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the Birth

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem[Matthew 2:1].

If you notice the wording carefully, note that the verse above uses the word “after.” We do not know the exact time (after) that is involved but we can gather that it was probably about two years. We know one thing for sure and that is that Jesus was no longer a baby. Consider the baby passage in Luke 2 and note that to the shepherds the word “today” occurred and it was a baby.

“… for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” [Luke 2:11].

This was the same day of Jesus’ birth.

“So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger” [Luke 2:16].

Jesus was no longer in Bethlehem and he is called a “child.”

After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh[2:11-12].

He was also in a house, not in a manger months before. We need to learn to see “words” because they present different meanings. So, Jesus was about two years old at the time of the Magi’s visit. God caused the Magi to return to their country by a different route and disobeying the king’s orders. That caused the king to kill all of the male children who were at least two years old (or younger).

The “old testament” quotation (go to the O.T.) about that event almost escapes our notice. God did not cause those children to die, but they did so anyway at the hands of a wicked king. What was the cause? He did not understand what most today still do not understand. Jesus’ kingdom was a spiritual kingdom. So there was no reason why the king became so upset.

“And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him’" [Matthew 2:8].

The point of this verse is that we need to research what the word “search” means. The king did not know. The Magi did not know. They had to “search” out where Jesus, the young child, was located. The star reappeared and they followed the star and found Jesus. And they left by going on a different route because of the lie of the king. We know that the place where the Magi was located was not in the manger. Why did the king kill all of these children if he knew where Jesus was? He did not know and had to “search” for Jesus as did the Magi. How old is the child, one month old, or two years old? In the picture that you normally use, Mary is holding him on his way to Egypt. Joseph did what God told him to do, and he did it “while it was yet dark.” Then the king murdered all of the little male children.

“Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi” [2:16-17].

What a time of weeping! This was not just one child. Can you even imagine how many innocent children were murdered? Come on now – try. And all of the mothers crying! All over the land, not just in Bethlehem. And we hardly look at the verses. The children were evidently Joseph’s and Rachel’s descendants. 


 

John teaching and preaching
Category: Teaching Topics


 

John was baptizing in the Jordan River. There were a great number of people that he was immersing. All of the people “from Jerusalem” were going to him. Then they came from “all Judea,” then from “all the region round about the Jordan.”  Do you suppose that there were Jews who resided on the other side of the river? How many times did He cross the river?

I need to insert a very important point here. John was preaching to the people, he was not teaching them. These are two separate and meaningful words. They will occur throughout the bible. The word for “preaching” means what we usually mean – he was lecturing to the people. When we use the word “preaching” in another sense, it means to “talk with or dialogue.  To understand which Greek word is meant, we need to look at the original language. You will have to look separately at each word. Why not begin looking at those two words? The answers will surprise you. Search them carefully for the next week.

“Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham” [3:8-9].

What is so interesting in this verse? It is highly probable that John is using those “hard headed” people as a figure of speech. In other words, John is using “stones” in saying that the head-hearted people could become His spiritual people. He was probably looking at the stones along the river bank. Another word might give us the same idea – “yourselves.” He said, “Do not suppose that you can say to yourselves.” How would they say to “themselves?” How could one “suppose” if he was talking to a little rock? If one is not talking to another or talking to himself, how is that possible? It seems improbable to you but not to me. In reality now, could God “raise” up a hard, dirty rock to Abraham? Surely He could, but what about a “hard headed” person whose God is “able” to raise him up? His speech was to the bad rulers of the Jews. We will see some more of this later on.

“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" [3:10-12].

We now embark on the main trail of the work of John the baptist. Remember that his work was before Jesus began His preaching. In the three verses above we have the word “fire.”

1. The axe has already been laid at the root of the trees to consume the bad ones with fire.

2. Jesus was to immerse people with fire.

3. Jesus was to burn up the chaff with fire.

Those things were forecast by John for Jesus to do. Did He do them, as forecast, or are there 2,000 years in waiting for them and still waiting? The first one is very easy. The axe had “already” been placed there and ready to begin the process. Already! And John was beginning that process.

The next clause says that Jesus would immerse people with fire. Did He do that as was expected or even after 2,000 years are people still waiting for it? Or is the use of “fire” used in a figurative sense? It is used figuratively throughout the bible, such as it is in this verse. It is used to show the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and the 25th chapter of Matthew gives a vivid description of it by using “fire” to destroy it (the system).

And point number 3 tells the same thing. Of course, He would not be interested in burning up the literal “chaff” with anything. But had He found some literal chaff, fire is the easy way of destroying such. The bad people were called the “chaff” and the means by which they were destroyed was by “fire.” 

Last week we discussed John’s remark about “the coming wrath.” We already know that it pertained to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  The same is true of John’s words that deal with “fire.”  We need to get ready for the figurative use of it all of the way through the bible. 

The Promise - A New Creation
Category: Teaching Topics

 

A HEBREW SAGE MIGHT SAY. . .
Do not confuse the image of life with life itself.

THE PROMISE, A NEW CREATION
"Raise your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath:Though the heavens should melt away like smoke, and the earth wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants die out like gnats; MY victory and salvation shall stand, MY triumph and righteousness shall remain unbroken." [Isaiah (Yeshayah) 51. 6 Tanakh, Nevi'im]

There is a glorious future awaiting the redeemed of the LORD.  Although the MOST HIGH OMNIPOTENT GOD'S primeval creation of the heavens and the earth is eternal [Psalms / Tehillym 148] these are now groaning in pain under the effects of sin and the curse.  When our KING, the LORD YESHUA returns, all will be made new and right and  "creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the GLORIOUS LIBERTY." [Romans 8. 21]

Moreover, the scars of sin and death will even be burned away by the refining fires of the ALMIGHTY ONE for "the LORD is not slack concerning HIS promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the DAY OF THE LORD will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the DAY OF GOD, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?" [2 Peter 3. 9 - 12]

There are explicit references in WRITTEN HOLY SCRIPTURES to these great promises of a "new heaven and earth" which assures us that they will be so wonderful this present earth and its heavens will soon be totally forgotten:" For as the new heaven and the new earth which I will make shall endure by My will - declares the LORD- 'So shall your seed and your name endure.'" [Isaiah (Yeshayah) 66. 22 Tanakh, Nevi'im]  This new heaven and earth will remain eternally and so will all who dwell there, with their true spiritual children.  "For behold! I am creating a new heaven and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered, they shall never come to mind." [Isaiah (Yeshayah) 65. 17 Tanakh, Nevi'im]  

"Nevertheless we, according to HIS promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." [2 Peter 3. 13]   Not only will sin be absent, but the results of sin and the curse will have no place there.  "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.  Also there was no more sea. And GOD will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." [Revelation 21. 1, 4]

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but MY WORDS will by no means pass away." [Matthew 24. 35]  The TESTIMONIES of the LORD ALMIGHTY are true and they are our assurance of an eternal inheritance in HIM.  Such unfathomable free gifts we can receive, just for the taking.


Sha’alu (Prayfor the shalom (Peaceof Jerusalem and all of Israel!
As we bid farewell to Sabbath, may the MIGHTY GOD WHO separates the holy from the secular and mundane, forgive our sins and grant us a week of peace as we continue to learn HIS WORD and HIS WISDOM.  The LORD  is my PRAISE, my STRENGTH, my FORTRESS, my REFUGE -- in days of affliction and at all times.
Tov Shavua (have a good week)! – Be sure to take some of Sabbath’s sweetness, peace, joy and gladness into your week.

Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is praying for the return of Messiah Jesus and His Kingdom.


Email:   delrifkah.kralman@comcast.net
Web Page:   http://delrifkah.homestead.com/

Thoughts Archived:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/delrifkah/

End-time Events: http://delrifkah.homestead.com/Facepage.html

Please visit our web page for teachings on Bible texts and subjects.

Also notice the section showing the disparity between the Holy Bible and the Muslim Koran (Quran).

The newest section is our thought by thought study through the Bible.  Having completed the Torah (books of Moses), and the New Testament, we are now going through the book of; [2 Samuel].

Oldest written document ever found in Jerusalem.
Category: Teaching Topics

Oldest written document ever found in Jerusalem discovered by Hebrew University

IMAGE: Dr. Eilat Mazar (left) and Professor Wayne Horowitz of the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology pose with the 14th century B.C.E. clay tablet fragment found in Jerusalem.

Click here for more information.

Jerusalem, July 11, 2010 -- A tiny clay fragment – dating from the 14th century B.C.E. – that was found in excavations outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls contains the oldest written document ever found in Jerusalem, say researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The find, believed to be part of a tablet from a royal archives, further testifies to the importance of Jerusalem as a major city in the Late Bronze Age, long before its conquest by King David, they say.

The clay fragment was uncovered recently during sifting of fill excavated from beneath a 10th century B.C.E. tower dating from the period of King Solomon in the Ophel area, located between the southern wall of the Old City of Jerusalem and the City of David to its south. Details of the discovery appear in the current issue of the Israel Exploration Journal.

Excavations in the Ophel have been conducted by Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology. Funding for the project has been provided by Daniel Mintz and Meredith Berkman of New York, who also have provided funds for completion of the excavations and opening of the site to the public by the Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Company for the Development of East Jerusalem. The sifting work was led by Dr.Gabriel Barkay and Zachi Zweig at the Emek Zurim wet-sieving facility site.

The fragment that has been found is 2x2.8 centimeters in size and one centimeter thick. Dated to the 14th century B.C.E., it appears to have been part of a tablet and contains cuneiform symbols in ancient Akkadian (the lingua franca of that era).

IMAGE: This is a close-up view of the 14th century B.C.E. clay tablet fragment discovered in Jerusalem.

Click here for more information.

The words the symbols form are not significant in themselves, but what is significant is that the script is of a very high level, testifying to the fact that it was written by a highly skilled scribe that in all likelihood prepared tablets for the royal household of the time, said Prof. Wayne Horowitz , a scholar of Assyriology at the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology. Horowitz deciphered the script along with his former graduate student Dr. Takayoshi Oshima, now of the University of Leipzig, Germany.

Tablets with diplomatic messages were routinely exchanged between kings in the ancient Near East, Horowitz said, and there is a great likelihood, because of its fine script and the fact it was discovered adjacent to in the acropolis area of the ancient city, that the fragment was part of such a “royal missive.” Horowitz has interpreted the symbols on the fragment to include the words “you,” “you were,” “later,” “to do” and “them.”

The most ancient known written record previously found in Jerusalem was the tablet found in the Shiloah water tunnel in the City of David area during the 8th century B.C.E. reign of King Hezekiah. That tablet, celebrating the completion of the tunnel, is in a museum in Istanbul. This latest find predates the Hezekiah tablet by about 600 years.

The fragment found at the Ophel is believed to be contemporary with the some 380 tablets discovered in the 19th century at Amarna in Egypt in the archives of Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten), who lived in the 14th century B.C.E. The archives include tablets sent to Akhenaten by the kings who were subservient to him in Canaan and Syria and include details about the complex relationships between them, covering many facets of governance and society. Among these tablets are six that are addressed from Abdi-Heba, the Canaanite ruler of Jerusalem. The tablet fragment in Jerusalem is most likely part of a message that would have been sent from the king of Jerusalem, possibly Abdi-Heba, back to Egypt, said Mazar.

Examination of the material of the fragment by Prof. Yuval Goren of Tel Aviv University, shows that it is from the soil of the Jerusalem area and not similar to materials from other areas, further testifying to the likelihood that it was part of a tablet from a royal archive in Jerusalem containing copies of tablets sent by the king of Jerusalem to Pharaoh Akhenaten in Egypt.

Mazar says this new discovery, providing solid evidence of the importance of Jerusalem during the Late Bronze Age (the second half of the second millennium B.C.E.), acts as a counterpoint to some who have used the lack of substantial archaeological findings from that period until now to argue that Jerusalem was not a major center during that period. It also lends weight to the importance that accrued to the city in later times, leading up to its conquest by King David in the 10th century B.C.E., she said.

Customs - Pidyon Ha'Ben
Category: Teaching Topics

 

 

A HEBREW SAGE MIGHT SAY. . .
Honour is measured by him who gives it, not by him who receives it.

CUSTOMSPIDYON HA'BEN
Either phrase, Pidyon ha'Ben (Redemption of the son)  or Pidyon ha'Bechor (Redemption of the first-born male) are correct.  The child has been considered by Jews, even since olden times, as the greatest of human treasures.  To produce and raise children is a religious commandment and is the cause for rejoicing in the home.  However, when a son is born, there is special joy, for the parents trust that he will carry on the family name with honour.  Jewish women consider it a great blessing from the GREAT & ALMIGHTY GOD to bear a son.  It is natural that the first child should be received with special attention by the new parents.  The oldest son has always taken first rank in the Jewish family.  In case of the father's death, he usually becomes the head, to whom the younger brothers and sisters look for advice and help.  He inherits a larger share of the family's possessions than any of the other children.

Ever since the first promise of redemption, Jewish women (who are very devout) have hoped to be the mother of the REDEEMER.  Deeply imbedded in the Jewish soul there is the hope of the coming MESSIAH YESHUA and, "who knows"-- perhaps their little boy will grow up to be the DELIVERER OF ISRAEL!   Eve, when she gave birth to Cain, believed it was HE for whom she waited to save her from her sins.  She exclaimed: "I have acquired a MAN, the LORD." [Genesis / Berepooh 4. 1 Hebrew Translation]  In English, it is translated as "I have gotten a man-child from the LORD."  The word translated as from is simply the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph - Tau, which represents HIM WHO is the FIRST and the LAST, the BEGINNING and the ENDING,  WHO is, WHO was, and WHO ever shall be!  What a disappointment to her that Cain turned out to be, not the PROMISED DELIVERER, but the first murderer; not the LIFE-GIVER, but the life-taker!

One glorious day in the City of David, an event took place of which Isaiah wrote:  "For a CHILD has been born to us, a SON has been given to us. And authority has settled on HIS shoulders. HE has been named will be called WONDERFUL (Pele), COUNSELOR (Yavats), THE MIGHTY GOD (Gibowr El), ETERNAL FATHER (Ad Aby), RULER (Prince) OF PEACE (Sar Shalowm)." [Isaiah (Yeshayah) 9. 6 Tanakh, Nevi'im]  This was a CHILD like no other child before HIM or  after, who was the GREATEST OF HEAVEN'S TREASURES; HE is the SON WHO far surpasses all the sons of earth; HIS was a birth at which all the hosts of heaven rejoiced; Miryam (Mary), who gave birth to this SON, truly could declare in reality:  "I have acquired a MAN-CHILDthe LORD!" for JESUS THE MESSIAH had come!

The birth of the SAVIOUR in the City of David caused all heaven "and the morning stars to sing together" -- but one writer has expressed a significant fact: "Though MESSIAH a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, and not within thy heart, thy soul will be forlorn."  When HE, the MESSIAH, the unique SON OF THE LIVING GOD, is born in the heart, what rejoicing in heaven!  By faith we who are sons of men, become sons of GOD through the new birth.  Because YESHUA came into our humanity, we can become partakers of HIS divinity.  JESUS, WHO was born the SON of Abraham, the SON of David, brings us into the family of GOD; and we also are sons of David, sons of Abraham, of the heavenly family by faith.  "HE came to HIS OWN, and HIS OWN did not receive HIM. BUT AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM, to them HE gave the right to become the sons of GOD." [John 1. 11-12]   

"But every firstlingbutt you shall redeem with a sheep; and if you will not redeem it, you must break its neck. AND YOU MUST REDEEM EVERY FIRSTBORN MALE AMONG YOUR CHILDREN." [Exodus (Shemot) 13.13 Tanakh,Torah]  According to the teachings of Rashi:"The law of redemption is applicable to the ass only of the unclean animals, because the first-born of the Egyptians are in the BIBLE compared to the ass." [see Ezekiel / Yehezke-El 23.20]   "As the ass is an unclean animal, it has to be redeemed with a lamb."  [Abraham Ibn Ezra]

On the thirty-first day after the child's birth, a home gathering is arranged to which relatives and friends are invited.  Among the guests is a Kohen (priest) who is thought to be a descendant of Aaron.  The ceremony consists of giving the Kohen the sum of five shekalim (about $2.50), or the more popular sum of five silver dollars, and reciting appropriate prayers.  The boy is then pronounced redeemed or freed from the service commanded for all first-born males.  {Unless the Kohen is very poor, he returns the money to the parents who give it to a worthy Jewish cause.}  This practice is almost not practiced today, but among the very orthodox Jews, the first-born is always redeemed, not with a lamb as in the BIBLICAL commandment, but as stated, with five silver dollars.  This custom is kept in remembrance of the salvation of the first-born in Egypt when the ALMIGHTY AWESOME ONE commanded the Israelites to substitute a lamb for their deliverance from death.  The redemption ceremony is followed by a party as an expression of thanksgiving for this privilege.

It is written concerning the firstborn SON of Miryam (Mary):  "Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought HIM to Jerusalem to present HIM to the LORD (as it is written in the Law of the LORD, 'Every male who opens the womb shall be called HOLY TO THE LORD')." [Luke 2. 22-23]  

"And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the CONSOLATION OF ISRAEL, and the HOLY SPIRIT was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the HOLY SPIRIT that he would not see death before he had seen the LORD'S MESSIAH. So he came by the SPIRIT into the Temple. And when the parents brought in the CHILD YESHUA (JESUS), to do for HIM ACCORDING TO THE CUSTOM OF THE LAW, he took HIM up in his arms and blessed GOD and said: "LORD, now YOU are  letting YOUR servant depart in peace, according to YOUR WORD; for my eyes have seen YOUR SALVATION which YOU have prepared before the face of all peoples, the LIGHT to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the GLORY of YOUR people Israel." [Luke 2.25-32]  

Simeon, who perhaps had held many boy babies in his arms in the Temple at the Redemption Ceremony, was led of the SPIRIT OF GOD on this special occasion to see and recognize the PROMISED MESSIAH.  This SON needed not to be redeemed for HE came to redeem all those who put their trust in HIM.  Everyone has the same privilege as Simeon to see and recognize in YESHUA THE REDEEMER, the SAVIOUR of the world!  HE has redeemed us, not with corruptible things but with HIS OWN blood!  JESUS is the SUBSTITUTE- the ANTITYPE of the lamb which redeemed the first-born of Israel.  Comparable to the words of Simeon the devout when he took the CHILD JESUS in his arms and blessed GOD, we who know our DELIVERER can also exclaim,  "LORD, we have seen YOUR SALVATION which YOU prepared before the face of all peoples!"  KING JESUS, the LIGHT that brings revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of YOUR people, Israel.


Sha’alu (Prayfor the shalom (Peaceof Jerusalem and all of Israel!
Welcome Sabbath! Queen of the weekPraised are YOU, YEHOWAH, our GOD, SOVEREIGN of the Universe, WHO makes us holy with YOUR mitzvoth and favours us with the Holy Shabbat, lovingly and graciously given to us. Assuredly, the KEEPER of Israel gives good gifts to those who love and obey HIM!

Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is praying for the return of Messiah Jesus and His Kingdom.


Email:   delrifkah.kralman@comcast.net
Web Page:   http://delrifkah.homestead.com/

Thoughts Archived:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/delrifkah/

End-time Events: http://delrifkah.homestead.com/Facepage.html

Please visit our web page for teachings on Bible texts and subjects.

Also notice the section showing the disparity between the Holy Bible and the Muslim Koran (Quran).

The newest section is our thought by thought study through the Bible.  Having completed the Torah (books of Moses), and the New Testament, we are now going through the book of; [2 Samuel].

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