Sermons recorded at Restoration Messianic Fellowship in Boulder, Colorado.
2022-09-24 Creation and Meaning
Media File Secular science is being dragged to the realization that everything was created by God. While that is not news to believers, it does have some very interesting ramifications which have bearing on the Holy Days coming up. A creator outside of the universe means that He has a purpose in view and we have meaning within that purpose. Further it means that standards of conduct are given by Him and not invented ad hoc. Finally, since we are made in His image, we have the ability to control our various appetites just as He set limits on the creation. These realizations have bearing on preparation for the Holy Days.
Media File Deuteronomy is Moses' final set of instructions to the people he has led for 40 years. In Ki Tavo he winds up the list of curses by saying that they will come about because of a lack of joy in their relationship with God. In John 14-17 Y'shua prepares his disciples for his crucifixion. There also the overwhelming message is one of joy. What is this joy and how does it differ from mere happiness?
2022-09-10 A Beautiful Captive
Media File In capturing a city, it might be that a warrior finds a beautiful woman among the captives and desires her. Dt 21:10 explains the process of turning such a captive into a wife. This may seem archaic and a bit barbaric today, but it has profound meaning in God's plan of redemption. It also is important to us as we prepare for the High Holy Days.
2022-09-03 Final Briefing
Media File At the Last Supper Y'shua gave a final briefing to His Disciples telling them what was to come. While they did not fully comprehend, He was preparing them for His Resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. In this briefing He describes the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Media File In Parsha Re'eh Moses says to stone anyone who tries to entice you to worship other gods. He explicitly says that even those closest to are not to be excepted. In Luke 15 Y'shua says the world will hate His followers even to the point of murder. Where then is the 'virtue' of tolerance in all this? Are we not also commanded not to oppress the stranger? Today we are flooded with those who are strange. How should we navigate this?
Media File Biblical Hebrew has no precise word meaning 'obey', Instead God uses variations on the verb 'shema' which is to listen. Moses emphasizes that Israel has not seen God, they have only heard His voice. This has profound implications for understanding the Torah and the rest of Scripture. Briefly, God wants us to listen to Him, internalize His words and then act as if He were speaking with us in every situation.
2022-08-13 Voice of the Creation
Media File In the Genesis 2 creation account, God breathed into the clay and it became a living being. Another translation is that man became a 'speaking spirit.' In this God gave His creation a voice. A voice both for relationship and for command. To make relationship with God and men, command to have dominion over the earth.
2022-08-06 Tisha B Av Losing the Plot
Media File In Devarim Moses relates the sin of the spies which caused Israel to delay entering the land for 40 years. The spies were faced with the same problem we all deal with. God and His promises are of heaven but the world is in your face. When faced with immediate problems our hearts will try to keep our focus there instead of on the eternal things of God. That is what Jeremiah means when he says the heart is deceitful. Learning to discern between the immediate and the important is one of the great lessons of this life.
2022-07-23 Law and Blessing
Media File Some people develop the notion that by being really good and obeying the Torah they will somehow merit God's blessing. Just as the law cannot cancel out mortality and give eternal life, it cannot automatically generate blessings. The law presents God's vision of a good and just society. As such all sorts of benefits flow to a people who walk in it. Obeying the law is enlightened self interest. Blessing, on the other hand, comes from a relationship with God. It is He who is able to save, to grant mercy and to bless. All of these are prerogatives of the Sovereign.
2022-07-16 Sex and Gender
Media File Our culture has fallen into several grave errors with respect to sex, gender and class. In addition to the obvious absurdity that one's gender is a matter of choice, we have lost the fundamental definitions of masculine and feminine. This distinction is woven into the creation itself and is not subject to manipulation by mere people. Similarly we have tried to assign virtue and shame based on class and gender rather than on character. Both of these errors are not so much wrong as they are evil.
Media File In parsha Chukat we get the law of the Red Heifer to deal with the defilement of death. This is one of countless examples of the grace of God. He did not leave us to face our mortality with no hope. Instead He assures us that this part of our lives has importance and that there is much more to come when we are gathered to our people.
2022-07-02 You are Correct, Now Apologize
Media File Argument can be either positive or destructive. Argument for the sake of heaven seeks to find the truth about something important by debate. Argument for the sake of power tries to defeat the other in order to gain power or status. Korach, when he instigated rebellion against Moses was arguing for the sake of power. Moses and Aaron had leadership of the nation and the priesthood. Korach and his companions wanted that. So too in our relationships. Simply being correct about something is not sufficient reason to argue.
2022-06-25 Spies - Fear of Success
Media File When Moses sent the spies into the Land they came back with a bad report that panicked the nation. What might have been their motivation? Perhaps it was fear that the invasion would succeed and they would have to give up the intimate presence of God and exchange it to become just an ordinary nation.
2022-06-18 The Humility of Moses
Media File In Numbers 12 Moses is described as the most humble man on earth. Since Moses had no problem killing an Egyptian slave master, confronting Pharaoh and arguing with God, humility must involve something other that shy self effacement. In what sense does humility apply to this greatest of all the prophets?
2022-06-18 The Humility of Moses
Media File In Numbers 12 Moses is described as the most humble man on earth. Since Moses had no problem killing an Egyptian slave master, confronting Pharaoh and arguing with God, humility must involve something other that shy self effacement. In what sense does humility apply to this greatest of all the prophets?
2022-06-11 God Delights in Humans
Media File In a world full of death, despair and ugliness it is easy to lose heart and forget the God delights in people. The beauty that God creates and inspires overwhelms the ugly that Satan makes and inspires. He further assures us in His word that He loves us and enjoys all of the good things that we do. In this He teaches us what Joy is and how to achieve it.
2022-06-04 Unhappy with Reality
Media File In John 9 Y'shua, the Light of the World, opens the eyes of a blind man. What follows is one of the more humorous incidents in Scripture. The Pharisees refuse to believe such a thing is possible. First they inquire diligently whether the man was actually born blind then they berate him for sticking to his testimony. Finally, rather than face reality they 'cancel' him, throwing him out of the synagogue. In a reprise of Isaiah 6, Y'shua finally explains what is going on.
2022-05-29 Truth and Freedom
Media File In John 8, Y'shua says that His disciples will know the truth and they will be free. Instead of asking for the truth the Jews protest that they are not slaves. What is this truth that He promises and how does it make us free? The answer is important in a world awash in lies.
2022-05-21 God's Social Justice
Media File So called 'social justice' in today's world is nothing but warmed over collectivism - which always leads to misery and death. In Lev 25 God provides a system of insuring that the clever and ruthless among us do not wind up at the top of the pyramid in perpetuity. The Torah of the sabbatical year and the jubilee serve to do a soft reset and allow for social and economic mobility.
Media File The Biblical standard, 'an eye for an eye' has been ridiculed by those who should know better. In Judaism and early Christianity it was understood that the metaphor was not to be used literally. Rather that retribution was to be proportional to the damage done. For justice to be satisfactory to the injured party the perpetrator should incur an equivalent punishment or cost. If this does not happen people quickly lose faith in the justice system and begin taking care of things on their own.
2022-05-07 Love Your Neighbor
Media File Contrary to popular belief the Leviticus 19 commandment to 'love your neighbor as yourself' does not place unrealistic demands upon us. Rather the passage in context gives a procedure for minimizing the number of enemies one acquires and for keeping the community peaceful. In Matthew 18 Y'shua expands on the Leviticus procedure and gives instructions for those cases where it does not work.
2022-04-30 One Law for Everyone
Media File Torah portion Acharei Mot (Lev 16-18) emphasizes that there is only one standard for the native born and for gentiles who join themselves to Israel. So when the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15 tells gentiles to avoid idols, abstain from sexual immorality, things strangled and blood, they are simply quoting the Torah's requirements that apply to both Jew and gentile. When they say that gentiles need not be circumcised, they are quoting the law of the Passover from Exodus. In their ruling, the council was simply applying Torah correctly to the gentiles. They were not changing the standards.
2022-04-23 Mirror of the Soul
Media File Most regard the Torah as (a possibly obsolete) set of "dos" and "dont's". While that can be true, it is more profitable to regard it as a mirror. Looking at yourself reflected in the Torah provides a roadmap for spiritual growth. To use a simple example, the Torah says not to steal. If you are prone to theft, it becomes a restriction that chafes and you are uncomfortable with what you see in yourself. If you are not so tempted, you see the reflection of someone is not a thief.
2022-04-16 Passover Symbols
Media File We are commanded to tell our children the story of the first Passover. The elements of the Passover are each symbolic as well as historical. For the Hebrews in Egypt they pointed to events in Genesis. For gentiles today they are symbolic rather than historical. Considering the firstborn, the lamb, the blood and the bread leads to a fifth implied symbol.
2022-04-09 Intermediate Objective
Media File What did He mean when Y'shua said in John 19:30, "It is finished," as He died? If we look at God's ultimate purpose for the world, "to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth," it becomes clear that the Crucifixion was an intermediate step in a longer campaign; vital to the campaign but not the last objective to be taken. In that sense, "finished" is perhaps a misleading translation.
Media File John 6 is a discourse on bread. It begins with feeding the 5000 with five barley loaves and two fish. This is the key to the whole chapter, the high point of which is Y'shua's statement that He is the bread of life. Bread was introduced in Genesis 3 when our diet was switched from the fruit of the trees of the Garden to bread. The metaphor is used consistently up to and through John 6. The goal has always been to move humanity from earthly bread to heavenly bread; from slavery and death to liberty and life.
2022-03-26 Presumptuous Sin
Media File Aaron's sons, Nadav and Abihu died when they tried to enter God's presence uninvited. Similarly, Uzzah died when David tried to transport the Ark in the wrong way. In both cases men acted with pure hearts, seeking to approach and honor God. They had the big picture right, but got the details wrong and died. Today's church has the big picture correct. God loves us, He sent His Son to die for our sins. They are, however, wrong on many of the details and so are devoid of the power that God wants us to have on this earth.
2022-03-19 Who is the Son
Media File In John chapter 5 Y'shua makes quite a long statement which is logically in two parts. The first describes who He is and what powers and authority He has. The second explains why the leaders of Israel should accept His credentials. This passage leaves Israel without any excuse for their later behavior.
Media File There is a great deal of misunderstanding about sacrifice. It is clearly a major subject in the Bible, but has not been practiced since the Temple was destroyed in 70AD. As such we have no real understanding of what it means either emotionally or spiritually.
2022-03-05 Y'shua and the Law
Media File During the time before His crucifixion, Y'shua spent considerable effort contending with the Pharisees about their interpretation of God's law as given by Moses. In these encounters, there are several key phrases: "You have heard it said..." and "It is written..." What to these phrases signify and what does that mean to us today?
2022-02-26 You are not the Problem
Media File In constructing the Tabernacle, God asked for the finest materials and the best craftsmen to produce a work of beauty. The world around us is being turned into ugly. Our cities have become homeless camps, our architecture has devolved into concrete boxes, our young are mutilating themselves. All of this ugliness is designed to dispirit the people of God and make them easier to manipulate. The message is that your selfishness is all that stands in the way of utopia. This is nothing more than enemy propaganda. Beauty is important and spiritually uplifting. God wants your talent and initiative to follow His example in improving the world.
2022-02-19 Idolatry - Hard Men, Soft Hearts
Media File The impulse to worship idols is still with us today. The form has changed from from biblical times. We no longer fashion calves of gold as in Exodus or offer sacrifices to Baal as in 1 Kings but we still turn away from God to other means of meeting our desires. In both the Exodus and Kings examples the people's hearts were hardened toward God. It took Moses and Elijah, two hard men whose hearts were soft toward God to set matters right again. Today too many soft men with hard hearts are leading religious institutions and many have gone astray.
2022-02-12 Whom Shall You Fear
Media File The Bible over and over tells believers to 'fear not.' That is true in context but not in general. The choice in life is between fear of the world or fear of God. The choice is binary, there is no other option. If one chooses the fear of God, the fear of the world becomes a non issue.
2022-02-05 Was the Sabbath Changed
Media File I read a comment by a pastor I respect saying that the Sabbath had been 'nailed to the cross' and that he celebrates the 'resurrected Sabbath.' Is this sound doctrine? Is there any scriptural support for such a belief? Does it matter?
2022-01-29 The Light of Men
Media File The writings of John use the metaphor of light extensively. Most of the uses are clear and obvious but one is not. What does it mean that 'the life is the light of men?'
2022-01-22 Ten Commandments, Human Government
Media File In Parsha Yitro Moses establishes a system of subordinate judges and God gives the Ten Commandments. This forms a basis for human governance within the Kingdom of God. The problem with human governance is that it is composed of humans and so eventually goes astray. God periodically sends his prophets to get things back on track. The last of those prophets was His own son. When a prophet is unable to correct the nation, the next step is exile and foreign dominion.
2022-01-15 Wedding at Cana
Media File John's description of Y'shua's first miracle raises lots of questions. Why did his mother take charge of the wine problem? What did she expect Him to do? What is the significance of the stone jars? Why was this the first of His miracles?
2022-01-08 No Joy in Plagueville
Media File If you have noticed that people are angry, depressed and isolated, it is because they are. The protocols imposed to combat the pandemic, in addition to being ineffective, are destroying our communities and driving people to anger and despair. In short, they are designed to steal your joy. Don't let that happen.
Media File In Torah portion Va'eira, we see the first of the plagues, the Nile River turned into blood. Here water symbolizes death because the Egyptians had used the river to hide the evidence of their murder of the Hebrew children. Water can also symbolize chaos, life, the Spirit, etc. The symbolic use of water requires an understanding of context and of the consistent patterns in Scripture.
2020-12-25 Who's a Judaizer?
Media File A popular web site had an article accusing Messianics of being 'Judaizers' and heretics. The article asserted that one did not have to become a Jew to enter the Kingdom of God - which is absolutely true. It also said that the Torah had been abrogated by the Messiah - which is absolutely false. That assertion is based on a misreading of Colossians 2.
2021-12-18 Why He is the Messiah
Media File On the Road to Emmaus, Y'shua explained from Moses and the prophets why He is the Messiah and why the Crucifixion had to happen. How might that conversation have gone?
2021-12-11 Repentance and Forgiveness
Media File Joseph's meeting with his brothers in Genesis 44 is the first instance of forgiveness in Scripture and perhaps in all human history. To set the scene up, Judah completely repents of his behavior in selling Joseph into slavery. In doing this he sets up a watershed in human history and provides a wonderful example for us today.
2021-12-04 The Last Parable
Media File At the end of His ministry, Y'shua taught mostly in parables. His final parable on the way to the cross was about the green and dry trees (Lu 23:31). As with most parables, this has both local and eternal implications.
2021-11-27 God's Antidote for Greed
Media File The church has inverted Scripture, denouncing things that God calls blessings and elevating things that God calls sinful. This is the case with all of the hyphenated 'justice' movements which are simply covetousness dressed up to appear respectable. Since there is no limit to what one lacks, once covetousness gets loose it consumes everything. God has an antidote.
2021-11-20 Chanukah, Passover and Thanksgiving
Media File Over time, human government grows beyond what is beneficial and begins to see God as a rival for power and influence over its own people. Passover celebrates God bringing His people out from such a government and bringing them into His kingdom. Chanukah and Thanksgiving celebrate much the same thing.
2021-11-06 Brazen Sin
Media File In Scripture there are three responses to sin, guilt, shame and brazen defiance. Esau, Adam and Cain respectively are examples. The guilt that Esau feels for despising his birthright and marrying two Caananite women leads him to return to the family, marrying a daughter of Ishmael and forbearing to kill his brother. Sadly, our society is in the brazen defiance stage of sinfulness. Unless we repent, this will not end well.
2021-10-30 Teach Us to Pray
Media File Prayer is an important skill which can be taught and learned. In creating humanity God made beings that were separate from himself and with whom He could have a relationship. Prayer is a vital part of that relationship. In a sense, human prayer provides the earth with a voice. As much as God wants to hear about our lives, as God's 'gardeners' we have responsibilities beyond.
2021-10-23 Despair is a Sin
Media File For a believer, the states of the world and the nation are pretty grim right now. It would be natural to succumb to fear and despair. Scripture makes it very clear that such an attitude is sinful and displeasing to God. The victory is His, but the struggle is ours. We are to meet todays challenges with confidence and courage.
2021-10-16 Relationship With God
Media File When humanity gets too comfortable and far from God, He pulls them out of civilization and into tents. In this wilderness sojourning, God tries to develop a relationship. That relationship, if it is successful begins in following Him for the promise of blessing. As the relationship matures, He tests it. That is what happened to Abraham. It happens with all who follow God.
2021-10-09 The Mayfly
Media File In Luke 20 the Sadducees ask Y'shua a 'gotcha' question about resurrection and marriage. He replies that in the resurrection there is no marriage. Why? Perhaps because humans are a two stage life form like butterflies or mayflies. They live part of their lives in one form and environment and then transition to a different shape and environment. Just as the larval stage in a river is fundamental to a mayfly, so birth and life on this earth is fundamental to humans.
2021-10-02 Knowing the Truth
Media File Knowing what is true is both important and very difficult. Everyone claims to be telling the truth yet each tells a different story. How does one determine truth from lies? If the Bible is to be trusted, it claims to be of help in this, but Scripture itself is under attack. How do we know that the Bible is true and a reliable guide to sorting out conflicting information?
2021-09-25 A Dying Beast
Media File Just like Passover Succot predates Moses. When human civilizations get too big and challenge God, He breaks them up and sends people to live in tents for a while. The concept is that we are sojourners in this world and it is not our permanent home. It appears right now as if God is shaking the world and preparing to send us into tents for a time. The nations sense this and are scrambling to prevent it.
2021-09-04 Minas and Talents, Two Parables
Media File The Parable of the Minas in Lu 19 and the Parable of the Talents in Mt 25 have the same surface level point. Christ is going to be gone for a long time and He expects His servants to invest His resources rather than hoarding them out of fear. At a deeper level the parables are very different and serve two different purposes. As an example the Luke parable is for the general public where the Matthew parable is for His disciples.
2021-08-28 A Hard Heart
Media File In Scripture there are two sorts of hard heart. In Pharaoh's case his hard heart led him to defy God. This was also the case with the wilderness generation who refused to enter the Land because of the spy's bad report. The disciple's hard hearts were if a different character. When faced with a storm on the sea, their life experiences and fear prevented them from realizing the power that Y'shua had given them. They tried to solve their problem by worldly means and failed.
2021-08-21 Worse than Useless
Media File Over the decades we have been assured that the US was pursuing noble goals abroad and that our societal 'experts' had things well in hand both locally and globally. The mess in Afghanistan has exposed our prideful incompetence to the entire world. Our civic and government elites are far from being expert at anything. Our only option is personal and national repentance. We must dump our pride and call upon God's mercy if we are to have any hope.
2021-08-14 Elul - Yet 40 Days
Media File The month of Elul begins the 40 day count down to Yom Kippur. It is a time to take stock of ourselves and prepare for a meeting with the King. What have we accomplished during the past year? What are our hopes and plans for the coming year? Who do you need to forgive?
2021-08-07 Prophetic Mysteries
Media File The prophetic books of the Bible serve several purposes; one of which is to provide 'clues' to God's mysteries. Some of those mysteries having to do with Christ's first appearance have been revealed. Some are still unfolding and have not yet been explained. In the meantime, prophecy provides us with context and encouragement.
2021-07-31 A Kingdom by Violence
Media File In Luke 16 there is a bridge passage between the parable of the dishonest manager and Lazarus and the rich man. This bridge explains the source of the violent conflict between Y'shua and the Pharisees over the nature of the Kingdom of God. The problem was that the religious authorities, through oral Torah, had turned Moses into an idol which had allowed them to enrich themselves unjustly.
2021-07-24 The Romance of Tithing
Media File God asks that we love Him with our whole heart, soul and might. A love that doesn't touch your wealth is no love at all. It is a 'love' with some things reserved out of the union. You would not accept that in a marriage, nor should you approach your relationship with God with reservations.
2021-07-17 Why Nations Fall
Media File On Tisha B'Av we remember the destruction of the first and second Temples and the exiles from the Land of Israel. In both cases the calamity was brought on by internal strife which weakened the nation. We are seeing much the same situation in the United States today.
2021-07-10 Guarding the Tongue
Media File The tongue is unique in that it is half hidden and half public. It is the organ by which the heart expresses itself. It has the ability either to cause great harm or to build healthy solid relationships. Learning to guard the tongue is of greatest importance, both for the individual and for the community.
2021-07-03 Revolution and Law
Media File Law is the only lasting basis for liberty. The American Revolution was a reaction to the British Parliament changing laws without the consent of the American colonies. Without the stable rule of law, tyranny quickly follows.
2021-06-26 Torah and Awokening
Media File The US is undergoing a 'Great Awokening' where secular culture is attacking Christian culture with religious fervor. The central fixture of this movement is a set of shifting standards of what is a 'sin'. This creates fear because one never knows what past or present behavior will be labeled a heresy and get one excommunicated. One point of the Torah being written in stone is that it does not change and is not subject to the whims of popular culture. What was sinful 3000 years ago is sinful today. On the flip side what was not sinful then is not so today either. Opposing 'cancel culture' requires a Christian revival - simple logic will not do it. The idea for this talk came from: https://bonifaceoption.substack.com/p/the-great-awokening.
2021-06-19 What Does This Mean
Media File As much as we try to order the events in our lives, often things happen that are beyond our control. That happened to Joseph. He was jumped by his brothers, sold as a slave and then framed for attempted rape by his master's wife and thrown into prison. He had every opportunity to become bitter and lapse into helpless victimhood. He did neither of those things because he was able discern a meaning for his circumstances and develop a sense of purpose. We have the same opportunity in our lives.
Media File Fear has been used by every aspiring slave master from Satan on down to the present. Looking at the past year's events in the news from Covid to cancel culture it is evident that the goal is to keep people fearful, divided and uncertain. That is why God in Scripture tells us over and over not to be afraid - fear clouds your judgment and makes you easy to enslave.
Media File In the Bible humility is regarded as one of the central virtues. In the Jewish mussar tradition it is the foundation upon which character rests. Both Moses and Y'shua are described as humble, so humility is clearly a trait to be cultivated.
2021-05-29 The Book of Remembrance
Media File In the book of Malachi, God decried Israel's religious establishment for its cynicism and corruption. Their problem was that they did not see themselves and their behavior in the same way. There was, however, a remnant that feared God and spoke correctly about Him. These people are written in a book of remembrance that God will consult when He makes up His treasured possessions. Our nation today is every bit as corrupt as was Israel at the time of Malachi. The criteria for being entered into the book of remembrance is still the same.
2021-05-22 God's Feasts Show the Plan
Media File There are probably as many beliefs about the end times as there are denominations. That confusion serves as a method to keep us divided and arguing, making us much less effective than we should be. If we consider the seven appointed times on God's calendar, it is possible to clear away much of the clutter and attain clarity.
2021-05-15 Jospeh's Tears
Media File In Genesis Joseph weeps exactly seven times. His tears are never the result of the affliction that he suffers. Rather they are all in the context of his relationship with his family. In this we see a very powerful man who is ultimately alone. His power is unable to gain him the thing that is most important to him - acceptance. The idea for this talk came from an article by Rabbi Sacks.
2021-05-08 One to Rule Them All
Media File Idol worship, the desire to get what appears to be a 'better deal' than God offers, is a constant temptation. Whether the idol be some pagan god or a politician or a man in a white lab coat, the details may differ, but the impulse is the same. In all cases the master idol is covetousness.
2021-05-01 Idolatry Today
Media File The human impulse to seek a 'better deal' than they believe is available from God has not gone away. Idol worship today looks a bit different than in Biblical times, but all of its pathologies are still with us. This new look helps keep idolaters from realizing what they are doing - allowing them even to attend church with a clear conscience.
2021-04-25 The Lord's Prayer
Media File This is an extremely Jewish prayer reflecting a difference in focus between the synagogue and the church. The focus of both the synagogue and the early church was bringing Heaven down to earth or repairing the creation. About 300 years ago the church shifted focus to getting people into heaven and began neglecting earthly governance.
2021-04-17 Knowing God
Media File As different cultures encountered God as described in the Hebrew Bible, they tended to try and understand and relate to Him in terms they were familiar with. Calvin, for example, was a lawyer and tried to fit God into a legal structure. The Catholic Church within the last decade wrote the humans could not understand God and out only access was through Jesus. These are all distortions. In the Bible, God presents Himself to man in very understandable and relatable terms.
2021-04-10 Fifty Days to Liberty
Media File The fifty days from First Fruits to Shavuot (Pentecost) are symbolic of the transition from slavery to liberty in God's Kingdom. Those 50 days are echoed in the 50 years between Jubilees where liberty is proclaimed "throughout the land." This had special significance for Israel and for the founding fathers of the United States.
2021-03-27 History is Prophecy
Media File The events that happen in the Patriarch's lives echo through succeeding generations. This is also true for the Nation Israel. If one studies the events of the Passover, one may find the same events happening in the burial of Jacob hundreds of years earlier. One may also find them foretold in the prophets. This talk is based on ideas originally presented by Rabbi Fohrman.
Media File Dealing with demons was a significant part of Y'shua's ministry. It also featured prominently in the instructions He gave His disciples when He sent them out on their own. Demons are still very much a factor in the world we must deal with, and His instructions are still pertinent.
2021-03-13 I Have Enough
Media File When Jacob and Esau meet after a twenty year separation, Jacob has sent his brother lavish gifts of livestock hoping to appease his anger. Esau tries to refuse the gifts saying that he has enough wealth already. Jacob responds that he also has enough wealth and presses the gifts his brother to take the gifts. That's how it reads in English translation. In Hebrew it is very different.
2021-03-06 The Church as Beachhead
Media File In the Gospels, Y'shua twice sent His disciples out ahead of himself to, "Heal the sick, cast our demons and announce that His Kingdom was at hand." In other words, they were to establish a beachhead in enemy territory. That was also the mission of the church after His resurrection. The church today has largely lost site of that mission. It has been expelled from politics and has ceased to be an authority on cultural issues. As the church has faded, Satan has advanced. How should we act to regain the ground we have lost?
2021-02-27 Missing God's Love
Media File Much Christian teaching is in terms of salvation, grace and law. While each of those subjects is important, they cause us to miss or neglect understanding that God, first of all, loves people. Grace, law and salvation all deal with punishment - or more accurately the avoidance of punishment. Such a focus misses the warmth of the relationship that is possible when we focus on love.
2021-02-20 Finding Your Purpose - Some Assembly Required
Media File Our society believes that the pursuit of happiness is the highest of goals. That is a dead end; leading to the spiritual cul-de-sac of appetite and consumption. Rather than happiness, we should be searching for meaning in our lives. This leads to purpose and the satisfaction of knowing that we are useful in God's hand.
2021-02-13 Sowing the Word
Media File In explaining the Parable of the Sower, Messiah concludes that the good soil is fruitful where the road, the rocks and the weeds are not. If we compare his to Genesis 1 where God tells us to be fruitful and multiply, it becomes clear that fruitfulness in God's eyes involves more than just children. We are also expected to reproduce spiritually.
2021-02-06 Self Righteousness
Media File Luke 6 and Luke 18 are complementary. One is narrative, the other parable, but both involve the contrast between a Pharisee and an ordinary person. In both cases the ordinary person behaves humbly in the presence of God while the Pharisee acts as if he is doing God a favor by showing up. Also in both cases Messiah justifies the humble.
2021-01-30 Dishonest Weights and Measures
Media File In the Torah and the Prophets, God warns Israel that He will not tolerate those who enrich themselves by fraud. The events of this past year have exposed the prevalence of double standards in the US. Law enforcement, financial markets, government agencies, elected bodies: all are seen to have been using dishonest weights and measures to gain power and wealth.
Media File There is a great deal of rampant evil in the world today; in truth there always has been. In the face of ascendant evil it is tempting to despair, walking about with a defeated expression. To give in to that spirit is to forget the promises of God and to become ineffective in advancing His kingdom. God's people have lived under oppressive regimes in the past and have prevailed. So too can we.
2021-01-16 Three Voices
Media File There are three voices in Scripture: the priest, the prophet and the King. The priest speaks of Torah, the King speaks of human wisdom and the prophet speaks for God into a specific situation. Since Y'shua functions in all three offices, he speaks with each of the three voices at different times. Recognizing which 'voice' He is using makes the Gospels much clearer.
2021-01-09 Food for Thought
Media File The rally against certification of the presidential election has caused a national uproar. In navigating these tumultuous times it is important to pay attention to what your thoughts dwell on. Thoughts trigger endocrine reactions that can have a long term effect on your well being. As always, Scripture has sound advice.
2021-01-02 What God Did in 2020
Media File Psalm 105 commands God's people to 'Talk of His Wonderous Works.' As we look back on 2020, an incomplete list of God's wonderous works is very impressive and encouraging. The speaker is Matthew Behrens.