Nash James Jubilee

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Nash James Jubilee Henry — (Smith Studios photoshoot)

Baby Brother is here!

We were just explaining to John Maven (big brother) how Nash used to be inside Ima’s belly, and is now outside her belly, just like how we eat inside the house before we go outside the house to play. He just started at us like we wer crazy. But really, what a miracle that babies are fashioned in the secret place for nearly one year, and then suddenly come forth into the world in a matter of minutes. May we never lose our wonder at the beauty and mystery of creation!

For those of you who walk with our family, you already know how significant we believe names are. Not only do they represent identity and calling, but they also are a chance to partner with what God already calls our children in heaven, for we who are born of the Spirit are seated with Jesus in heavenly places! Every time we have called out our first son’s name – “John Maven” – we are calling out who he is in God, a man who is favored by God and full of wisdom and revelation! If you take the average number times we call his name per hour (2 times per parent) for roughly 12.5 hours/day, you get over 50 times/day. Multiply that by over 600 days of life to date and it equals over 30,000 times we have called his name, and that doesn’t count family and friends. That is over 30,000 times our son has been told that he is a man of wisdom and revelation who is favored by the God of the universe! With the evil in the earth rapidly increasing and the enemy fighting for the compromise of every believer, we cannot be told enough about our identity in God. Every chance you get, speak prophetically over your husband, wife, children, and even yourself for the glory of God and strengthening of your family!

So, it is with great excitement that we share with you all the meaning and story behind Nash’s name…

Nash.  Nash was the last name to come. There were still a handful of words we had felt very strongly for our son’s identity, but we weren’t sure how they were supposed to fit in his name. 2 weeks before Charity went in to labor, she walked into the house on a Saturday while I was napping with John Maven and said, “what do you think about the name “Nash”?  I immediately loved it, but wasn’t sure how it matched up with anything we were feeling so we let go of it. A few days before Charity went into labor, the LORD told us that he had hidden the name from us and it was His desire for us to seek it out. Almost suddenly, we realized that the other identity words we had heard, felt, and been told by others has the same letters as in the name Nash!

  • Nahar.  This was the first word that was spoken over the baby by someone outside of our family, but whom we deeply trust. It means “stream” and “light”, which are also the 2 themes for Sukkot (John 7), which is the time of year that our family was in Israel together last September. “Light” was later prophesied by 3 other people who had no knowledge of each other’s words. “Light in the Darkness”, “Carrier of Light”, “Bearing Light”, and “Sun” were all spoken over the baby independently! Confirmed: I heard the LORD say “My word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path.” one morning as I was sitting outside Honest. I flipped over to Psalm 119 and discovered that the verse was the first sentence in the “nun” section. The letter nun means “heir”, and represents Messiah (Jesus), the “heir” of King David. When the letter is used inside a word the bottom part is bent, but when it is used at the end of a word the bottom part is straight. The “bent and straight” has come to represent the phrase, “the one who is humble will stand upright in the final days.” Let it be said of us!
  • Abraham.  Nash was due on February 12th, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Early on, Charity heard the phrase “Freedom Fighter”, and I heard the phrase “great faith”. We were also very intrigued by Luke 16:22 during this pregnancy, and studied “Abraham’s side” at length. In summary, we believe Nash will be a great emotional and spiritual leader in his generation! Confirmed: We were told by a dear friend that Nash would be an “oak of righteousness”, planted by the LORD. When we think of trees and righteousness, we immediately think of when the LORD appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre!
  • Strong.  “Strength” was something we felt would define Nash after we read the story of Gideon halfway through the pregnancy. We laid out a fleece to the LORD near the end of the pregnancy, and asked him to show us if he wanted the name to be something other than what we were already feeling. Confirmed: Nash was born the same length as John Maven, but a full pound and a few ounces heavier! The doctor laid him om Charity’s chest and he immediately pushed himself up and held it for a few seconds! 
  • Hidden.  This was the theme of Nash’s pregnancy. We heard the LORD say that Nash was “hidden in the shadow of his wings”, and also that Nash’s name was hidden from us. Proverbs 25:2 says that “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search it out…”

All of this was amazing, until we learned 3 days before his birth what Nash means in Hebrew!  We found out it is a derivative of a phrase from one our favorite Psalms…

PSALM 2
1 Why are the nations in an uproar, the peoples grumbling in vain?
2 The earth’s kings are taking positions, leaders conspiring together, against ADONAI and his anointed.
3 They cry, “Let’s break their fetters! Let’s throw off their chains!”
4 He who sits in heaven laughs; Adonai looks at them in derision.
5 Then in his anger he rebukes them, terrifies them in his fury.
6 “I myself have installed my king on Tziyon, my holy mountain.”
7 “I will proclaim the decree: ADONAI said to me, ‘You are my son; today I became your father.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance; the whole wide world will be your possession.
9 You will break them with an iron rod, shatter them like a clay pot.'”
10 Therefore, kings, be wise; be warned, you judges of the earth.
11 Serve ADONAI with fear; rejoice, but with trembling.
12 Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and you perish along the way, when suddenly his anger blazes. How blessed are all who take refuge in him.

In the last verse, King David says “Nash-ku bar”, Kiss the son. We believe this Psalm is relevant to our present time in history. More than ever before, the earth’s kings are conspiring against Israel, and against what God is doing in believers all over the earth. Nash is from the root word that means “to kiss”, “rule”, and “to equip with weapons”. There is a dynamic here that we believe is very important, knowing when and when not to fight. Also, that Jesus will rule from Mt. Zion in the Messianic age, and we (those who stand firm in the end) will rule and reign with him! Confirmed: Tuesday morning, we received a text from a friend who had a dream the night Charity went into labor. In the dream, the baby’s name started with “Na”. It was Nathan, who was a prophet to Israel during the time of King David. Both the first two letters of his name, and the fact that Nathan had a relationship with King David was the final confirmation to us that Nash was indeed his name!

The last aspect of Nash that is a given is Nashville. It is an exciting time in out city, both spiritually and economically. We believe Nashville is called to play a major role in the end times, and will be a city that stands for truth and righteousness even when other cities in America do not. Nashville is a rare city on the earth, and we are proud to have a son born here.

James.  James (“Ya’akov”) was the first name to come. James is a family name on both sides of the family, and we felt it would be part of his name ever since we found out we were having another boy. James and John (the sons of Zavdai) were 2 of Jesus’ closest friends. When Jesus summoned them in Mark 3, he sent them out to preach with the authority to expel demons, and gave them the name “Sons of Thunder” because of their zeal and passion. Our desire for our sons is that “zeal for your house would consume (them)”, and that they would be wrapped in “zeal as a mantle”. One of our favorite stories of the Bible recounts the time when Pinchas son of El’azar was “as zealous as I am” said the LORD, and “on behalf of God made atonement for Israel” when many of the people turned from God to chase after the women and idols of a pagan nation. As a result, God gave Pinchas his covenant of peace, and made a covenant with Pinchas and his descendants that the office of cohen (priest) would be theirs forever. Our greatest prayer is that our sons would be as zealous as God for righteousness and holiness to abound in their generation, and that God would covenant his peace and priestly anointing with them and their descendants forever!  Confirmation: James was confirmed on our annual family trip to Israel in September/October during the festival of Sukkot. Our friends had just had their third son and were sharing with us how they had gotten the name for him. They had taken the first letter of the LORD’s name (yud), the first letter of the wife’s name, and the first letter of the husband’s name, and the result was a new name for their son (e.g. Y-S-P = Joseph). We got home to where we were staying in Jerusalem and wrote out the same formula for our names.. “Y-C-B”. Fill in the vowels and you get the name “Jacob”, which comes from the Hebrew name “Ya’akov”, which also translates to “James”! Boom. It is also interesting to note that our good friend Daniel Hallum had a dream we were having a boy on the same day that James Goll came by the Juice Co. and told me that we were “going to have a baby”. Both of these happened a week before we found out we were pregnant again! Double Boom. Ready for the Triple Boom? On December 3rd, around 3:00, I was driving up to Nashville and headed for May Hosiery, a new and very special place for our family for reason I will not explain at this time. As I was driving, I asked the LORD what He was saying and I heard “Psalm 81” as clear as you are reading this (assuming you don’t need reading glasses). I looked up up real quick, peed my pants a little bit, then called Charity! Here are the first 5 verses, and you’ll see why this was a final confirmation for not just “James”, but also the next name…

Psalm 81 – For the Leader. On the harp. By Asaf:

(1) Sing for joy to God our strength!
Shout to the God of Ya‘akov!
(2) Start the music! Beat the drum!
Play the sweet lyre and the lute!
(3) Sound the yovel at Rosh-Hodesh
and at full moon for the pilgrim feast,
(4) because this is a law for Isra’el,
a ruling of the God of Ya‘akov.
(5) He placed it as a testimony in Y’hosef
when he went out against the land of Egypt.

Jubilee.  Jubilee (“Yovel”) is significant both in meaning and in timing. It means “ram’s horn”, “to be carried”, and finally the special year that LORD established as a jubilee year of liberty in Leviticus 25! Nash was conceived AND born in the same biblical year, which falls between the civic years 5775-5776. This year of Jubilee occurs every 50 years, and is a year of freedom, rest, and joy, with debts being forgiven and property being returned to it’s original owner. Family members were also commanded to return to the land of their family/forefathers in this year. Know anyone who moved back to their childhood home in 2015-2016? I figured you would. So what happened in the last Jubilee year? Israel regained their ancient homeland capital city of Jerusalem for the first time in over 2,000 years. To put in perspective the significance of this event, no other people group in history has returned to their homeland after 40 years of being absent. 40 years. And in our lifetime it has happened with the Jewish people after over 2,000 years! So yeah, it’s a significant year according to God. Confirmation: Psalm 81. The numerical value for the letter N (nun) in Hebrew is 50! 

FUN FACT: The first letter of each of Nash’s name, spelled backwards, is the Hebrew word for wine. Wine represents the Holy Spirit, the blood of Jesus, holiness and sanctification, and joy! It was also the first public miracle Jesus performed, when he turned water into the best wine at a wedding feast.

Henry.  Henry is of Germanic origin, and means “home” and “power” or “ruler”.  One of the first things we heard the LORD say when we found out we were pregnant was “Coming Home”. In the past year, a few of our favorite musicians have come out with albums and songs with this same theme…

NJJH – Light.  Zeal.  Freedom.  Home.

Well, that about does it for me! May the LORD shine the light of His face on you in Jesus’ name!

@mrbretthenry

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John Maven Maccabee

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John Maven Maccabee

@heyjohnmaven


 

What’s in a name?

Charity and I believe that, based on the Word, names are extremely significant.  Since the beginning of creation, and in the context of Jewish culture, you can see that names speak to the identity and destiny of a person.

Here are a few examples of names who have meanings that call out identity and destiny:

  • “Yeshua” means “salvation from God”
  • “Adam” means “man”, which is the name God gave to the first person he created, and “Havah” (Eve) means “life” because she is the mother of all living things
  • God changed Jacob’s name to “Is’rael”, which means “triumphant with God” or “God rules”
  • God changed Abram’s name to “Abraham”, which means “father of a multitude”
  • “Isaac” means “he laughed/will laugh”
  • “Samuel” means “God has heard”
  • “Elijah” means “my God is ADONAI”
  • Yeshua called “Simon” (meaning, “he has heard), “Kefa” (Peter), meaning “rock”
  • “Iyyov” (Job) means “persecuted”
  • “Esther” was called “Hadassah” which is a derivative of the Hebrew word for myrtle (i.e. righteousness, Zech 1:8)
  • “David” means “beloved” or “friend”
  • Moshe (Moses) means “to pull/to draw out [of water].”

These are just a few examples of how significant names are!  You can put together why some of these patriarchs and faithful ones are named as they are.  It shouldn’t be too hard if you know anything about their lives!

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As we have mentioned before, we felt the fear of the LORD in regards to the name of our firstborn son.  Outlined below are his names and why we felt there were none other for him.

John:

4 times during Charity’s pregnancy, from the very week we found out Charity was pregnant (before we knew he was a boy) to the morning in the delivery room (2 hours before his birth), we received a prophetic word/prayer about our baby being like John the Immerser (or Baptist), preparing the way before the LORD by being a witness to Israel, and that many would rejoice at his birth!  A 5th time we received a word about him being a “throne room baby” (i.e. John the Beloved, specifically Revelation 4:3 & 5).

All of these words were from people we love, trust, and know walk in intimacy with Jesus.

John (Yochanan) means “YHVH was gracious, showed favor”, and for Charity and I this has been a season of incredible favor with god and man!

One thing we felt before we knew his name was John was that he would “go out in the spirit and power of Elijah“, to “turn the hearts of the children back to their fathers, and the fathers back to their children” (Micah 4:5-6).  We also prayed that our baby would we filled with the Holy Spirit even in the womb (Luke 1)!  We felt he was going to have a strong prophetic anointing and calling early on, which was confirmed when our little friend Naomi called him “Samuel” and two close friends felt he would be like “Isaiah” the prophet.

Another word we received 3 times was “shofar.”  The shofar is symbolic for many things, some of which are celebration, arrival of a king, announcement, alertness, creation, revelation, in-gathering from exile, and resurrection! All of these apply to what we were feeling for our son, and many of these symbols are seen/fulfilled in the lives of John the Immerser and John the Beloved.

John the Baptist was considered a “tzaddik” (righteous one) even by King Herod (Mark 6:20).  While Charity and I were sitting in the pediatricians office a month before John was born, I saw the LORD write a Hebrew letter, “tsadeh”, on the window.  I went home and studied the letter, and came to find out that it is used interchangeably in Israel for naming a “tzaddik”, or righteous person! I saw the LORD write another letter after that one, but I will touch on it under “Maccabee.”

The timing was also extremely significant in the naming of John (and also Maccabee).  John the Immerser proclaimed, “Look! God’s Lamb! The one who is taking on the sin of the world.” on at least 2 occasions.  This is obvious Pesach (Passover) imagery!  Our beloved John was born just a day before Passover began this year, during the time Yeshua was being examined and found without flaw, a perfect Lamb.

We pray that, like the John’s of faith before him, our John would be “overjoyed at the sound of the Bridegroom’s voice!”

Maven:

In this case, “Maven” does not stand for the “Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN”.  Maven is a more recent transliteration of the Hebrew word “mevin”, meaning “one who understands.” It is closely related to the Hebrew word “binah”, meaning wisdom.  A modern translation is “a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others.”  Malcom Gladwell also talks about a maven as a social influencer in his book “The Tipping Point.”

From the moment we found out Charity was pregnant, we began to pray for and strongly sense the LORD filling our child with a spirit of wisdom and revelation! When I learned about the word maven (thanks @BraudKnows), I instantly felt it was significant in our son’s identity and destiny!

Maccabee:

The word Zion kept coming up during the 9 months we were anticipating our little man’s birth.  I first heard “like Mt. Zion” when I asked the LORD what he was saying during worship at Caleb Company in the first month of Charity’s pregnancy. Immediately after worship, our dear friend Steve Allen came to me and prophesied the three same words I had heard during worship regarding baby Henry!

In all, these are the 3 prophetic words we received regarding Zion & our son:

“Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth!”  (Psalm 50)

“May ADONAI bless you from Zion!”  (Psalm 128)

“Those who trust in Adonai are like Mount Tziyon, which cannot be moved but remains forever.”  (Psalm 125)

That day in the pediatrician’s office, I saw the LORD write a “yud” after the “tsadeh.”   Zion, more accurately “Tziyon”, is a transliteration, but in Hebrew the word begins with a “tsadeh” followed by a “yud”!!!! I did not see any letters after those two, but in English they are translated to Z and I, the first two letters of ZION!

Even though we knew this was what the LORD was speaking, we did not feel like it was to be in John’s name.  Not knowing why, we kept praying for clarity and discernment.

Another thing we still desired the LORD to confirm was that he was saying our son would walk in the “fear of the LORD“, with zeal and wisdom together.

Needless to say, we are beyond amazed at how we got John Maven’s middle name and excited to explain the details below!

Two years ago, while Charity and I were living in Kona, HI, we began to study the fear of the LORD and, as a result, to pray the “Song of Moses” in Exodus 15 every time we needed or experienced breakthrough at the hand of the LORD.

The setting for Exodus 15 amazing, especially in light of the timing when John was born!!!  God has just delivered Israel from Egypt ON PASSOVER through signs and wonders, led them with a cloud and fire, split wide the Sea of Suf, and led them on dry ground, only to finish off the entire Egyptian army in the sea! WOW! What else can you do but cry out a song of Praise the the Most High!  One particular line of the song has since been our family motto: “Who is like you, ADONAI, among the mighty!” (Exodus 15:11).

In Hebrew, this verse is transliterated as “Mi chamo cha ba’elim ADONAI!”  Because there are vowels in the Hebrew “aleph-bet”, the acronym for this expression would be the first letter of each word, “mccb.”  Fill in the vowels for an English translation and you get “Maccabee“.  COME ON!

When Charity and I put this  together a couple weeks ago it made sense why two of our best friends got the name “Maccabee” regarding our son!

But what about Zion? What about the fear of the LORD?

Maccabee as a word means “hammer” in Hebrew. It was a name that Judah ben Mattathias (a Jewish priest in the 2nd century BC) was called by shortly before the time of Yeshua when he led a rebel Jewish army against Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who had invaded Jerusalem, sacrificed pigs to Zeus on the altar of God in the Temple, and forbade any Jewish religious practices or worship to the God of Israel that God himself had established for the Jewish people.  Judah’s battle cry was said to be “Mi chamo cha ba’elim ADONAI!” when he and his army took back the Temple for the LORD and re-dedicated it just in time for Yeshua to be born and dedicated in it!

Where was the Temple located?  Mt. Zion, where the LORD staked his name forever! (Psalm 132)

What did it take for Judah to reclaim Jerusalem & Mt. Zion?  The fear of the Lord!

What does wisdom begin with? The fear of ADONAI! (Proverbs 9:10, Psalm 111:10)

One of the first stories we read to John Maven Maccabee was the story of Pinchas in Numbers 25. Pinchas killed a fellow Israelite because he feared the Lord and was “as zealous as” God!  As a result, a plague was lifted from Israel and God made a covenant with Pinchas and his descendants forever!

 

John Maven Maccabee, we bless you with all these things! We bless you to be like Caleb, one who walks in a different spirit than the spirit of the age.  We bless you to be wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord all the days of your life!  We bless you to find tasteless the things of this world, and that you would taste and see the the LORD is good even now! And we bless you to love well because you were first love by your Father in heaven.

We bless you man of wisdom, man of shalom, man of God.

 

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#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!

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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

IMG_3989 IMG_3987 IMG_3986 IMG_3996 IMG_3995 Jerusalem IMG_4006 IMG_4005 IMG_4004 IMG_4003 IMG_4002 IMG_3999 IMG_3998 IMG_3997

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?

Jerusalem_photo1-601x400

“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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