Author: Eric Carlson

Rebuilding

Rebuilding

By Eric Carlson in 02_2021-1, 02_2024-1 on February 1, 2024

We’re experiencing the profound presence of our mighty God yet we are not necessarily moving into new areas as much as the Lord is teaching us to rebuild that which has fallen; or in many cases has been rejected by religion including both Judaism and Christianity! It’s interesting that both streams, Judaism and Christianity have spirit led branches, the Lubavitcher’s and the Pentecostals or Charismatics. Both move in the Spirit, one rejects Yeshua the other half the bible! Neither walk in the fullness of what God desires and requires rebuilding the ancient foundations and repair the breeches.

Amos 9:11. “When that day comes, I will raise (Ya’kum: arise, stand, rise up, stand up, confirm, establish, fixed, ratified) up the fallen (Naphal: to fall, fallen, overthrown, divided) sukkah of David. I will close up its gaps (perets {peh’-rets} breach, gap,broken walls) raise up its ruins and rebuild it as it used to be,

The term “Fallen Tabernacle, Sukkah, or Tabernacle of David” reveals a complex restoration and rebuild of what God desires for His Kehillat, His bride, the Ecclesia! The Sukkah, Tabernacle, or Mishkan was the dwelling place of God’s presence in Temple Days. The root word of both is Shakan; Where God’s Shekinah (divine Glory/Presence) resides. A place where God is sought out for His presence, His wisdom, His power, His strength, His majesty! The world will seek Him out. Adonai says I will raise up this fallen place, this place will be restored in the time and seasons to come, today.

The same root word is also found in mishpocha, family, the family of David. The sages view Amos 9:11 as a Messianic Reference concerning Messiah! What’s being raised up by Adonai, what’s being restored? It’s the line, the family of David so we know it’s both Jewish and Messianic! No glorious Church or Synagogue being raised up, but a Messianic Jewish Family, a Kehillat, Ecclesia! A family, a group of people that move, operate, worship, and pray as one despite their cultural and racial differences, Jew and Gentile will be family! This family repairs the breach, the gap, the division between Jew and Gentile. It brings the children of God together as one family, Echad Mishpocha!

The second is the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, the Sukkah, which is a place of meeting Adonai, a place of worship! True Davidic worship, remember David is a man after God’s own heart! David was first and foremost recognized for His worship ability with the harp! It calmed Saul! David, the mighty warrior, the future King of Israel, and a person who spoke with Adonai was renowned for His worship of Him! His heart of worship, trust, and walk with God is what garnered Gods attention to begin with!

Third, when David became King of a unified nation of Israel, of all twelve tribes, his heart’s desire, his first act was to fulfill God’s desire. Restoring the presence of God back into the center, into the midst of Israel! David yearned for God’s presence! Israel is surrounded by enemies and rebel states; her national security is at a high risk, but David is focused on God!

I Chronicles 13:1-3. David consulted with the commanders of thousands and of hundreds – with every leader. 2 Then David said to the entire assembly of Isra’el, “If it seems good to you, and if it is the will of ADONAI our God, let’s send messengers to the rest of our kinsmen in the land of Isra’el, and also to the cohanim and L’vi’im in their cities with surrounding open land, asking them to join us; 3 and let’s bring back the ark of our God to ourselves, since we didn’t go after it when Sha’ul was king.”

The Ark contained a jar of Manna and the stone ruble of the Ten Commandments. The lid of the Ark, called the mercy seat with two angels on it is where God’s presence dwelled! The Ark represented all that God is, His Majesty, His power, His Strength, His authority, His Holiness, His Glory, His righteous character was with the Ark which they wanted in their midst. The Glory of God descended when Moshe erected and completed the Mishkan!

Exodus 40:33-35. Finally, he erected the courtyard around the tabernacle and the altar and set up the screen for the entrance to the courtyard. 34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of ADONAI filled the tabernacle. 35 Moshe was unable to enter the tent of meeting, because the cloud remained on it, and the glory of ADONAI filled the tabernacle.

The fullness of God’s glory was revealed in the Ark. And this Ark was merely a replica of God’s actual Throne in Heaven. The details of the pattern were critical as God warned:

Hebrews 8:5. But what they are serving is only a copy and shadow of the heavenly original; for when Moshe was about to erect the Tent, God warned him, “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern you were shown on the mountain.”

The original in Heaven is where the ” Seraphim of the Glory” covered the throne, they constantly call out to one another “Holy, holy, holy is ADONAI-Tzva’ot; the whole earth is filled with His glory”!

Isaiah 6:1-4. It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2 Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” 4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.

What the Ark provided was communion, fellowship, and communication with Adonai! It revealed His majesty, glory, strength, and power to ALL! It was the place to worship Him, to exalt, to praise Him! It was where you could see God’s presence! The cloud like pillar during the day and the fire like column at night! It was a hiding place, a place of security and comfort, a place of victory, a revelation of His Glory and when carried into battle by Israel a warrior! This was David’s Tabernacle, David’s Sukkah. We must understand and comprehend all this to know what the Ark meant to both Israel and David! We begin to understand David’s great, heartfelt drive and desire to bring God’s presence back among his people. But it wasn’t easy. At first their methods were wrong! God warned them back in Exodus to follow the plan!

II Samuel 6:2-9. Then David, taking along the entire force he had with him then, set out for Ba’alei-Y’hudah to bring up from there the ark of God, which bears the Name, the name of ADONAI Tzva’ot enthroned above the k’ruvim. 3 They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Avinadav on the hill, with ‘Uzah and Achyo, the sons of Avinadav, driving the new cart. 4 They led it from the house of Avinadav on the hill, with the ark of God; Achyo walked in front of the ark. 5 David and the whole house of Isra’el celebrated in the presence of ADONAI with all kinds of musical instruments made of cypress-wood, including lyres, lutes, tambourines, rattles and cymbals. 6 When they arrived at Nakhon’s threshing-floor, the oxen stumbled; and ‘Uzah put out his hand to steady the ark of God. 7 But ADONAI’s anger blazed up against ‘Uzah, and God struck him down on the spot for his offense, so that he died there by the ark of God. 8 It upset David that ADONAI had broken out against ‘Uzah; that place has been called Peretz-‘Uzah [breaking-out of ‘Uzah] ever since. 9 David was frightened of ADONAI that day; he asked, “How can the ark of ADONAI come to me?”

David’s first attempt to bring back the Ark failed, miserably! Even though he consulted both the Levites and priests he chose to follow the same method as the Philistines when they sent it back to Israel by putting the Ark on an Ox cart. When Uzah reaches out and touches the Ark to steady it when the oxen stumble, God became angry and struck him down dead, right on the spot. Remember, good intentions aren’t acceptable in approaching God. The mundane and Holy cannot intermix. David leaves the Ark at the house of Obed-Edom where it remained for three months, bringing great blessings to all his entire household.

Another lesson: David doesn’t keep attempting to return the Ark on an Ox Cart! We have a majority today in the body of Messiah that continue to do the same thing over and over and over again and expect different results! David pauses, seek God’s council and goes for a second attempt to bring God’s presence back to the people, the right way! Upon conferring with Adonai, David finds out the right way to bring the Ark, the presence of God back to Israel, the priests carry it!! Each one of these truths applies to us today!

The Presence of God will never be ushered or carried by a cart or any other vehicle or mundane mode of transport. The Ark, the presence of God must be carried on the shoulders of a consecrated priesthood who worships God’s glorious majesty:

I Chronicles 15:14-16. So the cohanim and L’vi’im consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of ADONAI the God of Isra’el; 15 and the L’vi’im carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles on it, as Moshe had ordered, according to what ADONAI had said. 16 David spoke to the chief of the L’vi’im to appoint their kinsmen to be singers making use of musical instruments – lutes, lyres and cymbals – to play loudly and raise sounds of joy.

Kol Simcha, voices of Joy! Though His presence hovers over the Ark He resides in the Praises of His people! The Messianic movement, the One New Man is the priesthood of all believers. The glory of the Lord will return in its fullness to a consecrated people, holy vessels who will once again carry it to the people:

I Peter 2:4-9. As you come to him, the living stone, rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to him, 5 you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house (oikos {oy’-kos}: inhabited home, the house or abode of God, the tabernacle, God’s dwelling place, family) to be cohanim (hierateuma {hee-er-at’-yoo-mah}: Priests, Priesthood) set apart for God to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to him through Yeshua the Messiah. 6 This is why the Tanakh says, “Look! I am laying in Tziyon a stone, a chosen and precious cornerstone; and whoever rests his trust on it will certainly not be humiliated.” 7 Now to you who keep trusting, he is precious. But to those who are not trusting, “The very stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”; 8 also he is a stone that will make people stumble, a rock over which they will trip. They are stumbling at the Word, disobeying it (because the word wasn’t followed when Uzziah reached out to stable the ark he lost his life, they stumbled over the word that contained the pattern of how to move the ark-today the same plan is rejected or thrown away)– as had been planned. 9 But you are a chosen people, the King’s cohanim, a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Did you catch that? What God is restoring, what He is rebuilding is the Family of David, Davidic worship, the Tabernacle of David. God’s presence carried by you, a holy vessel, priests to declare His praises! Worshipping God’s Majesty, strength, power, and holiness in Trembling fear! You are the vessel to return the presence of God unto His people! We have yet another sign of the restoration and rebuilding that’s taking place that has many people flummoxed: Dance!!

II Samuel 6:14. Then David danced and spun around with abandon before ADONAI, wearing a linen ritual vest.

We, the One New Man, in complete unity with singlemindedness seek the return of God’s presence. We must be sanctified, set apart, holy vessels, we can only approach His presence with clean hands and a pure heart. We must be humble yet bold, repentance is the first step to acknowledge our past failures and hear God’s voice! Then God’s instructions, His pattern must be EXACTLY FOLLWED! Anything less results in death, no presence of God!

His holiness, majesty and splendor cannot be mixed with the mundane and unholy! Then, in trembling fear we become the abode, the Tabernacle of His presence! He is enthroned upon the praises of us, His people as we carry His presence while worshipping, dancing with abandon before Him, without restraint. Uninhibited by what people think or what you think people will think of you. It only matters what God thinks! And where is the Ark, the presence going?

I Chronicles 15:1. David erected buildings for himself in the City of David, prepared a place for the ark of God, and set up a tent for it.

The Ark, God’s presence required a new tent, a new mountain, a new wineskin for the new wine! God is preparing You, His people to be His dwelling place where He reveals His glory, but to carry His presence back to Israel (especially with the war against Hamas) and the nations! And what’s the price? Sacrifice, the fire, the Glory always falls on the sacrifice!

II Samuel 6:13. When those bearing the ark of ADONAI had gone only six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened sheep.

The foundation of everything we do centers on sacrifice, the sacrifice of Yeshua, sacrifices of praise, the sacrifices we must make in order to come into the presence of Adonai and His holiness! The fire always falls upon the sacrifice! One more piece of the restoration of the Tabernacle of David is that all Israel, the King, the Army, the Levites, the Cohanim, the people were in complete unity, one accord, they all shared the same vision to bring back the Ark, the presence of God back among them! They did so in trembling fear of the Lord with great, joyous rejoicing and celebration.

What is the result? The presence of God restored among them, and it was open to all. The way into His presence has been opened by the blood of Yeshua! 24/7 Davidic praise and worship ensued, complete with many instruments, worship, songs of the spirit, music from heaven being released with such spontaneity that a special ministry of “recorder” was necessary to record them for us. Many of the psalms that you know of today were written there with complete, undivided unity, all Israel was Echad, the new tent, the new wine skin to receive the fresh fire, the new wine from heaven! God is rebuilding, restoring right now the Family, the worship the Tabernacle of David to reveal His Glory to those that have lost it and to those who never had it!

Amos 9:12-14. so that Isra’el can possess what is left of Edom and of all the nations bearing my name,” says ADONAI, who is doing this. 13 “The days will come,” says ADONAI, “when the plowman will overtake the reaper and the one treading grapes the one sowing seed. Sweet wine will drip down the mountains, and all the hills will flow with it. 14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Isra’el; they will rebuild and inhabit the ruined cities; they will plant vineyards and drink their wine, cultivate gardens and eat their fruit.

This is the rebuilding and establishment of the Messianic Era, the Messianic Kingdom! This results in this very powerful, very prophetic, and supernatural event:

Zechariah 8:23. (NIV) This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’”

The ten people do so because God is with us, His presence is with us! I pray you rebuild and prepare to be the vessel of His presence and glory that we may prepare for Yeshua’s imminent return! May this be the year!!

Blessings,

Rabbi Eric S Carlson

Mishpocha (Family)

Mishpocha (Family)

By Eric Carlson in 02_2024-3 on February 1, 2024

The Kingdom of God is based upon two relationship models. The first model is between every individual and God, the second is between upon every individual and the people around you. Your immediate family, your friends, and neighbors, those whom you work with, those with whom you either have business or social interactions, then people in general. The basis of family or Mishpocha is based upon the original covenant established by God with and through Avram in:

Genesis 12:1-3. Now ADONAI said to Avram, “Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families (mishpachah {mish-paw-khaw’}: Family, tribe, clan, guild, nation) of the earth will be blessed (“Va’avarechah” whose root word for “bless” is “barak”, an action on God’s part to bestow a blessing, and act of adoration upon His own, places individuals or nations in and under God’s favor, under His protection, with provision, power, and sustenance).”

The most dramatic and substantive changes that occur in your life come from God, not anyone or anywhere else. Throughout Scripture we see God using ordinary people who were given divine assignments who then, in turn, did extraordinary feats of the supernatural. Adonai took an ordinary person by surprise. Avram wasn’t necessarily looking, searching, or shopping for a divine mission from God. God knew his heart, character, and integrity and knew that he was trustworthy. The life of righteousness that he was living garnered God’s attention. God invaded Avram’s life to begin building a nation of people unto Himself, solely dedicated to His plans and purposes-family. Through this Family, Mishpocha of God would come the Messiah, a savior, the Mashiach who would redeem the world and by which all the families of the earth would be blessed!

What God is saying in Gen 12:3 is that those who positively interact with Avram and his descendants (us), those who become part of the Mishpocha, part of the family of God will be blessed, placed in God’s favor, protection, provision, power, sustenance. All that God has is at your disposal when you live in a covenant relationship with Him!! As a reminder, a curse is essentially a lack of the blessing, you are not living in God’s favor, protection, provision, power, and sustenance. Any person or individual who blesses Israel will also receive the same benefits but, even more importantly, become part of the Mishpocha, the Family! The Family unit is God’s initial and foundational level of worship. Family is how it started in the beginning, all of God’s creation:

Genesis 8:19. every animal, every creeping thing and every bird, whatever moves on the earth, according to their families (mishpachah {mish-paw-khaw’}: Family, tribe, clan, guild, nation), went out of the ark.

All of God’s creation, all species, all animals, all humans are bound together by Families. The family unit is God’s basic order in His creation. After the flood the Lord divided the lands according to their families:

Genesis 10:5. From these the islands of the nations were divided into their lands, each according to its language, according to their families, in their nations.

God rewards obedience to Him through families:

Exodus 1:21. Indeed, because the midwives feared God, he made them founders of families

Exodus 12:3-4. Speak to all the assembly of Isra’el and say, ‘On the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb or kid for his family, one per household – 4 except that if the household is too small for a whole lamb or kid, then he and his next-door neighbor should share one, dividing it in proportion to the number of people eating it.

If you’re single or your family is too small your neighbor’s band together with you to become part of the family. Here is the critical kingdom of God, heavenly, biblical understanding: Family is not always birthright. Family is association, clan, neighbors, it’s not always by birth. Israel (mixed crowd) worshiped in the wilderness by family.

Exodus 33:8-10. Whenever Moshe went out to the tent, all the people would get up and stand, each man at his tent door, and look at Moshe until he had gone into the tent. 9 Whenever Moshe entered the tent, the column of cloud would descend and station itself at the entrance to the tent; and ADONAI would speak with Moshe. 10 When all the people saw the column of cloud stationed at the entrance to the tent, they would get up and prostrate themselves, each man at his tent door.

The Mishkan, the Tent of Meeting, and the Tabernacle were actually very small. Only Moshe could enter in while Joshua would stand at the entrance. As Moshe was before God each man would be at his tent, his family would worship God in their family structure as Moshe spoke with God in the Tabernacle. This family structure of worship will be the same in the end:

Zechariah 14:17. 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.

The family structure is the key. The book of Numbers contains mind numbing chapters of Genealogies, list after list categorized by the Families of a mixed crowd that departed from Egypt. Joshua distributed land to the same mixed crowd that departed from Egypt in the Promise Land by families. There is no biblical word or situation that describes or mentions step, step-brother, or step-daughter.

Esther 2:15. When the turn came for Ester the daughter of Avichayil, whom Mordekhai had adopted as his own daughter (bath {bath}: daughter, girl, adopted daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, granddaughters, female child), to appear before the king, she didn’t ask for anything other than what Hegai the king’s officer in charge of the harem advised. Yet Ester was admired by all who saw her.

Esther became Mordechai’s daughter. No Step-daughter terminology is used by Mordekhai, Esther is His daughter. This is the same terminology used in the Brit Chadesha regarding Gentiles coming into the Kingdom of God:

Ephesians 1:5. He determined in advance that through Yeshua the Messiah we would be his sons (huiothesia {hwee-oth-es-ee’-ah}: adoption, adoption as sons, that relationship which God was pleased to establish between himself and the Israelites in preference to all other nations ) – in keeping with his pleasure and purpose –

Even Avraham and our people who would become known as Israel was established in a relationship with God founded upon adoption. Father Abraham was the first Hebrew or Jew, but this occurred because God adopted Him, brought Him into Covenant. And the terminology, Children?

Genesis 46:8. These are the names of Isra’el’s children (B’ney Yis’real: Children of Israel) who came into Egypt, Ya’akov and his sons: Re’uven Ya’akov’s firstborn;

This is the same way God brought the Gentiles in! It’s interesting that modern translations entertain divisions where there are none. In the sad story of Avimelech, the son of Gideon through a concubine who killed his seventy brothers:

Judges 9:5. He went back to his father’s house in ‘Ofrah and killed his brothers the sons (Ben: a son as a builder of the family name, male child, child, grandson) of Yeruba’al, all seventy of them, on a single rock, except for Yotam Yeruba’al’s youngest son, who stayed alive because he hid himself.

Now let’s read the same verse in “New Living Translation” translation:

Judges 9:5. (NLT) He went to his father’s home at Ophrah, and there, on one stone, they killed all seventy of his half brothers, the sons of Gideon. But the youngest brother, Jotham, escaped and hid.

The actual Hebrew text never states Half Brother. This highlights the danger of modern translations based upon modern culture. When modern euphemisms are used the meaning is changed! God is a God of unity, HaSatan is the author of division and divisiveness. Many divisions have sprouted over the centuries. The family has been attacked, corrupted, and destroyed.

Amos 9:11. “When that day comes, I will raise up the fallen sukkah (Shakan: root word of Mishkahn, Sukkah, and Mishpocha) of David. I will close up its gaps, raise up its ruins and rebuild it as it used to be,

The family unit, the Mishpocha of David will be restored. Jew and Gentile, one in Messiah. Yeshua Himself came and died to restore the family unit.

John 1:12-13. But to as many as did receive him, to those who put their trust in his person and power, he gave the right to become children of God, not because of bloodline, physical impulse or human intention, but because of God.

Yeshua gave us the right, the access, the ability to be children of God, all, regardless of race, culture, or background become part of God’s family! Yeshua died for it!

Ephesians 2:19. So then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers. On the contrary, you are fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family (oikeios {oy-ki’-os} belonging to a family, domestic, intimate, belonging to one’s household, related by blood, kindred, belonging to the family of God.)

Related by blood, this is so powerful, by the blood of Yeshua that binds us all together! When you receive Yeshua you become part of the family, God’s Family. This plays out in the congregation level. When you join Congregation Zion’s Sake or identify with us or make Congregation Zion’s Sake your home. The common thing we hear among believers is that you submit to the Rabbi or Pastor as a congregate. This is true in a chain of command, authority structure sense. But when you join here you are joining a family, Mishpocha, we are blood relatives. With our family you become a citizen of Israel and a member of God’s family. The family includes the wisdom of the elders, teaching and structure for the children, Feast Day group gatherings, fellowship, protection, and support. Family lifts you up when you’re down, they celebrate with you when you win the victory! Family speaks truth to you even when you don’t want to hear it! Families disagree, sometimes argue but always remain family. We walk out, we practice our relationship with God every day in our interactions with each other, our family in love! We see this powerfully revealed in two references:

I John 3:10. Here is how one can distinguish clearly between God’s children and those of the Adversary: everyone who does not continue doing what is right is not from God. Likewise, anyone who fails to keep loving his brother is not from God.

I John 4:20-21. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if a person does not love his brother, whom he has seen, then he cannot love God, whom he has not seen. Yes, this is the command we have from him: whoever loves God must love his brother too

You know the importance of family because of how HaSatan strives to keep you from it. From divorce to child abuse, sex outside of marriage to pregnancy outside of marriage, from abortion to woman abuse, from rejection to shame, HaSatan has been working overtime to destroy the foundational fabric of God’s family, of the communal structure of worship and fellowship. HaSatan seeks to divide the family! Just as you die without a relationship with God you also whither without other human contact! WE NEED EACH OTHER! You cannot do it alone!

Often individuals and Families come here and cannot assimilate to the family. There is something wrong. So many possess what’s been termed the “Orphan Spirit”. They come from broken homes or congregations and bring their brokenness and dysfunction to a Congregational family where they cannot assimilate because of their brokenness and dysfunction. To every wondering individual and family please stop wandering, stop going from family to family.

The only way to overcome and heal is to commit to a family and work through the brokenness and dysfunctions when things get difficult. To heal we must give to God the dysfunctional understanding of what families are and receive deliverance from manmade stigmatisms and titles we’ve received such as step or half brother or sister, and stepmother or stepfather. Join the family, stop bouncing around congregation to congregation and never being part of the family!

It’s the one thing we actually miss from my military service. We enjoyed in the Submarine service something we don’t have yet within the body! The following is list (though not inclusive) of behaviors and conditions that generate family division, keeping God distant.

Raised by a single parent or a child of divorce.
Divorce.
Single Pregnancy.
Abused as a child physically, spiritually, or mentally.
Abused as a girl/woman physically, spiritually, or mentally.
Abused as a boy/man physically, spiritually, or mentally.
Had an abortion.
Struggling with pornography (Man or Woman).
Struggling with any addiction.

I pray the blood of Yeshua over all these behaviors and more for divine, supernatural healing and deliverance. I pray for all family divisions, schisms, and separations be torn down and removed that we may live in unity, as one in Messiah!

The family is an integral unit of society, a bastion of love and support, and a vehicle for spiritual growth. It’s love and respect that keep our personal and congregational families united!

Blessings and Love,
Rabbi Eric S Carlson

Seed’s and Tare’s

Seed’s and Tare’s

By Eric Carlson in 01_2024-3 on December 28, 2023

Yeshua spoke to the multitudes and His Talmidim in parables! This was a Messianic Prophecy concerning Mashiach, it was spoken of in the Psalms:

Psalm 78:1-2. A maskil of Asaf: Listen, my people, to my teaching; turn your ears to the words from my mouth. 2 I will speak to you in parables (mashal {maw-shawl’}: proverb, parable, ethical wisdom) and explain mysteries from days of old.

Yeshua’s parables are deep, and central to His teachings regarding the Kingdom of Heaven. They convey wisdom, knowledge, and short stories such as the Good Samaritan that we can relate to in our own lives. The conceptual background for parables in the New Testament is Semitic, not Greek. Another term that relates to parables are Hebrew idioms. The Bible, a Semitic book, cannot be studied or interpreted through Hellenistic eyes because it won’t make any sense. Parables are used through the bible. Nathan used a parable to reveal truth to King David:

II Samuel 12:1-6. ADONAI sent Natan to David. He came and said to him, “In a certain city there were two men, one rich, the other poor. 2 The rich man had vast flocks and herds; 3 but the poor man had nothing, except for one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and reared. It had grown up with him and his children; it ate from his plate, drank from his cup, lay on his chest – it was like a daughter to him. 4 One day a traveler visited the rich man, and instead of picking an animal from his own flock or herd to cook for his visitor, he took the poor man’s lamb and cooked it for the man who had come to him.” 5 David exploded with anger against the man and said to Natan, “As ADONAI lives, the man who did this deserves to die!

Nathan told David, YOU are that man regarding Bathsheba and her husband Uriah! The first parable Yeshua spoke governs the rest of them. If we are to understand the rest of the parables, we must understand the first one about the sower and the seed.

Matthew 13:3-9. He told them many things in parables (parabole {par-ab-ol-ay’}: an earthly story with a heavenly meaning, a narrative, fictitious but agreeable to the laws and usages of human life, by which either the duties of men or the things of God, particularly the nature and history of God’s kingdom are figuratively portrayed): “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he sowed, some seed fell alongside the path; and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Other seed fell on rocky patches where there was not much soil. It sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow; 6 but when the sun had risen, the young plants were scorched; and since their roots were not deep, they dried up. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 But others fell into rich soil and produced grain, a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much as had been sown. 9 Those who have ears, let them hear!”

Some basic principles are revealed:

  1. All hear the Word of God.
    All the ground (people) receive the seed.
  1. Not all who hear the Word receive it or comprehend it.
    Some seed the enemy steals when it’s planted through distractions, and sin. Various other issues also such as bitterness, unforgiveness, and anger also allow the seed to be stolen.
  1. Not all who believe in Him are obedient to the Word, they fall away-burn up!
    The soil (people) is shallow, the word doesn’t take a deep root. It quickly grows but is soon lost to the burning sun or heavy rains. It gets washed away.
  1. Not all who do trust in Him live by the Word, the world chokes them out, they bear no fruit.
    Most of you know this already. We have discussions with these people every day. There is some word in them, but they aren’t obedient to it, they don’t live it. The word is only head knowledge not heart knowledge. The love of this world chokes it out. I’ve met many worldly believers who know more about the world then about the Kingdom of God. Men who can quote 10 years of baseball statistics or Football statistics but can’t quote a scripture! Women who can quote yesterday’s soap opera, or a weeks’ worth of Facebook gossip, but can’t quote a scripture.
  1. Not all who do bear fruit produce the same amount or quality.
    Yeshua said in John 15 those who don’t produce fruit are cut off! There is a biblical requirement to produce fruit that proves you are Yeshua’s Talmidim. This is rarely talked about! Those who do produce fruit don’t do so equally, some produce more than others, but they do produce!

This first parable establishes that the “Good News” is the seed, and the ground are the people. Humanity is the harvest, it’s about souls! Proverbs say: “He who is wise win’s souls.” Adonai’s main focus and concern is restoring relationship with every one of His creations, He desires that not one person will be lost.

When Non-Messianic Jewish people tell Christians that Yeshua is not the Messiah, that Jews cannot believe in Yeshua, one of their foundational objections is that if Yeshua was the Mashiach everyone would know, that all Jews would be Messianic and the world would be in Shalom. The fact is that Yeshua is the Mashiach, He came 2,000 years ago as the suffering Messiah and He is coming again soon to rule the world and bring Shalom. Yeshua’s parables reveal a mystery of the Kingdom of God that has been released in this world.

There is evil at work within this world. It has crept into the worship of Adonai and Yeshua. Evil attempts to change the message of the good news! Evil attempts to change the facts, truth, and reality of God’s word, His chosen people and their role in this world! The darkness hates the light; it tries to overcome it, but it cannot. Yeshua was sent here by Adonai to bring truth about His word and His Kingdom to His people and all the world. Yeshua’s truth is contrary to all the religions, darkness, death, and untruths of the world. The reality is that there are many demonic, evil hindrances out there that try to keep people from reconciling with God and the truth. Lies have been seeded within the truth by HaSatan. This sets the foundation for Yeshua’s next parable:

Matthew 13:24. Yeshua put before them another parable. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed (Kalos Sperma: Good-Kalos: beautiful, precious, pure, genuine, trustworthy. Seed-Sperma: children, offspring, progeny, family, race, divine energy of the Holy Spirit) in his field;

This parable is telling us the story of creation. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man (God) who sowed, planted Kalos “Sperma”! A pure, genuine, precious child, His offspring, His family, His Mishpocha upon this world! The next verse confirms this seed was humanity, God’s creation:

Matthew 13:25-26. but while people were sleeping (katheudo {kath-yoo’-do}: To fall asleep, to yield to sloth and sin, to be indifferent to one’s salvation), his enemy came and sowed weeds (zizanion {ziz-an’-ee-on}: Tares, weeds, false seed) among the wheat, then went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads of grain (Karpos: Fruit of the trees, vines, and fields; that which originates or comes from something.), the weeds (zizanion {ziz-an’-ee-on}: Tares, weeds, false seed) also appeared.

What an incredibly powerful statement revealed in these two verses. Who were the people? Adam and Eve! They were there to guard and protect the truth. Instead, they fell asleep, they became indifferent, they sinned, they dropped the ball. In the midst of the Kalos Sperma, the good, pure precious seed a tare, an evil untruth was sown. Yeshua is giving a parable about Adam and Eve in the Garden:

Genesis 2:15. ADONAI, God, took the person and put him in the garden of ‘Eden to cultivate (Ab’ad: to work, serve, to become a servant) and tend (Shamar: to Guard, observe, carry out, protect) it.

Adam was to guard, observe, protect, and become a servant of the seed in the Garden which was God’s word. From what? From the enemy. What was the Garden? It was God’s word. Part of the hidden meaning is contained in the Gematria. Years ago, I gave a message about the Garden of Eden. The garden wasn’t a physical place, rather the 4 rivers mentioned in the garden equate to the 4 levels of Gematria in Torah. The Garden was God’s word! Adam and Eve were to observe and guard that word. But……

Genesis 3:1. Now the serpent was more crafty than any wild animal which ADONAI, God, had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You are not to eat from any tree in the garden’?”

What’s with this tree? Where did it come from?

Genesis 2:16-17. ADONAI, God, gave the person this order: “You may freely eat from every tree in the garden 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You are not to eat from it, because on the day that you eat from it, it will become certain that you will die.”

We’re talking about two types of seed here. God’s seed was life! God is the God of life. Everything from God was edible and allowable. But one tree has seed that was not, The tree of Life and Death. God is not the God of death but life. God said don’t partake of this tree because the day you do you will die! Until that moment Adam and Eve where pure, innocent children before God. Immersed, living in the presence of God they would have never died had they not been made aware. The untruth, the tare? “Did God really say, ‘You are not to eat from any tree in the garden’?”

This untruth, this tiny seed of evil is like the Leaven both Yeshua and Sha’ul taught. Just a little consumes the entire batch of dough. Not the tares are everywhere, in every field………

Matthew 13:27-30. The owner’s servants came to him and said, `Sir didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds (zizanion {ziz-an’-ee-on}: Tares, weeds, false seed) come from?’ 28 He answered, `An enemy has done this.’ The servants asked him, `Then do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 But he said, `No, because if you pull up the weeds, you might uproot some of the wheat at the same time. 30 Let them both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers to collect the weeds first and tie them in bundles to be burned, but to gather the wheat into my barn.'”

Evil will be intertwined with and part of our world until the end. In the meantime, for our own safety and salvation Adonai has allowed the tares of evil and untruth to grow and even prosper right along with his seed, within His creation. A grave danger exists for those who do not discern the good seed (kalos Sperma) from the evil, false tare. To those who cannot distinguish clean from unclean, holy from profane, truth and untruth regarding God’s word and Kingdom will be deceived. HaSatan comes into the household of God, deceiving both Jew and Gentile alike.

The harvest is coming upon Yeshua’s return, the day of judgment when the reapers will harvest the tares, the weeds first, bundling them together to burn them, to destroy them. Yeshua then clearly defines the meaning of the parable:

Matthew 13:37-39. He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world. As for the good seed, these are the people who belong to the Kingdom; and the weeds are the people who belong to the Evil One. 39 The enemy who sows them is the Adversary, the harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

Let us be aware of and separated from the tare as children of God! My experience has been that most of the time a believer’s greatest persecution comes from other people who identify themselves as believers but are tares. Tares are HaSatan’s tool to lead the Children of Adonai into apostasy! In this new year beware the tare!

Blessings and Shalom,
Rabbi Eric S Carlson

Hope

Hope

By Eric Carlson in 01_2024-1 on December 27, 2023

John 9:1-4. As Yeshua passed along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His talmidim asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned — this man or his parents — to cause him to be born blind?” 3 Yeshua answered, “His blindness is due neither to his sin nor to that of his parents; it happened so that God’s power might be seen at work in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must keep doing the work of the One who sent me; the night (nux {noox}: night, the time when work ceases, the time of death, the time of moral stupidity and darkness) is coming, when no one can work.

First, we see an interesting statement made about why the man is blind. The reality that we live in today isn’t one of overflowing or an overabundance of miracles, signs and wonders. We’re not exactly swimming in supernatural healings, yet scripture reveals that there are many ways to receive them. I’ve read so many books and witnessed many ministries that claim they have unlocked the mysteries of healing, that they have the formula. Scripture shares that there are many ways that God’s healing powers are released. The key is that there isn’t a cookie cutter formula, there isn’t a secret formula, a specific set of words, or certain conditions.

Yeshua Himself engaged in many different scenarios that ended with the same results, supernatural healing. The looming question before us is why aren’t we experiencing more supernatural healings? I think the major reason involves us. We make the supernatural more difficult than it really is! We often miss the supernatural because it doesn’t fit into our own paradigm, our own preconceived notion of what it should be or look like. Like Elijah, too many are waiting for the thunder, an earthquake, or roaring wind when in fact He’s the still small voice. As we trust, so it will be for us!

Matthew 8:5-10,13. As Yeshua entered K’far-Nachum, a Roman army officer came up and pleaded for help. 6 “Sir, my orderly is lying at home paralyzed and suffering terribly!” 7 Yeshua said, “I will go and heal him.” 8 But the officer answered, “Sir, I am unfit to have you come into my home. Rather, if you will only give the command (epo logos: Epo: call, command, grant, say, speak. Logos: the sayings of God, word, decree, mandate or order, of the moral precepts given by God, prophecies given by the prophets) my orderly will recover. 9 For I too am a man under authority. I have soldiers under me, and I say to this one, `Go!’ and he goes; to another, `Come!’ and he comes; to my slave, `Do this!’ and he does it.” 10 On hearing this Yeshua was amazed and said to the people following him, “Yes! I tell you, I have not found anyone in Isra’el with such trust!

13 Then Yeshua said to the officer, “Go; let it be for you as you have trusted.” And his orderly was healed at that very moment.

Having said this there is a tendency to tell people: “a healing didn’t occur because the afflicted person didn’t have enough trust”. Yeshua reveals that it is a collective trust of all the people, particularly those who are doing the praying that can cause an issue:

Matthew 17:14-20. As they came up to the crowd, a man approached Yeshua, kneeled down in front of him, 15 and said, “Sir, have mercy on my son, because he is an epileptic and has such terrible fits that he often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your talmidim, but they couldn’t heal him.” 17 Yeshua answered, “Perverted people, without any trust! How long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me!” 18 Yeshua rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, so that from that moment he was healed. 19 Then the talmidim went to him privately and said, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He said to them, “Because you have such little trust! Yes! I tell you that if you 20 have trust as tiny as a mustard seed, you will be able to say to this mountain, `Move from here to there!’ and it will move; indeed, nothing will be impossible for you!”

Healing is the supernatural cure of sickness, disease, injuries, and physical defects without the aid of human intervention, it’s the invasion of the natural with the supernatural! Trust is the keystone to Healing and Power in the Kingdom! Your trust that His word is truth and when spoken will heal! BUT, to receive a healing you must want to be healed.

John 5:6. (ASV) Yeshua, seeing this man and knowing that he had been there a long time, said to him, “Do you want to be made whole (hugies {hoog-ee-ace’}: sound, one who is sound in body, to make whole, to be restored, teaching which does not deviate from the truth)?

So many have come through this congregation desiring a healing while refuting wholeness. This is a place of being made whole if you’ll allow Him to do so! Soo back to John 9-what happened?

John 9:6-7. Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, put the mud on the man’s eyes, 7 and said to him, “Go, wash off in the Pool of Shiloach!” (The name means “sent.”) So, he went and washed and came away seeing.

Yeshua employed a different method, but the person born blind was supernaturally healed! One of the four miracles proving Yeshua was the Messiah! I want to go back to verse 4.

John 9:4. As long as it is day, we must keep doing the work of the One who sent me; the night (nux {noox}: night, the time when work ceases, the time of death, the time of moral stupidity and darkness) is coming, when no one can work.

Yeshua said that a nighttime is coming, a time when work ceases, a time of death, a time of moral stupidity when no one can work! What is Yeshua saying to us? That we shouldn’t be wasting time with bureaucracy, programs, and various other religious oppressions that inhibit Gods work, Yeshua was about His Fathers business, period.

Being about Adonai’s business, His work gives us a superlatively great hope; even a sense of awe that He allows us to participate in His work. Hope is a desire accompanied by an expectation or belief in fulfillment. Yeshua is the hope and expectation that all creation was waiting for. He is the hope of the sick, the broken hearted, the prisoner, the oppressed, the poor and needy. His is the hope of all who are oppressed because of race; Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, First Nation, Jew, and Gentile. He is the light of the world! Yeshua’s commitment to His Father and mankind resulted in a man born blind seeing, the blind man’s hope of deliverance was fulfilled, those who place their hope in the Lord will inherit the Land:

Psalms 37:34.  Put your hope (Kava: to bind together, collect, to expect, gather together, wait, hope: Tikva- Our National Anthem Hatikvah is “Our Hope”) in ADONAI, keep to his way, and he will raise you up to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

This is profound! When we are bound together with, and in Yeshua, gathered together as the bride, waiting upon Him, He becomes our hope, and our hopes are realized! What’s interesting is that hope and trust are interchangeable. It’s said of Yeshua in:

Matthew 12:21. In him the Gentiles will put their hope (elpizo {el-pid’-zo}: to trust in, to hope, to have full confidence in, expectation: from the root word elpis: The author of Hope).”

Hope isn’t wishing, hope is an indication of certainty. Hope in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.” We must strive to achieve this hope! Hope is not an escape from reality or from whatever problems we are facing. Hope isn’t wishing God will intercede on your behalf, it’s the expectation and knowledge that He will. If your hope is based on God’s covenant promises, it will have results.

Romans 5:1-5. So, since we have come to be considered righteous by God because of our trust, let us continue to have shalom with God through our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah. 2 Also through him and on the ground of our trust, we have gained access to this grace in which we stand; so let us boast about the hope of experiencing God’s glory. 3 But not only that, let us also boast in our troubles; because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4 endurance produces character, and character produces hope; 5 and this hope does not let us down, because God’s love for us has already been poured out in our hearts through the Ruach HaKodesh who has been given to us.

As Messianic Believers, hope, when understood and walked out in God’s truth results in a holy obsession with an eternal hope not based upon fear, timidity, or weakness! True hope in and through transforms your life on a whole new dimension, the 5th dimension of the heavenly spirit realm. It gives one the power to live life courageously, a life of power, of love, and of a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7.) If we press in, if we are zealous in seeking Adonai through Yeshua, your hope will turn to trust, hope turns desires into reality! Hope is the first step in receiving from God.

Hebrews 11:1.  Trusting is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see.

Hope knows you will have it someday. Trust knows that you have it now. Hope is the possibility; trust is the surety. Trust transforms hope into reality. Hope is the raw material from which trust builds the house. Our Hopes shall be realized:

Hebrews 6:11. However, we want each one of you to keep showing the same diligence right up to the end, when your hope will be realized;

Transforming Gods vision and goal for your life into reality is the purpose of hope and Trust. While those who place their hope in the Lord will not grow weary:

Isaiah 40:31. but those who hope in ADONAI will renew their strength, they will soar aloft as with eagles’ wings; when they are running they won’t grow weary, when they are walking they won’t get tired.

Why does our hope go sour, what causes us to lose hope? Far too often we hope in the wrong things! It’s all too easy to do so. Commonly, some people’s hope rests in the material world, the things of this world! The things that are somewhat controllable to us. People place their hope in the Government, in our military, in money, in relationships, in retirement, in the Stock Market, in the lottery, in the E.U., in the United Nations, in other human beings! All these things will continuously, habitually let your hope down leaving you hopeless! Remember what Yeshua’s answer to Pilate was when he asked Yeshua why he was turned over to him:

John 18:36. Yeshua answered, “My kingship does not derive its authority from this world’s order of things. If it did, my men would have fought to keep me from being arrested by the Judeans. But my kingship does not come from here.”

This is a revealed mystery! Your hope doesn’t derive its authority from this world, it’s from another world, you’re just passing through this one! This world and the things of it do not, and will not provide hope for a safe and secure life:

Colossians 2:6-8. Therefore, just as you received the Messiah Yeshua as Lord, keep living your life united with him. 7 Remain deeply rooted in him; continue being built up in him and confirmed in your trust, the way you were taught, so that you overflow in thanksgiving. 8 Watch out, so that no one will take you captive by means of philosophy and empty deceit, following human tradition which accords with the elemental spirits of the world but does not accord with the Messiah.

If you are or have feelings of hopelessness you must pause and look to see what your hope is grounded upon. If it’s not Yeshua, if it’s not Adonai, if it’s not the Kingdom of Heaven your hope is misdirected. Hope in this world is to hope for what is already seen:

Romans 8:22-25. We know that until now, the whole creation has been groaning (sustenazo {soos-ten-ad’-zo}: sigh with grief, to groan, to maon) as with the pains of childbirth; 23 and not only it, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we continue waiting eagerly to be made sons – that is, to have our whole bodies redeemed and set free. 24 It was in this hope (elpis root word of elpizo: to trust in, to hope, to have full confidence in, expectation: from the root word elpis: The author of Hope) that we were saved. But if we see what we hope for, it isn’t hope – after all, who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we continue hoping for something we don’t see, then we still wait eagerly for it, with perseverance.

Why does all whole creation groan, why do we groan inwardly as we hope and wait? Our soul conflicts with ourselves! Hope is contrary to the nature of our corrupted flesh. Sha’ul is telling us not to hope upon the material things we can see of this world, we are to hope in the unseen, we are to persevere while we wait, to push through the groaning as in birth pangs! As soon as you begin living out hope doubts, disbelief will arise, and you become conflicted as the psalmist captures in:

Psalm 42:5. My soul, why are you so downcast? Why are you groaning inside me? Hope in God, since I will praise him again for the salvation that comes from his presence.

When our hopes are dashed, when they are delayed, we can be overcome by a deep sense of despair. Hope deferred can make you sick, literally:

Proverbs 13:12. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

The key for hope is to trust in God’s timing. Sometimes God answers prayers and fulfills our hopes quickly. Though, at times for reasons known only to Him, He allows us to wait. It’s difficult to praise, to give thanks, to rejoice while waiting for hope to be fulfilled! Entering and staying before His presence enables Adonai to perfect those imperfections that are unknown, unseen to us. This kind of hope is refined in the crucible of waiting and occasionally, suffering purifies:

I John 3:3. And everyone who has this hope in him continues purifying himself, since God is pure

Yeshua is our hope! Don’t give up hope! It is our foundation, our stability:

Hebrews 6:19. We have this hope as a sure and safe anchor for ourselves, a hope that goes right on through to what is inside the parokhet,

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible! HOPE; Hold On Pain Ends! As Adonai spoke through the prophet:

Jeremiah 29:11. For I know what plans I have in mind for you,’ says ADONAI, ‘plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future.

What a supernatural covenant promise we have in Adonai through Yeshua!

Blessings and Shalom,
Rabbi Eric S Carlson

Rabbi and Rebbitzen Corner January 2024

Rabbi and Rebbitzen Corner January 2024

By Eric Carlson in 01_2024-2 on December 27, 2023

Shalom Mishpocha,

Happy New Year! We have entered into the Gregorian Calendar year of 2024. The 1st of Nisan (the Biblical New Year) begins at sunset, Monday April 8th, 2024, beginning the year 5784. January is the first month of the year, named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and transitions, who had two faces looking at the past and the future. The months of January and February were not originally in the ancient Roman calendar as the winter months were considered dormant, both in terms of agriculture and in terms of making war. This was a time of peace. Until 450 BCE, the Roman calendar was 10 months, beginning in March (Martius), due to the March Equinox. Remember, March was named for “Mars,” the god of War who was also an agricultural guardian. As the war rages on in Gaza please continue to pray that all the Israeli hostages be released and that Israel will be victorious in destroying Hamas!

On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The last occurrence was on August 21st, 2017. There is a revolution going on in the Kingdom of God right now that started ten years ago! We experienced the blood red moons in the years 2014/2015 on both Pesach and Sukkot. Then the Elul Solar Eclipse of August 21st, 2017, was exactly 40 Days until Yom Kippur that year! This was followed by the Revelation 12 sign that unfolded in the heavens on Yom Teruah that year.

Revelation 12:1-2. (TLV) “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She is pregnant—crying out in birth pains, in agony to give birth.”

With the sun in Virgo and her feet to the east, the new moon arrived at her feet on September 23-25, 2017. At the same time four planets of our solar system completed this sign. Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. Mercury, Venus, and Mars enter above the head of Virgo into the constellation Leo. With Leo (The Lion of Judah!) being a constellation of nine principle stars, the three wandering stars made it twelve at that time. So, the heavens displayed on Sept. 23rd, 2017: A woman (Virgo) clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

Jupiter was, has, and is known as the King planet connected to Messiah. As this celestial sign formed on Shabbat, September 23rd,2017, Jupiter, the King, Messiah was in the womb of the woman – The Virgin, Virgo. Clothed with the sun, the moon at her feet, with a crown of twelve stars is pregnant and about to give birth. This marked the beginning the period of labor pains before the establishment of the Messianic Age and the Lion of Judah’s return.

Then, on October 14th, 2023, an annular solar eclipse crossed the United States from Oregon to Texas. Then seven years from the 2017 eclipse we have another solar eclipse across our entire nation on April 8th, 2024 (Sunset on this day is the 1st of Nisan)! If you overlay the path of that annular solar eclipse on top of the paths of the Great American Eclipse of 2017 and the Great American Eclipse of 2024, you will see that those three eclipses actually combine to create a giant “Aleph” across America.

The Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The Aleph in Hebrew has a numerical value of one. The Aleph is representative of God and the oneness of God. The One and only, the eternal, the Omnipotent God. It is the symbol of God as the creator and master of the universe! Aleph represents His Sovereignty! The ancient Paleo Aleph is made of three lines. That’s God’s signature. That’s an Aleph – א. This Aleph is from the Paleo-Hebrew script, also Palaeo-Hebrew, Proto-Hebrew or Old Hebrew. The writing system found in ancient inscriptions of biblical Israel and Judah. I believe Adonai is shouting at us to be aware and be ready. He has been trying to warn us in hundreds of different ways, but most people don’t want to listen. Most still refuse to repent and turn back to Him! Time is running short!

Monday, January 15th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day (observed). This holiday is held on the third Monday in January and honors the principles of this civil rights leader and Nobel Prize Winner dedicated to nonviolence. Born January 15, 1929, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist Minister, political activist and perhaps the most famous leader of the civil right movement. In 1955, Dr. King led the Montgomery Bus Boycott that started when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in compliance with Jim Crow laws.

Dr. King also organized and led marches for the right to vote, desegregation, and labor rights in addition to basic civil rights. The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 are attributed, in part, to the works of Dr. King.

In 1964 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and in 1965 the American Jewish Committee presented him with the American Liberties Medallion. Dr. King was assassinated in 1968 and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Why did the American Jewish Committee present Dr. King with the American Liberties Medallion? Because there was and is a Shared Empathy between the Jewish and Black communities.

In Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” Speech he spoke to this intentionality of relationship. He said: “Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands”. Dr King is speaking to Racial reconciliation, Jew and Gentile reconciliation, and reconciliation of the division within the greater body of Messiah! The One New Humanity of Ephesians 2:15 speaks directly to these divisions! We are all, regardless of color or culture, members of the human race! The only two peoples group Adonai saw was Jew and Gentile! This separation so grieved Him that He sent His Son Yeshua to die to make us One New Humanity! To be Echad!

What is Echad? Echad: In Hebrew means a completeness through pluralism, a whole! Aleph represents the numeral ONE while Echad represents wholeness. The root word of Echad is “Ached”: It means to unify, to be in accord, in unison, no more separate parts, one from many! Echad is used throughout scripture, it is found over 900 times in the Tanach!

John 17:20-23. “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will trust in me because of their word, 21 that they may all be one. Just as you, Father, are united with me and I with you, I pray that they may be united with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me. 22 The glory which you have given to me, I have given to them; so that they may be one, just as we are one— 23 I united with them and you with me, so that they may be completely one, and the world thus realize that you sent me, and that you have loved them just as you have loved me.

Yeshua again defines Echad and prays that we may be Echad, united, bound together, in one accord, in unison, no more separation or division in the Kingdom of God! As we enter into the New Year let us strive, with great intentionality, to tear down all walls of divisions and separation and truly be One in Yeshua!

Blessings and Shalom!
Rabbi and Rebbitzen Carlson

What do we do with Christmas?

What do we do with Christmas?

By Eric Carlson in 12_2023-5 on December 1, 2023

As Jews we are tied to this Gentile Christmas season whether we like it or not. The ENTIRE WORLD (secular and Christian alike) pauses December 25th to recognize and celebrate the birth of a Jewish baby, the Mashiach 2,000 years ago. Such a momentous event that has changed time! Before you judge me hear me out for a moment. This time of year, I listen to the holiday channel on Sirius Radio. I love the jazz/Big Band music of Ella Fitzgerald, Vince Garibaldi, Louis Armstrong, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, most are jazz songs or winter songs that should play all winter but don’t. And yes, there are Christmas Songs being played! Many singing about “Born is the King of Israel”, “O little town of Bethlehem”, “O Come Emmanuel” “Joy to the World” based on Gen 3, and Psalm 96 & 98! A majority of the holiday songs are written and performed by Jews! How did this event get so far off track when even its music is Jewish? It’s about the supernatural birth of Yeshua, Mashiach, an event that affected all humanity:

Luke 2:7-14. and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in cloth and laid him down in a feeding trough, because there was no space for them in the living-quarters. 8 In the countryside nearby were some shepherds spending the night in the fields, guarding their flocks, 9 when an angel of ADONAI appeared to them, and the Sh’khinah of ADONAI shone around them. They were terrified; 10 but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because I am here announcing to you Good News that will bring great joy to all the people. 11 This very day, in the town of David, there was born for you a Deliverer who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 Here is how you will know: you will find a baby wrapped in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.” 13 Suddenly, along with the angel was a vast army from heaven praising God: 14 “In the highest heaven, glory to God! And on earth, peace among people of good will!”

This story of Yeshua’s birth begins over 1,283 years prior to His arrival with a Gentile woman who loved the Jewish people, Ruth! Ruth was a Moabite whose Jewish husband died. Instead of going back to her own people, she clung to her mother-in-law Naomi:

Ruth 1:16-19. But Rut said, “Don’t press me to leave you and stop following you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God. 17 Where you die, I will die; and there I will be buried. May ADONAI bring terrible curses on me, and worse ones as well, if anything but death separates you and me.” 18 When Na’omi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her. 19 So the two of them went on until they came to Beit-Lechem. When they arrived in Beit-Lechem, the whole city was stirred with excitement over them. The women asked, “Can this be Na’omi?”

This is the model for the church’s relationship to Israel and the Jewish people. Ruth’s reputation, her humility, and Character preceded her! She was already known by the city elders at the city gate for her loyalty, support, and commitment to Naomi through her gleaning in Boaz’s fields, Elimelekh’s kinsman redeemer. She catches the eye of Boaz who offers to take Ruth as his wife and be Naomi’s redeeming kinsman. Boaz takes the case to the elders at the city gate and Ruth and Naomi are redeemed by Boaz. Where is Boaz from? Bethlehem. Where is Yeshua born??? Bethlehem! The people there make a prophetic proclamation at the city gate over the gentile Ruth when she is redeemed by Boaz, her Jewish husband:

Ruth 4:11-12. All the people at the gate and the leaders said, “We are witnesses. May ADONAI make the woman who has come into your house like Rachel and like Le’ah, who between them built up the house of Isra’el. Do worthy deeds in Efrat; become renowned in Beit-Lechem. 12 May your house, because of the seed ADONAI will give you from this young woman, become like the house of Peretz, whom Tamar bore to Y’hudah.”

Boaz and Ruth became husband and wife and Ruth became pregnant:” …Ruth … gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: ‘”Blessed be ADONAI, who today has provided you a redeemer! May his name be renowned in Isra’el. ‘Oved. He was the father of Yishai the father of David.’” (Ruth 4:11-17)

Ruth is the great-grandmother of David, Yeshua’s lineages is of the Son of David. Those blessings over Ruth were prophetic and referred to the coming Messiah who would be born in Bethlehem from the lineage of Ruth and Boaz. The women referred to Obed as a redeemer, just as Boaz was, but prophetically, they were speaking about the Redeemer of all humanity: Yeshua!

Those elders at the city gate thought that Boaz’s redeeming Elimelekh’s estate was just another real-estate settlement yet when it happened the Spirit of God falls on them when Ruth is legally given to Boaz. They prophesied these prophecies over this gentile woman, “We are witnesses. May ADONAI make the woman who has come into your house like Rachel and like Le’ah, who between them built up the house of Isra’el. Do worthy deeds in Efrat; become renowned in Beit-Lechem.” (Ruth 4:11) They were actually prophesying about the Messiah and the location of His birth as confirmed by the prophet Micah, who said:

Micah 5:2. But you, Beit-Lechem near Efrat, so small among the clans of Y’hudah, out of you will come forth to me the future ruler of Isra’el, whose origins are far in the past, back in ancient times.

How profound, when they said,become like the house of Peretz, whom Tamar bore to Y’hudah,” they were again prophesying a large, vast Jewish family line that has a prophetic promise connected with it! They unwittingly were prophesying about the entire Body of Messiah that would come forth through the Tribe of Judah.

Genesis 49:10. The scepter will not pass from Y’hudah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his legs, until he (Shiloh in Hebrew: epitaph of the Messiah, a Messianic Title) comes to whom [obedience] belongs; and it is he whom the peoples will obey.

The very embodiment and fulfillment of God’s covenant promise, of His redemption and salvation of both Jew and Gentile through the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Judah became his own kinsman redeemer through his daughter in law Tamar after both his sons died. The same Judah stood in the gap to prevent his brothers from murdering Yosef, it was Judah’s idea to sell him to the Ishmaelites as a slave. Profoundly it was also Judah who offered himself in the place of his brother Benjamin before Yosef in Egypt!

How detailed is Adonai? The saying “God is in the details” is used to emphasize the importance of paying careful attention to the tiniest things. That principle holds, but there is a deeper understanding that we see in these passages alone, our Creator reigns fully over every minute detail. Nothing ever occurs outside of Adonai’s decree and providential rule. This reveals to us a significance in all that we do, even the most minor, small thing! Let’s continue to read of Yeshua’s birth:

Luke 2:22-32. When the time came for their purification according to the Torah of Moshe, they took him up to Yerushalayim to present him to ADONAI 23 (as it is written in the Torah of ADONAI, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to ADONAI”) 24 and also to offer a sacrifice of a pair of doves or two young pigeons, as required by the Torah of ADONAI. 25 There was in Yerushalayim a man named Shim`on. This man was a tzaddik, he was devout, he waited eagerly for God to comfort Isra’el, and the Ruach HaKodesh was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Ruach HaKodesh that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah of ADONAI. 27 Prompted by the Spirit, he went into the Temple courts; and when the parents brought in the child Yeshua to do for him what the Torah required, 28 Shim`on took him in his arms, made a b’rakhah to God, and said, 29 “Now, ADONAI, according to your word, your servant is at peace as you let him go; 30 for I have seen with my own eyes your yeshu`ah, 31 which you prepared in the presence of all peoples — 32 a light (apokalupsis {ap-ok-al’-oop-sis}: light, disclosure of truth, a revelation, manifestation) that will bring revelation to the Goyim and glory to your people Isra’el.”

Simeon was devout, he waited eagerly for God to comfort Isra’el, He had attentive expectancy! The Ruach HaKodesh was upon Simeon, and he was righteous and devout. The two facts are directly connected. Simeon wasn’t perfect, but he was someone who walked in God’s ways with great intentionality! Simeon was serious about it. He knew what he was looking for, and was in tune with God Same with Anna. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:36-38)

A word for us today, we must worship and listen, carefully, and attentively while waiting! Simeon and Anna were paying attention. They were listening, and they were expectant. Like our day today, we all know something is happening! We must listen, be attentive, with expectancy! Simeon and Anna were attentive and All the People, the Goyim, the nations, and Israel will see, witness, and experience salvation, redemption, this light, this revelation of truth!

Messiah has come bringing revelation of to the Gentiles and glory to His people Israel! The nations shall see the light! God’s plan all along was for Israel to be the light bearer of all of humanity! The standard of truth and revelation regarding Adonai! We are not to be exclusive, selfishly keeping God to ourselves, rather, we are to bring the God of Israel to the world, proclaiming His Glory! Our lifestyle is to be an example to those who do not know God. We are to be the light to a darkened world!

Isaiah 49:6. he has said, “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 (‘owr {ore}: light, light of life, light of instruction, Adonai as Israel’s light, enlightenment) to the nations, so my salvation can spread to the ends of the earth.”

This light goes all the way back to creation itself! It was the light, the “ore” of Adonai, the revelation of the “Great I Am” that divided, separated the light from the darkness…all before He created the sun, the moon, and stars!

Genesis 1:3-5. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and God divided the light from the darkness (Choshech: darkness; misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness). 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day.

Choshech’s root word Chosh: lacking, missing, unenergetic, lacking energy, powerless, beyond repair, aimless, chaotic, hopeless, feared, suspected, worthless, meaningless. Darkness or Choshech are all of these attributes! The enemy, HaSatan, the Devil, the Prince of Darkness is chosech or darkness. The light here is the same as Isaiah 49:6 “Or” illumination, revelation, joy, happiness, instruction, teaching, directive, order, puts in order, woke up, and roused. Light is all of these terms! Yeshua is our “Or”, our light of the world as we read in Luke 2! Yeshua is the physical manifestation of Adonai’s revelation on earth, as Sha’ul so eloquently shared the impact Yeshua had in:

Colossians 1:13-15. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son. 14 It is through his Son that we have redemption – that is, our sins have been forgiven. 15 He is the visible image of the invisible God. He is supreme over all creation, 16 because in connection with him were created all things – in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, lordships, rulers or authorities – they have all been created through him and for him.

In connection with Him, with Yeshua were created all things; through Him and for Him! The light reveals the knowledge and order of Adonai! Each and every day begins at sunset and is a recreation, a reminder of God’s creation of the universe. Each day begins just as the universes began, in darkness; powerless, aimless, hopeless, feared, suspected, worthless, meaningless and streams towards the light, the knowledge, the illumination, the revelations of God Himself who separated this hopelessness with His very being which is joy, happiness, instruction, teaching, directives, power, order, perfection, holiness, righteousness, purity, and love. Yeshua Himself is the ULTIMATE manifestation of this light!

John 8:12. 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.”

His unique divine identity and purpose. In declaring Himself to be the “Light of the world, Yeshua reveals that He is the exclusive source of spiritual light. No other source of spiritual truth is available to mankind. He is His Fathers Son, whose very light formed creation, dividing the powerless, aimless, chaotic, hopeless, darkness from the light!! The light was manifest in the flesh and born into this world through a virgin birth by a young Jewish girl…. Yeshua is confirming to those who already know, while at the same time revealing to those who do not yet know, that He is the Light of the world. He is the Hope, He is the Way. He is our Light, our everlasting Light. It is Yeshua whom each of us must look to and receive, Jew and Gentile alike, in order to overcome the darkness that is in this world.

John 1:4-5. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not suppressed it.

God’s or, His light is Life itself and darkness cannot overcome it!

I John 1:5. And this is the message which we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him – none!

That means His Glory is absolute. Adonai is pure bright Light that shines like the sun on all sides of the world… there is no darkness in Him, He is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent! He is the source of all prophecy, all revelation, and the author of life! This is so important that Adonai sent His only Son, Yeshua to both declare and impart this light to us, to all mankind, Jew and Gentile, Male and female, so that those who perceive and receive the “true Light” will never walk in spiritual darkness! Darkness can only exist where light is not present. Once light appears, regardless of how small, it causes the darkness to flee. It cannot stay. This is how Christmas should be celebrated, arise and shine, the light has come, nations will stream toward Your light, kings towards your shinning splendor (Isaiah 60)! This is what should be shared and celebrated on this day by those who don’t know the actual day. This is the real Story Charlie Brown!

Out of 196 countries worldwide, 160 celebrate Christmas in some form. That calculates to 81% of the world’s population. Since only 32% are Christian, what is the other 49% celebrating? Some sort of a birthday party, even though 49% don’t know whose birthday they’re celebrating. There are two motivations at the core of their celebration, altruism or capital gain. On the surface, altruism seems a noble attitude but is severely hampered by our corrupt nature. A flawed effort to duplicate the light of God without possessing the light. Capital Gain is the other major motivator with over a trillion dollars spent on Christmas in America alone! Many retailers share that over 70% of their annual revenue is from Christmas shopping alone. The monetary and cultural impact of this is huge. Because of the money involved we are bombarded by all media sources to get out and shop and celebrate and it starts earlier and earlier every year!

Let’s not antagonize and demand an end to Christmas, rather let us be an example, a loving correction, a confirming voice that the story is true even though December 25th isn’t the day. Let us be influential vice antagonistic. Almost the entire world pauses to celebrate the birth of Israel’s most famous Jewish Son. As we acknowledge and recognize that the entire world is pausing to celebrate the birth of our Messiah let it not get muddled in the traditions and paraphernalia of the season, rather let us focus upon the light that came into this world 2,000 years ago to set us free!!! Let’s celebrate Yeshua!

In His Love,
Rabbi Eric S Carlson

Rabbi and Rebbetzin’s Corner December 2023

Rabbi and Rebbetzin’s Corner December 2023

By Eric Carlson in 12_2023-2 on December 1, 2023

We pray you had a blessed and meaningful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends! As we have entered into the month of December, we look forward to the M.J.A.A. Southeast Regional Conference December 15th-17th, 2023 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando Florida! It is a powerful, supernatural weekend of Messianic praise, worship, teaching, and fellowship! Paul Wilbur, Shae Wilbur, and the Nesbitts will be our guest psalmists! Dr. Raleigh Washington is teaching Yeshiva! Never has it been more important to stand with Israel than right now! Put action to your love and join us in solidarity with Israel! This is a weekend you don’t want to miss!

We remain committed to praying for and supporting Israel in this ongoing and difficult time! ‘It’s hard to be a Jew’, an old Yiddish proverb never felt more resonant in America today! We’re all reeling from the tidal wave of antisemitism and its silent sanction in our society! Throughout our history in America, as Jews we’ve faced our share of bigotry, excluded from certain businesses, schools, neighborhoods, and social clubs. Since the COVID Pandemic we’ve witnessed a terrifying increase in antisemitic rhetoric, violence, and attacks. But never have I witnessed and experienced the level of anguish and fear American Jews are experiencing right now.

So, what can we do? We stand on biblical truth, be bold and courageous, speak out and let your voice be heard. Do it respectfully but firmly and do not back down. Don’t use Mainstream Western Media as your news sources, they are all biased. Seek out news sources that are based in Israel with reporters who have boots on the ground in Israel. Here are a few that I recommend: Ynet News, Arutz Sheva, Jerusalem Post, and Israel 365.

Align yourself with, associate, and attend a Messianic Jewish Congregation! Congregate with both Jews and Gentiles who love Israel and our Jewish people! Be with others who have Israel and Yeshua in their heart, those who have a Biblical world view!

Keep praying for Israel and the Jewish people! Pray with fervency and unceasingly! We have placed a prayer guide for Israel in this month’s newsletter as well! עם ישראל חי “The people of Israel live!”

December is the 12th month (and last month) in our modern-day Gregorian calendar (as it was in the preceding Julian calendar). However, it was originally the 10th month of the Roman calendar (until 153 BC). Hence, “December” comes from the Latin “decem”, meaning “ten.” In Roman times, the calendar only had ten months and began with March! The winter period was not even assigned months because it was not an active time for military, agriculture, or civil life. The month of December originally consisted of 30 days. When January and February were added to the calendar (around 700 BCE), December was shortened to 29 days. Then, two days were added to December in the subsequent Julian calendar, making it 31 days long.

We look forward to celebrating Hanukkah for eight days which begins at sunset, Thursday, December 7th, 2023. At our Erev Shabbat service on Friday, December 8th we will have a special Hanukkah service with both a children’s and youth group holiday presentation! You don’t want to miss this special service with all of our children and youth! We’ve included a “How to Celebrate Hannukah “guide” in this Newsletter. Then, on Thursday, December 21st, 2023, we enter the “winter Solstice”, the shortest day of the year that officially marks the first day of winter!

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, also referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day, is observed annually in the United States on December 7, to remember and honor the 2,403 Americans who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, which led to the United States declaring war on Japan the next day and thus entering World War II. When I was a young child Pearl Harbor Day was a big deal! As our nation ages the importance of this day is fading, overshadowed by 9/11. Yet it is a day we should never forget!

On Pearl Harbor Day, the American flag should be flown at half-staff until sunset to honor those who died as a result of the attack on U.S. military forces in Hawaii. Pearl Harbor Day is not a federal holiday – government offices, schools, and businesses do not close.

And last, but not least, December 25th is Christmas! A holiday to commemorate the birth of the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua! This day is celebrated by 81% of the world’s population. 160 countries out of 196 total celebrate Christmas in some form or fashion! Since it is a Federal Holiday, our offices will be closed! Since Jews don’t celebrate Christmas, what do we do on December 25th?

It’s tough to find something to do on Christmas, because just about everything is closed, rather like the early days of the 2020 pandemic! Except on Christmas, even the grocery stores are closed! But here are a few of the more popular Jewish December 25th activities! We go out for Chinese food on Christmas. In fact, Justice Elena Kagan mentioned this in her Supreme Court confirmation hearings: when a senator asked her where she was on Christmas, she said, “You know, like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant.” Someone even wrote a song about Jews eating Chinese Food on Christmas. In fact, there was a meme of a sign on a Chinese Restaurant (not real!) from the “Chinese Restaurant Association” thanking the Jewish People that our God insists that we eat their food on Christmas! The Chinese do not celebrate Christmas any more than Jews do, so most Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas.

Another tradition is to go to the movies. Many movie theaters are open on Christmas day, particularly in the afternoon (after 4PM). Of course, nowadays, if you’re not up for going to a movie in person, you can stream them at home. Whatever you choose to do we pray you have a blessed and wonderful December as we prepare to enter into the new Gregorian Calendar year of 2024!

Blessings and love,
Rabbi and Rebbetzin Carlson

Israel War Prayer Points

Israel War Prayer Points

By Eric Carlson in 12_2023-1 on December 1, 2023

1. Defense of Israel: We implore Adonai to safeguard Israel, currently in a war against Hamas and other terrorist organizations, while confronting additional threats from various sides.

2. Victory and safety: We pray for a decisive victory over Hamas and Hezbollah, with a fervent plea for the safety of our fighting IDF soldiers, as well as security, border patrol and police authorities.

3. Wisdom for leaders: We pray for Israel's political and military leaders, asking for wisdom in their critical tactical and strategic decisions. Give them divine strategies!

4. Comfort for grieving families: Our tears and prayers are with the grieving families on both sides of this conflict. We ask that they may find comfort and strength, in Yeshua’s name.

5. Safety and release of the hostages: We pray for the hostages immediate release and pray for their safety, security, and peaceful return.

6. Healing for the wounded: In our prayers, we seek the physical and emotional healing of the wounded, asking for their full and complete recovery and overall well-being.

7. Protection for children and civilians: Our hearts are heavy for the children affected by the war and the innocent civilian population. We appeal to Adonai for their protection and well-being during these difficult times.

8. Strength for medical personnel: We ask for strength and wisdom for doctors, nurses, medical staff, and rescue organizations as they work tirelessly to save the wounded and provide relief.

9. Divine guidance for Messianic community: We offer a special prayer for the Messianic communities in Israel and throughout the region, that we may shine as beacons of light in these trying times, receiving divine wisdom and sharing the “Good News’.

10. Shalom in our hearts: We pray the Shalom of God would fill our hearts and all of God's children worldwide, a Shalom that surpasses all understanding! We bind the spirit of fear, anxiousness, and timidity! We pray for the divine protection for all Messianic Congregations and the Jewish people worldwide, protect our hearts and minds through Messiah Yeshua, so that our every word and action may edify and glorify Adonai’s Kingdom.

We unite in these prayers, knowing that Adonai listens to our voices, as we read in James 5:16…..

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” 

HANUKKAH MENORAH LIGHTING 2023

HANUKKAH MENORAH LIGHTING 2023

By Eric Carlson in 12_2023-3 on December 1, 2023

The Hanukkah celebration is a time for family and prayer. Hanukkah is a time to focus on the light of the world, Yeshua. The Hanukkah (9 branch) menorah should be placed in a window or outside to publicize this great miracle. The candles are placed in the menorah from left to right and the candles are kindled from right to left. The center candle is called the shammash (caretaker/helper). The shamash is removed, lit, and used to kindle the other candles then returned to its holder. The first night of Hanukkah you will have two candles in your menorah, the Shamash and one candle for the first night of Hanukkah. The second night you will have three candles, the Shamash and two candles on the far right of the menorah representing two nights of Hanukkah and so on through the eight days! On the last night of Hanukkah you will have all nine candles in the menorah. You will need a total of 44 candles for the entire Hanukkah celebration. The candles should be lit after sundown and the whole family should be gathered (it’s acceptable to wait past sundown so that the entire family can gather around the menorah). The candles should remain lit for at least 30 minutes. The following blessings are recited when kindling the candles:

Lighting the Candles

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר חֲנֻכָּה 

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam,
Asher Kid’shanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu, Le hadlik Ner Hanukkah.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God,
King of the universe, who has set us apart by Your commandments and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.

Miracles

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בִּזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam,
Sh’asa Nissim La’avoteinu Bayamim Hahim B’zman Hazeh.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season.

The Mashiach

ברוח אתא יהוה אלוהנו מלך העולם אשר נתן לנו את דרך הישוע במשיח ישוע

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha olam, asher natan lanu et Derek ha Yeshua, b’Mashiach, Yeshua.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has given us the way of salvation in Messiah Yeshua.

Shehechiyanu

ברוך אתה יהוה אלוהינו מלך העולמ שהחינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloiheinu Melech ha olam sh’hekiyanu v’kiyimanu
v’higiyanu l’azman hazeh.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion.

After the blessings, kindle the candle or candles. The following scriptures may be read, followed by family fellowship. This is a quiet time, a time focused on our heavenly Father. Shut off the television, turn off the radio, and enter into the presence of the Most High God!

Night One

Thursday, Dec 7th, 2023 @ sunset:
Isaiah 60:19, Psalm 27:1.

Night Two

Friday, Dec 8th, 2023 @ sunset:
Psalm 119:105, 119:130, Proverbs 6:23.

Night Three

Saturday, Dec 9th, 2023 @ sunset:
Matthew 5:16, Luke 11:30.

Night Four

Sunday, Dec 10th, 2023 @ sunset:
Luke 11:34, Acts 26:18.

Night Five

Monday, Dec 11th, 2023 @ sunset:
John 1:4-5, John 8:12, John 12:35-36.

Night Six

Tuesday, Dec 12th, 2023 @ sunset:
Acts 26:12-18.

Night Seven

Wednesday, Dec 13th, 2023 @ sunset:
Ephesians 5:8-11, I Peter 2:9,
Ephesians 5:11-15,I John 1:5-9.

Night Eight

Thursday, Dec 14th, 2023 @ sunset:
Philippians 2:14-16.

Hanukkah – Culture War

Hanukkah – Culture War

By Eric Carlson in 12_2023-4 on December 1, 2023

Hanukkah means “to dedicate”. On Hanukkah, the Maccabean Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple on the 25th of Kislev. The story of Hanukkah is actually a story of culture war, parallel, and similar in many ways to the culture war raging in modern America. A Culture war is the struggle for dominance of values, beliefs, and practices. The Culture War in America is the social clash between traditional, biblical, family values vs. a progressive, liberal, anti-biblical, anti-family agenda.

At Hanukkah we celebrate the victory led by Yehuda Maccabee. The essence of Hanukkah is the salvation of Israel from foreign oppression and assimilation, though weapons and warfare were involved there also must always be an accompanied spiritual awakening, divine outpouring, a sovereign move of Adonai. Prayer is always our immediate response in any situation, but there are times when we must transition from prayer to picking up some river stones and load the sling to slay the Giants. The Maccabees understood the danger and influences of Hellenization with great clarity. They would not allow Israel to assimilate, to apostatize, to lose their culture and identity. We must be aware of and understand the complexity of this issue the Maccabees were facing because we face it today: Who or what was the real enemy? Culture war! The Syrians Greeks were attempting to Hellenize Israel while the Israeli Aristocracy were openly embracing this new, progressive, and wildly popular progressive Greek culture and philosophy! 

I Maccabees 1:11-15. In those days certain renegades came out from Israel and misled many, saying, “Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles around us, for since we separated from them many disasters have come upon us.” 12 This proposal pleased them, 13 and some of the people eagerly went to the king, who authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. 14 So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, 15 and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.

Assimilation through Hellenization would result in a complete annihilation and replacement of the biblical culture and identity of Israel with anti-biblical Greek culture and identity that results in sin.

No doubt there were many other Jewish people “in the middle” who weren’t seduced by the progressive Hellenistic cultural! Yet they were lukewarm about it, the silent majority that didn’t take any action against it. They probably agreed with the occupier Antiochus because culturally and politically it was the “safe” and “wise” thing to do. Seized by fear and panic many complied with the Greek demand to stop all biblical practices.

Without biblical morals and ethics, a peaceful and just nation is not possible. Without sound ethics and morals, the very fabric of society begins to shred and fragment. What results is whole scale narcissism, a person simply does whatever they think is right for themselves because there’s no foundation of truth to establish ethics and morals. It pits people against one another. Lawlessness, anarchy, and chaos prevail.

While the secular world grows increasingly hostile to Adonai and His word, what it offers to itself is more lawlessness, chaos, anarchy, and ultimately self-destruction. Almost two million people have migrated out of California in the last 3 years because it’s not safe to live there anymore! Washington state and Oregon are almost the same! Portland and Seattle are lawless, even when caught criminals are not prosecuted. Businesses are shuddering their doors and leaving! It’s like the time of Noach! Though far from perfect, Western Civilizations were based upon biblical morals and ethics which have produced the liberty, freedoms, and prosperity its citizens have experienced. This has resulted in numerous constitutional republics that recognize the God given, inalienable rights of every individual, they’ve formed constitutional governments that provide a framework of fairness, justice, safety, security, freedom and strive to defend and protect those inalienable rights! Unfortunately, we now find ourselves in a decaying society. We’ve turned away from the morals and ethics given in Proverbs chapters 1-10, that are centered upon:

Proverbs 1:7. The fear of ADONAI is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

This is no longer the teaching from parents to children because many parents have fallen away, they have abandoned fear of the Lord to live a hedonistic, narcissistic life to satisfy self. Where this really is revealed is on social media! I’m stunned to see people make posts on their social media of immoral, sinful behavior that is in direct disobedience to the word of God. Then people who are supposedly Children of God reply to these posts! “I love it”, “I’m so happy for you!”, “So Sweet”. It’s one thing to sin, it’s another to make it public and receive widespread support from alleged believers! They are modeling the exact opposite of “Fear of the Lord”. Yeshua warned us about this, that lawlessness will increase:

Matthew 24:10-12. (TLV) And then many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one other. 11 Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold.

Yochanan boldly spoke truth, calling it what it is in:

I John 3:4.(TLV) “Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness-indeed, sin is lawlessness”

What is lawlessness? Anomia in the Greek-without Torah! Nothing reveals lawlessness more than manipulating the law legally to justify unethical, sinful behavior. This was the very reason Yeshua berated the P’rushim saying to them in:

Mathew 23:27-28. “Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but inside are full of dead people’s bones and all kinds of rottenness. 28 Likewise, you appear to people from the outside to be good and honest, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and far from Torah.

The need to engage in and prevail in the culture war is the central theme, the lesson of Hanukkah! Mattityahu Hasmonea got engaged and started guerrilla warfare along with his sons and a few followers against the Syrian Greek Culture invasion. What they did in the hill country of Judea and Samaria was so amazing that books on their exploits are still studied by modern guerrilla fighters. Early in the war Judas Hasmonea took over after his father’s death and he is the one who came up with the legendary tactics. They fact that they did so paved the way for Jewish continuity and survival over the last two millennia. If we want to ensure that the unique and positive aspects of American Exceptionalism will survive, we need to remember this Hanukkah story. Hanukkah is considered a somewhat minor celebration, yet the story of Hanukkah reveals a profound message concerning obedience to God and the necessity and importance of not misplacing our trust.

Our identity as both Messianic Jews and Gentiles comes from our conformity and oneness with Scripture, Gods word, with Gods culture. This is why we are so centered upon the Youth at these celebrations and the Feast Days!

Proverbs 22:6. Train (Chanak: to train, dedicate) a child in the way he [should] go; and, even when old, he will not swerve from it.

Chanak is the root word of Hanukkah. Hanukkah isn’t just about Donuts and Latkas, it’s a time of training and ‘dedication. Hanukkah is a lesson of warning for us as this battle is still being fought! It’s about the children and the enemy knows this very well!

The Syrian Greek authorities constructed gymnasiums throughout the land so that children could be indoctrinated in Greek culture and practices of physical contests. That is happening today! Daniel Villarrea, a writer for The Queerity, a top online LGBQT magazine wrote an article entitled, Can We Please Just Start Admitting That We Do Actually Want To Indoctrinate Kids? In it he says, “Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes that teach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?”

The homosexual lobby is aggressively indoctrinating children that homosexual behavior is normal and should be accepted and embraced. They clearly want homosexuality to be introduced before these children are old enough, mature enough to understand who they are. This is not about education or being nice, inclusive, and tolerant. That’s why they are hosting trans reading times in public libraries-to normalize the immoral and sinful behavior! Unfortunately, some adults have become enamored with what they believe are progressive, rational and scientific ways and are convinced of the need to replace our traditional biblical based values with progressive behaviors that are immoral.

Here is their narrative: If you pushback regarding your daughters’ becoming boys, or your boys’ becoming girls, or you don’t want girls and boys to play on the same sports teams, or share coed locker rooms, or the same restrooms it’s because your closed minded, your not inclusive, and your children need to be liberated from your backward bible values. Transgenderism and gender ideology are no more scientific and rational than idol worship. Yet they are aggressively recruiting and indoctrinating our children-especially through social media! They will coerce, shame, and cancel adults who seek to live their lives and raise their children according to the word of God. As we critically learn through the Hanukkah story, the only thing worse than a culture war is too willingly surrendering our liberty, freedoms, and values without a fight.

The Maccabees dedicated themselves to this principle and Adonai long before they won and rededicated the temple! We must do the same! Hanukkah reveals a mystery, the miraculous power of trust in Adonai in the face of hopelessness, a spark of light in the depths of darkness, the limitless, divine, dunamis power of Adonai as we contend for the Kingdom of Adonai in our own culture war! Hanukkah is the story of restoration and dedication! To accomplish this, we like the Maccabee’s must first seek a personal, spiritual restoration through the word and the Blood of Messiah! Yeshua Himself, the Light of the world observed Hanukkah in the temple.

John 10:22-23. Then came Hanukkah in Yerushalayim. It was winter, 23 and Yeshua was walking around inside the Temple area, in Shlomo’s Colonnade.

The menorah, kept in the temple, represents the “light unto the world. The temple, which was located on a hill had inverse windows which allowed the light of the Menorah to be radiated to the world. This light represents the knowledge of the kingdom of God. It’s this light that will overcome our current darkness as our light cannot be extinguished! We must stand against this cultural invasion and deny our children’s indoctrination and not be forced to embrace unbiblical, sinful values! We must imitate Judah’s steadfastness. And thankfully there is no foreign occupying army to be defeated for lovers of freedom to prevail, so there is no need to imitate Judah’s violence. This Hanukkah let your light shine!

Chag Hanukkah Sameach
Rabbi Eric S Carlson