ate great hummus, talked about the 7 Feasts, talked about the family tree of Messiah, and how Israel is a living sign that God is alive an his word is true.

3) Galilee region – we stayed at the Poriyya Youth Hostel on a hill above the sea. It was one of the most beautiful places we had been, overlooking the whole sea. When we arrived we got to watch the end of a beautiful wedding! Through Jamie Jones, our new friend, we met Andre and wife, the youth leader from a large Messianic Congregation in Haifa called Tents of Mercy. They were attending the wedding! That night we had an amazing time of worship and intercession for breakthrough in our lives, our families, Israel, and the nations! Charity and I tried a new card game callee Goofspiel, but we don’t foresee it being a “family favorite”. The moonlight on the Sea of Galilee with the lights from Tiberius in the distance made for a romantic evening! We woke up and saw an old shepherd with a cane herding sheep on a ridge with the sea behind him. It was such a cool view it almost didn’t seem real. I tried to capture a picture of it but it was a moment that “you had to be there” to understand the beauty of it. Before heading home, we drove to the Mt. of Beatitudes and studied Matt 5-10. Yeshua said, “The proof of wisdom is in the action it produces.” Every good tree bears good fruit! Are you bearing fruit?

Yesterday we got to travel to Bethlehem to help a friend of Kimmie and Sahar. She works with Arab Muslims in the city, showing the love of Jesus through basketball. She has been there for some time but cannot profess his Name for fear of death. Pray that Jesus encounters these young boys and girls!

Charity’s dad taught us today after we helped set up the camp. He taught on radical discipleship in the style of Jesus. He was on fire! Then we had a surprise visit from our friends Leo and Una! They have a list of 120 families in Israel that they love on and share Yeshua with. We pray for one of their families, Erik and Dafna, so intercede with us for their salvation! We hope to be able to see Erik and Dafna before we leave. Most of the families are shocked that American “Christians” are praying for them.

Lastly, we commissioned a young man who is with us as a worship leader in the body of Jesus. We invited the Holy Spirit to come and move and He did in a powerful way! Pray for Crockett to run into the arms of the Father and be raised up as a completely abandoned worship leader in the body of Jesus, with songs birthed out of intimacy.

Tomorrow we are doing the camp for 8 hours on little sleep and then teaching the Korean DTS about Jerusalem! Pray for energy!

Other:

Congregation we’re worshipping with: http://www.reviveisrael.org/congregations.php

Song of the week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQzlJ-GexVk

2 powerful testimonieshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIldXZcs8pg  &  http://www.cbn.com/tv/1403094459001

Documentaryhttp://www.bethlehemstar.net/

Jerusalem, Day 1

From our departure through the first day of being here in the Land, here are a few pics of Jerusalem we took with our iPhones!  Right off the bat we have 2 specific prayer requests for 2 specific people: Haggai and Shira. Please pray for revelation of Yeshua as the Messiah! Haggai we sat by on our flight to Tel Aviv and instantly we could feel the tenderness of his heart. He was kind and easy to talk to, and we learned that he is a software developer and that he and his wife live in Haifa and are pregnant with their first child! Shira and her husband are modern Orthodox Jews who live in Jerusalem and just had their first baby boy as well! Shira runs a large sports camp for over 400 kids! She is really funny and loves that we (worshippers of the God of Israel, followers of his Son Yeshua, and Gentiles grafted in to the “sect” of Judaism that was originally called “The Way” and “Messianic” and “Nazarites”) are here serving and promoting athletics among the Israeli youth.

Today after our camp meeting we got to revisit the Mt. of Olives and the garden of Gethsemane, and then walk the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem. Our last stop was Aroma, our favorite espresso bar int he world! It is soooooo sweet to be back in the “City of the Great King”.  I cannot express the sweetness of being in this land with these people but our hearts feel so at home. We are also much more comfortable being here for the second time and feel equipped having a better understanding of God’s Word after a year away in Hawai’i. Our friend and teacher Sahar is an amazing leader. Him and his wife Kimmie are Messianic and help out with the same sports camp that Shira directs. Kimmie is pregnant with their first child, and Sahar is a tour guide for much of the year. Their picture is at the bottom of the page.

Last thing we wanted to mention is that we found a really old iron key under some sand/dirt! I will post a picture of it soon, but we feel like it is from Jesus and not a coincidence! Pray for clarity and discernment on this rare find!

Joy and Shalom!

B&C

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IMG_1033 - Version 2

Why understanding the people and the land of God is something the entire body of Jesus, both Jew and Gentile, must not ignore.

Why Israel?

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“I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Genesis 12:3

I love this excerpt from Joshua 4:21-24:

“Then he (the Lord) said to the people of Isra’el, “In the future, when your children ask their fathers what these stones mean, you are to explain it to them by saying, ‘Isra’el came over this Yarden on dry land. For ADONAI your God dried up the water in the Yarden from in front of you, until you had crossed, just as ADONAI your God did to the Sea of Suf, which he dried up from in front of us, until we had crossed.  From this all the peoples of the earth can know that the hand of ADONAI is strong, and you can fear ADONAI your God forever.’”

There have always been these 2 parts to this “mystery” as Paul of Tarsus puts it in Ephesians 3:6. The Lord blesses, disciplines, leads, protects, loves, and grows the house of Israel so that they (Israel) can fear and worship him forever AND ALSO so that all the peoples of the earth can know God!

“..in order to provoke them to jealousy”: So how do we respond to Israel amidst the chaos and depiction of them in the media? SHOW THEM THE SAME MERCY THAT GOD HAS SHOWN YOU! Do not boast toward the natural branch (Romans 11:18), don’t chop down the root that supports and nourishes you (Romans 11:17), don’t poke God in the eye (Zech 2:8, Deut 32:9-10), don’t become arrogant (Romans 11:20), and do not stand by and watch as others do the same (Obadiah 1, James 4:17,  Psalm 83:1-18,  Zech 12,  Genesis 12:3,  Joel 3:1-3, &  Isaiah 41:11-12). “On that day you stood aside, while strangers carried off his treasure, and foreigners entered his gates to cast lots for Yerushalayim – you were no different from them.”

“Just as you yourselves were disobedient to God before but have received mercy now because of Isra’el’s disobedience; so also Isra’el has been disobedient now, so that by your showing them the same mercy that God has shown you, they too may now receive God’s mercy (Malachi 3:6).  For God has shut up all mankind together in disobedience, in order that he might show mercy to all.  O the depth of the riches and the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How inscrutable are his judgments!  How unsearchable are his ways! For, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Who has been his counselor?’  Or, ‘Who has given him anything and made him pay it back?’  For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To him be the glory forever!  Amen. (Romans 11:30-36)

Some things to pray before, during, and after you study this:

  1. Pray for strength to escape everything that is going to take place (Luke 21:36,  Psalm 118:8,  Col 1:11)
  2. Peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122) and Salvation of Israel (Romans 11:26)
  3. A Spirit of wisdom and a Spirit of revelation.
  4. Growth in the Fear of the Lord (so important).
  5. Grace to hear His voice and follow His Word, being obedient under every circumstance.
  6. More of His Spirit!!!
  7. To be one with the Father as He and the Son are one. To know and be known by God. To abide in him and for him to abide in you.

So, Does God still love Israel? Yes! He always has.

1. Paul’s passion in Romans in contagious! He immediately squashes any inclinations that Israel has been forsaken or forgotten. (Romans 9-11)

2. The Father Heart of God. He is a Father to the whole house of Israel, and his character is displayed in how he deals with and loves them. (Jer 31:20, Psalm 148:14,  Zech 2:8,  Matt 25:40,  Jer 10:16)

3. He chose them! They are called to be a light to the nations. He loves Israel and works in them to draw all nations to Himself. (Deut 7:6-8,  Ex 19:5,  Gen 12.)

4. He has a covenant with them despite any disobedience. His faithfulness and very NAME is tied to them. In Genesis when God “cut covenant” with Abraham he put Abraham to sleep and walked through the animals. God knew the descendants of Abraham would not always be faithful to serve him, but God DID NOT base his promise on the faithfulness of the children of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, he based it on his! God does not lie and God does not break his promises. (2 Chronicles 33:7, Ezek 36:22, Ezek 16:60)

5. His heart has not changed. (Hebrews 6:17)

What about Jerusalem?  

Jesus called it “the city of the Great King”!  (Matt 5:35, Psalm 48:2)

The only city that we are commanded to pray for. (Psalm 122)

Do not forget this city. (Psalm 137:1-6)

God is jealous for it! (Zech 1:14)

His Name is staked to it! (2 Chronicles 33:7  &  1 Kings 9:3)

What about the land of Israel:

God the Father called it the “most beautiful land”. (Ezekiel 20:6,  Jer 3: 14-19)

The Land was given to Abraham and his descendents forever. (Genesis 12-15,  Exodus 32:13,  2 Chronicles 20:7)

BIBLICAL TIMEFRAME:

1.  God’s call for the people to intercede and repent:

Joel 2:12-17,  Genesis 18:23-33,  Jer 5:1,  Ezek 22:30,  Ezek 36:2-5,  Obadiah 1:12-15,  Psalm 122,  Isaiah 66:10,  Isaiah 62,  Matt 13:30,  Daniel 9:2-3,  Revelation 5:8,  Revelation 8:3-5

2.  Restoration of Israel:

God has been bringing Israel back to the land for over 100 years, not because they are obedient or returned to Him YET, but for the sake of His name and to fulfill what He spoke through the prophets.

  • Major aliyahs began taking place in the late 1800′s
  • Israel became a nation in the 1948 against all odds, and regained Jerusalem in 1967 (resulting in the Jesus Movement).
  • DRY BONES Ezek 37 – He is restoring Israel to the land and to Himself (Yeshua) – Ezek 35-39.
  • The religious elite in Israel have also been re-established (the Sanhedrin). Jesus is not coming back until they (sanhedrin) welcome Him back! (Matthew 23:37-39)

Joel 2:18-27,  Joel 3:19,  Amos 9:15,  Amos 1:11-12,  Hosea 2:16-23,  Genesis 28:13-15,  Exodus 17:14,  Isaiah 6,  Isaiah 43:6,  Isaiah 35:1-5,  Isaiah 11:10-12,  Isaiah 66:8,  Isaiah 60:5-8,  Isaiah 61:11,  Ezek 36:5,24-28,38,  Ezek 20:35,  Ezek 39:27-28,  Ezek 37:11-14,21-22,  Jeremiah 7:6-7,  Jer 16:14-16,  Jer 23:7-8,  Jer 31:5,35-37,  Jer 50,  Acts 26:18

3.  Worldwide revival and continued restoration of Israel:

Israel is blessed and all the nations are blessed as a result with a Joel 2:28-32 outpouring of the Holy Spirit! It will be like nothing the world has ever seen, and it has already begun to happen! We have a friend from the Middle East who was killed in her church by a terrorist attack while they were all praising Jesus and drinking deeply of the living water of the Holy Spirit. Her sister prayed for her and the Lord restored her life and body! They are both working on a book about this miracle! This is truly “life from the dead’!

In Romans 11:12 it is referred to as “greater riches” for the Gentiles and “life from the dead” as we bless Israel (Genesis 12:23)! (See the “cycle of revival” on our blog.

Isaiah 49:5-6,  Isaiah 19:23-24,  Acts 2:16

It will be an amazing time for the body of Messiah, because we will shine bright for our Bridegroom and make a clear sound as Jew and Gentile become “one new man” (Feast of Trumpets).  (For more on one new man see Romans, Gal, and Eph. Paul refers to this as a mystery hidden for all time and now being revealed! Both Jew and Gentile having access to the Father by the same Spirit! AMAZING!)

It will also be a time of great persecution as the love of many grows cold (Matt 24:12)

Matt 13:21,  John 16.33,  Acts 14:22,  Revelation 12:12

4.  Antichrist:

2 Thess 2:3-4,  1 John 2:18,22,  I John 2:4:3,  2 John 7,  Revelation 12:11,  Revelation 13:14-15,  Matt 24:15,  Daniel 3:17-18,  Daniel 9:25-27,  Jer 30:7

But those who persevere will receive incredible rewards! Literal rewards will include sitting with Jesus on His throne, eating at the wedding banquet with the best food and wine being served by Messiah himself, having Jesus put His name and the name of the “new Jerusalem” on us, never leaving His Presence, being pillars in the Temple, and others seen in letters to the messianic communities in the first 3 chapters of Revelation.

5.  Prior to the Return of Messiah:

2 things must take place:

1.  All people groups must hear the gospel (Matt 24:14). Every tribe and tongue will be represented around the throne of God and the Lamb (Rev 7:9).

2. Israel will welcome Yeshua (Jesus) back with “Baruch Haba B’shem Adonai” (blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord).  Matt 23:37-39 (Psalm 118:26) & Luke 13:35

Luke 21:20,28,  Rev 12:1,  Rev 22:1-2,  Mark 3:22,30,  Matt 24,  Zech 12:10-13:1,  Rev 7:14,  Rev 22,  Isaiah 66:1-3,  Hosea 3:5,  Hosea 5:15,  Acts 3:19-21,  Eph 2:13

6.  Return (Day of Atonement):

His feet will touch down on the Mt. of Olives East of Mt. Zion and it will be split into 2. Then the King will enter in the Eastern gate on to the Mountain of the Lord, Mt. Zion.

Neh 3:29,  Ezek 33-37,  1 Thess 5:4,  Isaiah 60:22,  1 Cor 15:52,  Mal 3:1,  Zech 14:3-5,9,16-17 (These is a fault line there today!),  Acts 1:4-12,  Acts 3:21

7.  Battle of Armageddon

The Valley of Armageddon in Israel is HUGE!  Very flat and mountains surround it on all sides. Big enough for every army in the world.

Zech 12,  Joel 3:1-17,  Psalm 83:5-8,  Genesis 15:16,  Ezek 38 & 39,  Zech 2:5 (Psalm 125),  Zech 14:1-3,  Jer 50:7,11-15,  Isaiah 31:5,  2 Thess 2 :8-12,  Dan 7:25,  Dan 11:32

8.  Wrath: Rev 14:14-20

We are saved from it: Rom 5:9, 1 Thess 5:9

9.  1000 Years (Millenum) of Peace and Prosperity when Jesus establishes His government and reign over all the earth (Feast of Tabernacles):

Isaiah 2:1-5,  Isaiah 9:6-7,  Isaiah 11:6-9,  Isaiah 60:14,21,  Isaiah 62:3,  Isaiah 65:18-25,  Isaiah 66:19-21,  Joel 3:18-21,  Psalm 83:17-18,  Gen 28:14,  2 Sam 7:16,  Zech 8:23,  Zech 14:16,  Jer 23:5-6,  Jer 33:16,  Rev 20:1-11

YESHUA IS THE FIRSTBORN AMONG THE DEAD AND THE HOPE OF RESURRECTION! DEATH HAD BEEN DEFEATED AND HE IS ON THE THRONE! ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH HAS BEEN PLACED UNDER HIS FEET! THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO ENTER THE HOLY OF HOLIES BUT THROUGH THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, MESSIAH YESHUA!

We want to challenge you to step out in faith and start praying for Jerusalem, then watch how your life is blessed in every way, especially with more of Jesus!

Love,

B&C

Western Wall

Western Wall

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Summer 2013 (5773)

 

 

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For those of you who walk with us, you know these two pictures sum up the coming Summer months, LORD WILLING!

Here is a letter we sent out recently to almost everyone we could think of. God always provides to where he calls you to. All you have to do it agree and step out to the limits of yourself. We are nearing those limits, and waiting for God to move in a powerful way. If you want to partner with what he is doing with us in this season then please read the letter below! 

IF YOU HAVE ALREADY READ our letter, then we have more news!! The LORD spoke to Papa Don Finto and Tod McDowell about Charity and I going with the Caleb team to Pemba, Mozambique for 10 days before we go to Israel! We will be teaching, ministering, growing, learning, and loving on the Harvest school students and staff. We are also so excited to be able to go on outreach and have a chance to give away and receive the love of God from rescued orphans. Heidi Baker has blessed our hearts from the first day we heard about how she has laid down her life to find it, and the miracles God is doing in Pemba through this woman of God. It will be an honor to experience the fruit of Iris Ministries firsthand.

This also means that we leave in 16 days! WHAT?! Yep. There is so much more uncertainty now that we felt the LORD speaking about going to Pemba, but that also means there is even more of an opportunity for God to do the impossible. We will be in Pemba, we will be in Israel, and we will change the world. We will be the ruling spirit wherever we go because the Ruach HaKodesh DWELLS IN US, and we will carry the love of Jesus to a dead and dying world.

Be blessed in the name of Yeshua the Messiah!

 

Here’s the letter :) 

 

 

We’re back!

 

After 11 months in Kona, Hawaii, we are back in Nashville (May 1st) for a month of family graduation celebration!  During our time in Kona, we grew in love for each other, studied the Word, went on crazy adventures, got really sweet tans (one of us at least), and learned the challenges and blessings of working full-time and being newly married.  We felt the Lord give us renewed vision and passion for the things our hearts burn for, which is rehabilitation of victims of human sex-trafficking, fighting abortion and taking care of orphans from all nations, revealing to the “whole house of Israel” their Messiah, unifying the body of Jesus in Franklin, TN, and seeking to live increasingly righteous lives in authentic and transparent community. We love love :)

 

Part of our return has to do with a potential business opportunity for Brett, a Master’s Degree in clinical psychology for Charity, rejoining the Caleb Company community, being closer to our families, and BUYING A HOUSE! We are excited about this coming season, but we are also in much prayer and waiting on the Lord to set things in motion.  A couple months ago we started feeling a strong urge to be in the Land of Israel this summer.  We are friends with a Messianic Jewish couple who hosts Summer basketball camps for Orthodox Jewish children.  The camps are used as a way to bless the people and witness to them about their Messiah!  The more we press into the heart of God, the more our hearts are intertwined with his covenant children (the house of Israel) and Land.  He staked his Name and reputation to the Land and people of Israel, and we cannot fully love him without loving them. Caleb Company is taking another school to Jerusalem at the same time the basketball camp finishes and we feel the Holy Spirit also urging us to stay and support the students and staff. More recently, we were asked by a YWAM Discipleship Training School to help lead an outreach of 6 Korean women in Jerusalem during the same months we will be there! This is exciting for us because it will combine our desire to teach and network believers in Israel. The total time we are going to be in the Land is 2 months (June 20nd through mid-August).  We need at least $8,000 in order to make the trip possible (flights, transportation, accommodation, food, camp fees, etc.), and we know that he will provide. One of our callings is to financially champion families doing outreach to every nation. This is one reason we are so eager to get Brett’s business up and running. However, we did not anticipate another outreach so soon. The Lord had other plans. We have been saving for our next trip, but are still a long way to go. We don’t know what He has in mind, but we felt to step out in faith, send out this letter, and trust he will provide! In Jesus, the funding for our trip is “yes and amen”! If he moves your heart to give then we want to thank you in advance from the bottom of our hearts. We believe that Jesus was telling the truth when he said, “Give, and you will receive gifts – the full measure, compacted, shaken together and overflowing, will be put right in your lap. For the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure back to you!” We need your prayers just as desperately! We want the Lord’s purposes to be done in and through us during this time, and we need as little hindrances from the enemy as possible. Please pray for kingdom encounters and divine protection during our travel.

 

Tax deductible donations can be made through Caleb Company’s website here: http://calebcompany.org/give/. Just type “Brett and Charity” under “Purpose”. We could not have done the Caleb Company leadership training last Summer 2012 if it wasn’t for the support of you all. We will never be able to thank you enough for how you had a hand in shaping our lives. This Summer 2013 trip is the next step in our development and growth in Jesus. We feel that if we are faithful to the Lord in spending these 2 month in Israel then he will be faithful in bringing to completion what he has placed on our hearts to do in Franklin. We feel him saying that this trip is a prophetic key opening a special door that he has for us in Franklin. Will he bless us either way? Yes. Do we want to miss out on anything we feel he is saying and has planned for this next season? Not a chance! We genuinely believe that by partnering with us in your heart (financially or in prayer) you will reap the reward and breakthrough that we are receiving! 

 

The more life experience we gain the more we realize that there is truly nothing more important in life than following Jesus together with the people you love. He is coming quickly, and we want to be ready! Our prayer for you all is that you will know and be known more by our heavenly Daddy. He is so holy, faithful, merciful, compassionate, and loving, and we need never stop searching him out and allowing him to search our hearts.

 

Love, Joy, & Shalom in the Holy Spirit!

B&C

 

God’s heart and plan for Israel and the nations:

Genesis 12

Isaiah 62

Zechariah 1:14

Psalm 122

Psalm 137:5-6

Ezekiel 37

Jeremiah 31-33

Matthew 23:37-39

Romans 9-11

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Henry Family Kona Update & Why We Celebrated Hanukkah

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Aloha, Happy Hanukkah, and Shalom from Kona, Hawai’i!

Charity and I wish that we could be with all of you (our family and friends) during this season of dedication, but we know that the Lord has us here for a purpose. Marriage is amazing! Firstly, because it was set in place by the Lord from the beginning of creation, and secondly because my wife is an incredible woman of God! We pray for all of you by name, and know that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion for His glory! It is our prayer that in this season of dedication you will allow the Lord to search and refine your heart until it is pure gold. There is nothing else that matters but bringing glory to His name.

The Lord has placed the desire in our hearts to write to you. We want to catch you up on our life here, including what Jesus has done and is doing in our hearts.

So here is some recent news in the Henry household!

  • Our good pal Peter (aka P’ter) came and visited us! We have done a Caleb Company leadership training school together, traveled to Israel together, and now hung out in Kona, Hawai’i, together. We love Peter dearly and look forward to deepening our relationship when we get back to Franklin.
  • Charity and I celebrated our 6 month anniversary in true Hawaiian style! We went to a faith-based luau and got to see our new friends dance! Charity and I got tribal tattoos, ate yummy food, and loved on each other :) ImageImageImageImage
  • We celebrated Thanksgiving with our family here (the Rogers and Randells). We had a time of rest and fellowship, and of course eating delicious turkey!
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  • Charity and I went surfing on Thanksgiving! We had a blast. Charity is a natural, and I’m still recovering. I will spare you the pictures of the gash on my bum and slice on my finger from crashing into the reef, but here are some pics of Charity! Isn’t she precious :)
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  • We got a car! Our Toyota needed a new engine block, but the Lord provided and made a way for us to get something that Charity, especially, was wanting! Here is the newest addition to our fleet: Image
  • We took the CR-V off road and then walked the rest of the way in to a beach known as “Makalawena”. It is a 45 minute trip just to get there, and once you arrive you pretty much have the beach to yourself! I found us a coconut an used techniques we learned at the luau to crack it open! With Charity’s help, we got all the meat out and ate until we were full :) It tasted so good!Image
  • Charity got a full set of golf clubs and I got some irons! Me and Todd went golfing yesterday afternoon at Makalei and had a great time! There was an average of 3.4 (I counted) peacocks per hole, which is a lot lower than our average scores per hole. We were tied through 11 holes, when we had to pack up our sticks and head in due to darkness. Then, out of nowhere, Eddie emerged and told us we could play the 17th hole as our last hole. It came down to a 10 ft putt for Todd to tie and force a playoff in Franklin, but he missed by less than 1 inch!  ImageImage
  • We went to a light festival in Holualoa, one of the most beautiful places in Kona. We got to hang out with our friends, drink fresh Kona coffee, sample local desserts, listen to live Hawaiian music, and see some amazing local art pieces. Image
  • Todd Garrett is here! He leaves the 18th, but has already been such a blessing to Charity and I. Our hearts are with everyone in Nashville, and we feel like Todd has brought everyone’s love to pour out on us. We are dreaming together about the exciting things the Father has placed on our hearts. There truly is unspeakable joy in His presence. We could not be more excited that one of our best friends is here. We have taken him surfing multiple times, drank lots of coffee, and spent time in intercession! Woo hoo!

Concerning the things the Lord has been doing in our hearts, we want to approach them with humility and wisdom. We pray always for alignment with God’s heart and the Kingdom of Heaven and trust He is bringing that about in our lives. Over the past 6 months we have been praying for revelation of the fear of Adonai, as well as vision of what the early messianic community looked like (as both Jew and Gentile). We feel both are vital for the Body of Yeshua to thrive and grow, as well as the irreplaceable ministry of the Holy Spirit! We are so grateful that the Lord is opening our eyes and hearts to His will concerning both, but we know we have much to learn and will never have full revelation until the King returns to Mount Zion and establishes His government! What a day that will be! Our hope is to see that day come in our time as we persevere together with our family and friends, spurring each other on in love and good deeds. We need grace from the Lord to reach all of our hopes and dreams, and declare over our family and friends that we are not of those who fall away, but of those who hold fast to the promises of God and receive the reward of eternal life! We want to be pillars in His temple, eat at the wedding feast of the Lamb, and have the name of the city of our God, “the New Jerusalem”, written on us!

We also want to open our hearts to you all regarding the most important reason why we were brought out to Kona. We are here to establish our marriage and set in place our own “norms” (thanks Alyn and AJ) for our new family. Part of that involves considering and honoring the traditions of our families but establishing our own, based on our convictions and revelation. We do not want to do things simply because we always have, and in the same measure we do not want to neglect things simply because we always have. In all things we want to honor the Lord first and do things that will bring life and joy and shalom to our family. For instance, Charity and I will celebrate the seven feasts of the Lord until the day Jesus comes back, and then we will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) every year with everyone who is “left from the nations that came against Jerusalem”. Based on the Word of God and personal conviction from the Holy Spirit, we feel that celebrating these feasts honor the Lord and bring life and joy and peace to our family. On the flip side, we will not recognize Easter, which is purely a pagan holiday and a counterfeit to Passover (a feast that the Lord established and that Jesus fulfilled). Because Hanukkah is ending tonight and Christmas is right around the corner, we wanted to touch on some of the reasons we will be celebrating Hanukkah.

Brief Hanukkah background: “Feast of Dedication and the Miracle of Chanukah” By James W. Goll

Why we celebrate Hanukkah:

  1. Jesus did.  “Then came Hanukkah in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking around inside the Temple area, in Shlomo’s (Solomon’s) Colonnade.”  John 10:22-23
  2. Jesus spent much time in the Temple during his life.  Prophecy was fulfilled, miracles were done, and people came to trust in the Son of David all in the Temple!  In Matthew 21, Jesus went straight to the Temple after he came into Jerusalem.  “Yeshua entered the Temple grounds and drove out those who were doing business there, both the merchants and their customers. He upset the desks of the money-changers and knocked over the benches of those who were selling pigeons. He said to them, “It has been written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it into a den of robbers!” (Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:11) Blind and lame people came up to him in the Temple, and he healed them.” After he left the Temple out of frustration that the priests and Torah-teachers did not believe in him, he cursed the fig tree (representative of the men he had just left who were not bearing any fruit yet claiming to know God) and then went right back into the Temple area to teach!  Did you know that Jesus was dedicated in the Temple?! I was overwhelmed when I remembered that Jesus was dedicated in the temple courts!  Luke 2:25-52 is astonishing in this context of the importance of the Temple in Yeshua’s life. “There was in Jerusalem a man named Simon. He was a righteous Jewish man, he was devout, he waited eagerly for God to comfort Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to Him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah of ADONAI. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, he went into the Temple courts; and when the parents brought in the child Yeshua to do for him what the Torah required, Simon took him in his arms, made a blessing to God, and said, “Now, ADONAI, according to your word, your servant is at peace as you let him go; for I have seen with my own eyes your  salvation, which you prepared in the presence of all peoples – a light that will bring revelation to the Nations and glory to your people Israel. Yeshua’s father and mother were marveling at the things Simon was saying about him. Simon blessed them and said to the child’s mother, Mary, “This child will cause many in Israel to fall and to rise, he will become a sign to whom people will speak against; moreover, a sword will pierce your own heart too. All this will happen in order to reveal many people’s inmost thoughts.””  Wow! Our Messiah was dedicated in the Temple! When Jesus was born and lived on the earth, he referred to his body as “this temple”, but that does not take away the significance of the Temple on Mount Zion. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit as well, but neither does that detract from the Temple in Jerusalem we see throughout the entire Word of God. One day, the Lord himself will reign on Mount Zion, where the Temple used to be and where Jesus spent much of his life. Imagine being a Jew in Jerusalem in the first-century, Paul talking to you about your body being a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19), then turning around an seeing the Temple standing massively before your eyes. The Shekhinah did not reside in the second Temple, but they were well aware of how powerfully the Presence of ADONAI dwelt in the first Temple. I’m sure they were thinking, “The Presence of ADONAI dwells in me just like He used to dwell in the Temple?!” Incredible imagery!
  3. The early messianic community met daily in the Temple courts! Acts 2:46 “Continuing faithfully and with singleness of purpose to meet in the Temple courts daily, and breaking bread in their several homes, they shared their food in joy and simplicity of heart, praising God and having the respect of all the people. And day after day the Lord kept adding to them those who were being saved.” Here we see Jewish believers, full of the Holy Spirit, meeting in the Temple courts. They did not abandon any of their Jewish identity when they believed Yeshua from Nazareth was the Messiah! If it was important to them, then Charity and I want to honor that as well. After all, if they had not carried the Gospel to the Gentiles then we would not have heard the good news! They were living out their beliefs together in a place where Jewish men, women, and children came to worship God and discuss Torah. I have no doubt that many people received salvation as a direct result of encountering these believers in the Temple courts. No Hanukkah, no Temple, no Temple courts, no dedication of Jesus in accordance with Torah, no new believers added daily. So we celebrate!

A side thought: There is a very good chance that Jesus was born during Rosh Hashanah (the feast of Tabernacles – a feast put in place by the Lord – God tabernacling with man), which would put his conception around this time!

Love, B&C

Dec 6, 2012 (29th of Kislev, 5773)

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