Tag Archives: end times

YHVH’s Glory in the Eclipse

Just about everyone in the United States (and probably many other countries) was aware of the total eclipse on August 21st of this year.  Nancy and I had the privilege of seeing the total eclipse in the foothills of the NC mountains. We are so thankful that Abba blessed us with that once-in-a-lifetime experience!

I have always been fascinated with YHVH’s created heavenly bodies, so I could not resist this opportunity to see one of the many heavenly testimonies to His awesome glory and power.  Since I had never seen anything but a partial eclipse (and that was as a young child), I did not really understand the unique qualities of a total solar eclipse.  I thought of all the amazing factors that have to come together for the moon to track right along with the sun across 3,000 miles of our country, blocking the entire sun within a 30-mile-wide swath at the surface of the Earth.

 One of the things that YHVH planned and designed perfectly were the relative sizes of the Sun and Moon, and the distances between the Sun, Moon and Earth.  This would be straightforward if the three heavenly bodies were all close together, but it is complicated by the fact that the moon is only 250,000 miles from the Earth and is ¼ the size of the Earth, while the Sun is 93 million miles from the Earth and over one million times the size of the Earth.

Another aspect is the perfect alignment of these three bodies by the synchronization of their orbits around each other: the moon around the Earth and the Earth around the Sun.  To make this even more miraculous, this blocking of the Sun must be able to persist for a very long time, such as the tracking of the total eclipse across the entire US on August 21st.

During the total eclipse, we marveled at Abba’s amazing creation, demonstrating His glory and perfection through this incredible event.  When the eclipse became total and darkness fell all around us, it was almost beyond description – even the birds were confused by this sudden darkness and flew anxiously back and forth out of the surrounding trees.  The photo at the front of this article, taken with a regular digital camera by one of my cousins, gives you some idea of the incredible view we had of the sun, looking at it with our naked eyes.

Once darkness fell, we immediately started seeing other lights in the sky.  The brightest and most obvious light was Jupiter, located to the East of the darkened Sun.  A few of the younger folk in our group spotted another light to the West of the Sun, and we later discovered that it was Venus, often called the “morning star”.  I did not learn until later that the only time you can see both Jupiter and Venus in the sky is during a total eclipse.  At all other times, Venus can be seen in the morning and Jupiter can often be seen in the evening sky.

It is hard to describe if you have never experienced anything as visually amazing as a total eclipse, but at this stage our whole group was staring in awe at the darkened sun, and we were rendered speechless – it was a truly inspiring sight, and showed us YHVH’s glory from a very different perspective.  At the time, I was thinking about the significance of seeing Jupiter in the eclipse-darkened sky in the middle of the day.  I remembered that the original Hebrew name of Jupiter was Melech, which means king.  Then I recalled that this planet symbolized the Messiah as the King of Kings according to ancient Rabbinic interpretations of Messianic prophecies.  Later, we remembered that the Sun also represents Yeshua our Messiah (Psalms 19:4-6).  Although the Sun was darkened for a time, it could not be blotted out completely, because the corona was still visible around the perimeter of the moon.  Also, as the Sun darkened, Jupiter brightened.  Our Messiah and King, the Light of the world, cannot be defeated.

This was all wonderful and we glorified YHVH for these revelations.  But there was more – when I was researching this later, I realized that the Sun had moved into the star-sign of Leo the lion before the time of the eclipse (it then moved into Virgo in the Fall when Jupiter was also said to be in “Virgo’s womb”).  The original Hebrew name of Leo is Aryeh, which also means lion, and this sign and its related constellations tell the story of Yeshua coming as Judge and King in His final victory over the enemy.  If you want to read more about the Gospel story told by this heavenly sign, see our blog from early 2016: https://missingpieces.co/2016/02/20/the-lion-of-the-tribe-of-judah/ 

While I do not predict timelines of the Second Coming, I feel that Yeshua was giving us some very powerful visions of His final victory on that darkened afternoon.  I believe He was telling us that He is coming quickly (as He said in Revelation 22:12), understanding that “quickly” in His time-frame means something very different than it does from our Earthly perspective.  It was another sign to me that we need to prepare ourselves spiritually for His second coming.  We can best prepare ourselves through worship, fasting and prayer, as He meets us at those times and gives us revelation about Himself and His plan.  I praise Yehovah’s holy Name that He gives us these glimpses into His glory.  Let us turn our hearts and minds to Him and listen for His voice so that we do not miss what He wants to place in our hearts.

Even though darkness (evil) on the Earth will increase for a while, it will not totally blot out the Light of the world, who has already overcome the world (John 16:33).  Yeshua, our Light and King, will very soon return to the Earth, triumphant over the evil one.

A Time for Joy

shout-to-godScripture mentions joy many times and as we study the “joy” passages, we see many different facets or aspects.  What is joy?  According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, there are a number of Hebrew and Greek words used for joy in Scripture.

The most often used word is Strong’s Hebrew 8057 , simchah, which means joy, gladness, mirth.  There are 95 occurrences of simchah or a variation used.  There is a lot of noisy and vigorous celebration associated with simchah.  Consider the following examples.

  1. Numbers 10:10 “Blow the trumpets in times of gladness, too, sounding them at your annual festivals and at the beginning of each month. And blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and peace offerings. The trumpets will remind the LORD your God of his covenant with you. I am the LORD your God.”
  2. 1 Sam 18:6 “When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals.”
  3. 1 Kings 1:40 “And all the people followed Solomon into Jerusalem, playing flutes and shouting for joy. The celebration was so joyous and noisy that the earth shook with the sound.”

Joy is meant to fill us and overflow to others.  We see this in the two occurrences of Strong’s Hebrew 2304, chedvah.

  1. 1 Chron. 15:27 “Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling.”
  2. Nehemiah 8:10 “And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

At times we are to rejoice with vigor and even with reverent awe and trembling before our sovereign King, as we see in some of the 46 occurrences of Strong’s Hebrew gil and its variants.  The word gil can also mean “whirl” or “spin around”.

  1.  Psalm 2:11 “Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling.”
  2. Psalm 16:9  “No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.  My body rests in safety.”
  3. Psalm 48:11 “Let the people on Mount Zion rejoice.      Let all the towns of Judah be glad because of your justice.”

The Greek word chara (Strong’s 5479) is used 59 times in the New Testament.

  1.  Matt 2:10  “When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!”
  2. Luke 15:10 “In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
  3. James 1:2  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, …”

When are we to rejoice and be filled with joy?  When we recall the greatness of YHVH (Is. 12:6), in our love for one another (Philemon 1:7), before Yeshua returns (1 Pet. 1:8-9), when we are persecuted (James 1:2-3; Heb 12:2), when we hope and trust in YHVH (Rom 15:13, when we speak face-to-face (2 John 1:12) and when Yeshua returns (John 16:22).  In other words, we are to be joyful at all times and in all circumstances (Phil 4:4).

As we embark on Sukkot, we are commanded to rejoice and be filled with joy (Deut 16:14-15).  We remember YHVH with the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness and we celebrate YHVH dwelling with us now through His Holy Spirit.  Yeshua has promised to never leave us or forsake us and He will return to us soon to reign over us.   Our Father’s glory will once again be present in Jerusalem.  We will see YHVH face to face (1 Cor 13:12).  We have much cause to rejoice.  Chag Sameach (from simchah) Sukkot!

Yom Teruah helps us Remember and Rehearse

yom-teruahWhen we talk about YHVH’s feasts or festivals, we sometimes think of big celebrations with lots of festive foods along with family and friends.  Although some of YHVH’s feasts are meant to be joyous celebrations (such as Sukkot – the Feast of Tabernacles), others are meant to be more somber and introspective.  Yom Teruah (literally the “feast of the blowing of trumpets (shofarot)”) is a combination of both joyous and somber emotions.  In a previous blog (When Yeshua Returns), we have already dealt with the misconception that Yom Teruah is actually the Jewish new year, or what is called Rosh Hashanah (literally “the head of the year”).  Yom Teruah marks the beginning of the seventh month on God’s calendar, so by definition it cannot be the start of the year.

The Hebrew word used most often for YHVH’s feast days in the Scriptures is Mo’ed (feast) or Mo’edim (feasts plural).  However, this word is much better translated as “appointment” or more accurately “divine appointment”.  YHVH meant for these appointments to be holy (set-apart) times on His calendar to meet with Him.  They were also called “Holy Convocations”, which in the Hebrew is Miqra, meaning an “assembly” but also a “Dress Rehearsal”.

Whenever one of YHVH’s divine appointments arrives, we are supposed to look back and remember something that God has done for us in the past, but we are also supposed to look forward to what He will do in the future.  In His Mo’edim, God has essentially given us a “roadmap” of the most important events in human history.  Leviticus 23:24 describes Yom Teruah in this way: “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation (rehearsal)”.  Where it says “memorial” in this verse, another name is being used for the Feast of Trumpets – it is also called Zihk’ron Teruah which means a call for remembering through the loud blowing of trumpets.  So what are we remembering from the past and what are we rehearsing for the future?

By Jewish tradition and ancient calendars, it is believed that Yom Teruah commemorates the first day of Elohim’s Creation of the universe.  This fits with God’s biblical calendar.  When the Israelites were delivered out of Egypt, YHVH then said to them: This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you” (Exodus 12:2).  This was of course the first day (new moon) of the Passover month (Aviv), which had been their seventh month but was now their first month by God’s instruction.  Thus we know that the seventh month (Ethanim) had been the first month on God’s calendar, which is the calendar He created for us at the time He created the world.  We can give thanks to Yehovah Elohim on Yom Teruah for creating the universe and us as His children.

As far as rehearsing the future on Yom Teruah, we need to look to the verses where the shofar blast is described as a warning or announcement of a future event.  There are a number of Scriptures where we see the shofar being blown as a call to repent and turn back (teshuvah) to YHVH, warning us of the God’s great judgment at the end times, in the “Day of the LORD”. (Joel 2:1, Zech 9:14, Rev 11:15)  In Matthew 24, Yeshua tells us of the great shofar blast when He comes in judgment and to gather His remnant together from the whole Earth: “And He will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather His chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven”.

Abba, as we are celebrating your appointed time to be with You on Yom Teruah, help us to remember all that You have done for us in the past, including the great sacrifice of Your Son for our salvation and deliverance.  Help us to also look ahead at what You are going to do in the future, and make sure we are prepared like the wise virgins who had an abundance of oil for their lamps.  We want to be a part of Your remnant, pleasing to you and prepared in our hearts and spirits to receive Your blessing when You return to this Earth to reign and rule.

Who Is in Control?

who is in controlIn my last blog we looked at the story of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel to examine how people rely on themselves and their own devices instead of trusting YHVH. The Bible is packed with such illustrations for good reason. There is one true stronghold (YHVH) and one false stronghold (self) and for each person there is a lifelong battle between the two.

Since the fall of Adam and Eve, evil has infested our planet and now many people agree that we are in or near the end times when evil increases (2 Tim 3:1-17). Although Yeshua clearly stated that no one knows the hour of His return except the Father, predictions and rumors (often conflicting) are more rampant than ever. Many of us feel the need to be informed and prepared, and so we should. However, we should not be concerned with the predictions and the rumors, but rather with Scripture. YHVH admonishes us to be ever vigilant (1 Peter 5:8). This verse applies to us and all the generations after Peter regardless of when the end comes. Our focus should be on the spiritual realm, not the physical realm. If we are obeying YHVH’s commands, keeping ourselves focused on Him, and doing the work that Abba has assigned us in the harvest, then we need not live in fear even if the end comes in our lifetime (Luke 12:36-48)

Many of us are racing around to prepare for any type of disaster that may befall us. We are buying up silver and gold, hoarding food and water and other necessities, and watching every move and speech in the political scenario. Why? There is no biblical mandate to do these things. In fact, the Bible clearly tells us that hoarding is wrong (Prov 11:24, Eccl 5:13, Luke 12:34, 1 Tim 6:7). We may justify our actions by saying that when things get bad, we will share with others. Right now, things are really bad for some people, so why not give to them now? Our Father has promised to take care of us and has put it in writing (Matt 6:25-34). Do we really believe what Yeshua tells us? Our actions very clearly reflect what we believe.

It is true that the Israelites left Egypt well-stocked with silver and gold and clothing. This may have been compensation for all the hard work they had done for the Egyptians. It may have been a necessity for buying what they needed from other countries as they passed through. At any rate, the gold became a god for them. If you feel that the Ruach is prompting you to collect silver or gold or to store food, just be very careful that it is the Ruach’s voice you are hearing and not some other voice. And be very careful that your hoard does not become your god.

What about the political scenario? What about human leaders? What does Scripture say about that? Insofar as we are able to without violating YHVH’s laws, we are to obey whoever YIHVH has put in charge (1 Pet 2:130-14, Mark 12:17, Col 3:22-25). When human laws would force us to violate YHVH’s laws and commands, then we must follow YHVH (Acts 5:29).

Over the years, most of us have gotten used to taking charge of ourselves and our situations. In the United States, we live in a culture that values such attitudes. We vote for our leaders and we express our opinions freely. We do what we think is best to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. These are the values of our culture, but are they the actions our Father wants us to learn? The story of the Israelites in Exodus answers our questions graphically. YHVH was teaching the Israelites how to live according to His ways. They were in a wilderness where conditions were tough and sometimes life-threatening. The Israelites had two choices. Either they could go to YHVH with their requests and rely on Him or they could grumble and complain and take matters into their own hands. Read through Exodus carefully and note when YHVH blessed the Israelites for their choices and when He punished them. We, too, are living in a wilderness of some sort especially as evil increases, and we have the same choices.

YHVH is teaching us, as He taught the Israelites, that He is in control. Can we influence His decisions at times? Moses did, but then Moses was close to YHVH because Moses was obedient to YHVH and willing to follow orders, no matter how tough the situation. We may not be leaders of people, but we can be obedient and trusting toward YHVH. We can take our concerns to YHVH and try to persuade Him through our prayers. However, we are not to take matters into our own hands and determine our outcome. This will lead to a disastrous outcome for us as it did for those who worshiped the golden calf.

What is our best course of action in these times? The same course of action that YHVH gave to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. When we meditate and pray through His words, we begin to understand His perspective. If we do not stay focused on His word, we can easily slip into a worldly perspective. The Israelites were sojourners and foreigners in other lands, just as we must be sojourners and foreigners on the earth until Yeshua’s return. We are citizens of the kingdom of YHVH and our King must be our first priority, not the happenings in this foreign land. We are answerable to Him and what a blessing that is, for He is ultimately in control and He is the only one we can truly trust.

Trees of Righteousness

trees of righteousness,

Have you ever wondered how we as humans can be compared to trees? There are a number of places in Scripture where it speaks of people of us as trees (e.g. Ps 1:3, 92:12; Isa 61:3), or our actions as representing the attributes of trees. In Isaiah 61:3, the prophet says that when we are brought back out of grief and mourning into praise and joy, that we resemble trees of righteousness. Psalm 92:2 says that the righteous will flourish like palm trees, and Psalm 1:3 says that when a person delights in YHVH’s Word, then they shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water…and whatever they do will prosper.

In Proverbs 15:4 YHVH says that our tongue is like a tree of life when we speak gentle words to people. Proverbs 3:18 states that when we embrace YHVH’s wisdom in our lives, we are blessed with happiness and YHVH’s wisdom is like a tree of life to us. In Proverbs 11:30, we learn that when we are walking a righteous path of life, the fruit of the Spirit is a “tree of life“, and we exhibit wisdom when we are winning souls into YHVH’s Kingdom.

What is it that is so significant about trees and that we are like them? Botany and anatomy show us that human skeletons are constructed similar to trees, where our backbone is the trunk that holds our bodies upright and allows us to walk and move about without discomfort or pain. Beyond this obvious physical comparison, though, Scripture says that when we are rooted and grounded in YHVH’s Word, we will be like trees planted firmly in the love of Messiah, with the promised blessing that we will “be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph 3:17-19).

How do we become like trees of righteousness? After Adam and Eve [Chavah] were cast out of the Garden for their disobedience, angels were placed all around the Tree of Life so that they could not eat from it. It is no coincidence that Yeshua was crucified on a tree. Through His righteous atonement, He allowed us to be righteous and holy before Abba Father, just as we were told to be like trees of righteousness in Isaiah 61:3. When we believe and accept Yeshua’s precious gift, we become righteous like Him.

Yeshua’s atonement provides our new life in Him: “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose wounds you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). The tree features prominently in the Gospel story, and Yeshua brings righteousness to us through His unswerving obedience to the Father and His willingness to give His life for those who hated and persecuted Him.

When Yeshua spoke to the congregations through John in Revelation 2, He told them that although they had been diligent in doing YHVH’s works, they had lost their first love (Himself). But then He promised that “the one who overcomes I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (Rev 2:7). Since the time of Adam and Chavah, people had been expelled from the Garden and from being able to eat of the Tree of Life, but in the Millennial Kingdom, the paradise of God will be re-established. Those who keep YHVH’s commandments will “have the right to the tree of life..” (Rev 2:14)

There will be a physical Tree of Life in YHVH’s future Kingdom, which will bear different fruit every month, and its leaves will be for the healing of the nations. However, we believe that Yeshua will be the ultimate Tree of Life who will dwell at the center of the true “paradise of God”. He is the Seed, Root, Trunk, Branches, and Fruit that come from heaven. The first Adam (in the Garden of Eden paradise) lost access to God because of his sin, but the last Adam reclaimed our access by means of His obedience, resisting the power of evil even to the point of death upon the tree (Phil 2:8). His resurrection life is the “firstfruits” of all who put their trust in Him; “For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah Yeshua shall all be made alive” (I Cor 15:22). Those who have put their trust in Yeshua and continue to keep His commandments to the end will be made alive in Him and will spend eternity in Paradise with Him. Will you be one of those blessed people?

Authentic Preparation

be anxious for nothing

If you are alive and conscious on this planet, you have to work hard to avoid the glaring headlines that accost us each day.  Wars and rumors of wars, severe weather and other natural disasters, famine, persecution, terrorism, and the list goes on.  For many countries, the danger is not merely headlines, but everyday harsh reality.  How do people stand strong at such times?  Those of us in the United States are challenged to comprehend such evils.  In my own life, I have endured poverty, abuse, injustice and oppression, but my trials were trifling compared to the suffering that many people are enduring today.  Sometimes my trials made me fearful and anxious, but at other times, my character and perseverance were strengthened, especially when I learned to trust Yeshua.

What is going on in the world?  Natural disasters such as floods, landslides, and forest fires, to name a few,  have killed thousands and left countless others homeless.  Economies and governments are faltering and even collapsing.  Terrorists are seeking out and gaining strong footholds in many countries.  Genocide is becoming more rampant as terrorist and extremist groups take control, torturing and murdering countless people as hundreds of thousands flee in desperation.*

What do we do?  How do we prepare ourselves for what may befall us?  Many have taken to storing and hoarding gold, food, weapons.  Others are formulating emergency plans of survival and/or escape.  Escape to where?  What is a safe place?  Will it be safe tomorrow?  No matter how diligent and excellent our planning, how can we possibly be prepared for every possible disaster?  Consider Yeshua‘s parable of the man who built extra buildings to store his excess (Luke 12:13-21).  Yeshua warns us that to build up earthly treasures does not make us rich towards YHVH.  Contrast this with the young fellow who selflessly shared his loaves and fishes.  He was perhaps facing immediate starvation, not some future unforeseen disaster, yet he shared the little he had and was richly rewarded (John 6:1-14).

Our culture values self-sufficiency, so it is not intuitive for us to prepare ourselves as Scripture teaches us.  Yeshua tells us not to be anxious for physical provisions and security (Luke 12:22-32).  We are to build up treasures, but they are spiritual, not physical, treasures.   Also, it is natural in our flesh to fight for protection and survival, but there is a greater survival at stake and we must learn to value it above our fleshly well-being.   Yeshua teaches us that we are not to rely on weapons (Matt 26:51-52).

These are difficult lessons that take much prayer and effort.  Peter and I have struggled over the years and continue to struggle to take on the mind of Yeshua and not allow our flesh to dictate our attitudes and actions.   We are learning to let go of our earthly treasures, for they are not our security.  YHVH is our provider (Ps 104:27-28).  We are realizing that our true battles are not physical, but spiritual (Eph 6:12) and that YHVH is our only true refuge (Ps 46-:1-3).   Our severest trials are ahead of us.  Yet, we are discovering that if we can be faithful in little matters or trials, we will be more fully prepared as the severity of our trials increases (Luke 16:10).

All of us face trials of some sort at the present.  How are we reacting?  Are we fearful and anxious, perhaps indulging in self-pity?  Or are we learning to let go and trust our Father?  How are we preparing ourselves for the severe trials that seem inevitable?  Are we strengthening our relationship with our Father and Yeshua?  Are we yielding ourselves ever more to the gifts and empowerment of the Holy Spirit?  We have plenty of opportunities to practice as we support our brothers and sisters who are currently facing severe trials.  We can begin to share not only our surplus, but even our loaves and fishes.  When others treat us hatefully, we can respond with love.  We can stop accusing errant leaders and pray for them instead.  When the severe trials come, then we will not falter or collapse, but we will be strong and able to continue the work our Master has assigned to us, even to the end (Luke 12:35-40).

*A  list of the top 50 countries that are under severe trial can be found at https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/.  Please pray for them.

When Will Yeshua Return?

blessed is He who comesAmid endless speculation and discussion concerning end times events, and especially the timing of Messiah Yeshua’s return, one important factor is often overlooked. Both the Old and New Testaments agree that one thing must happen before Yeshua will return (Matt 23:39). The Jews as a group must invite Yeshua to return.

At Yeshua’s first coming, He announced that He was the long-awaited Messiah and performed signs and wonders that only Messiah would be able to perform. However, many of the Jewish leaders were threatened by Messiah’s coming. Yeshua criticized their practices and leadership. They did not humble themselves and submit to Messiah’s kingship, but rejected Yeshua and many Jews followed the guidance of their leaders and rejected Him as well.

 Yeshua warned them that He would not return to them until they proclaimed, “Blessed is He that comes in the name of YHVH.” In 70 AD the Temple was destroyed as and the Jews were killed or driven from Israel. Although, there has always been a small remnant of Jews who remained in the land, the Jewish people would not again reside in the land as a nation until 1948.

 It is now over 70 years since Israel was declared a nation once again. So, why hasn’t the nation of Israel made the statement necessary to usher in Messiah Yeshua’s return? What are the obstacles to Israel welcoming Yeshua as Messiah? The list below provides some insight:

  • Persecution of Jews at the hand of Christians in the name of Jesus for 2000 years
  • Reading the New Testament is forbidden or discouraged for many Jews since it is viewed not only as heresy, but is perceived as a hate document due to the aforementioned persecution
  • Key passages of Old Testament Scripture pointing to Yeshua are forbidden reading or are not included in the Parasha series in most Jewish congregations.
  • False teaching and tradition regarding Yeshua from both Jewish and Christian leaders
  • Fear of the loss of identity as Jews due to false Christian teaching (having to relinquish worship, feasts, Sabbaths, etc. and adopting practices that are not only foreign, but are even expressly forbidden by YHVH
  • Speaking the name of YHVH. Current common practice is that the name of YHVH is too sacred to be written or pronounced aloud, rendering it impossible to welcome the One Who comes in the name of YHVH.
  • Misunderstanding of the tri-une God and thus rejection of Yeshua as the Son of YHVH or as equal to YHVH because YHVH is one (echad). Actually, echad not only designates the number one in Hebrew, but can also designate unity, such as a husband and wife who are one (echad).

 Both Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Messiah Yeshua who yearn for Yeshua’s return can play a vital and active role in addressing and removing these obstacles. How can we make a difference?

 First, pray for the salvation of Israel and for the Jewish people still scattered throughout the world (Gen 12:2-3).

 Second, educate yourself and seek the truth concerning the history and development of Christianity, the various forms of persecution of the Jews by Christians over the past two thousand years, the reasons for avoiding the name of YHVH, and so on. Seek to understand the misconceptions of the Jewish people as well as your own misconceptions. Some suggested resources are listed at the end of this article (Hosea 4:6).

Third, reach out to the Jewish people with love and understanding. Seek forgiveness and reconciliation where needed (Ps. 133:1).

 YHVH has always known that the enemy would go all out to bring about the rejection of Messiah Yeshua and to try to prevent Yeshua’s return in glory. YHVH is well aware that the enemy would succeed in deceiving humans into cooperating with him. However, YHVH has graciously provided opportunities to each of us to shake off the lies, embrace the truth and reverse the present course

 YHVH carries out His plan through us even when our own efforts are misguided. This is clearly demonstrated in the gospel accounts of Yeshua’s entry into Jerusalem on a donkey just days before His crucifixion. The people were lined up with palm branches silently awaiting the arrival of the high priest’s spotless Passover lamb. His followers recognized the true spotless Lamb (Yeshua) and began to hail Him. The others, thinking that the high priest’s lamb had been spotted, joined in the chorus, not realizing that they were “accidentally” hailing the ultimate High Priest and Lamb.

 YHVH will see to it that the Jewish people recognize their Messiah. Yeshua will return to Jerusalem to begin His reign on earth. We can have the privilege of helping in YHVH’s plan by doing our part to bring about this glorious event.

Suggested Resources

Our Hands Are Stained with Blood by Michael L. Brown

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus by Michael L. Brown (3 volumes)

Introducing Your Jewish Friend to Yeshua by Daniel Nessim and Mark Surey

The Messianic Church Arising!:Restoring the Church to Our Covenant Roots by Robert D. Heidler and Chuck D. Pierce

Restoring The Jewishness of the Gospel:  A Message for Christians Condensed from Messianic Judaism by David H. Stern

Messiah in the Feasts of Israel by Sam Nadler