Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, December 26, 2019 

Shalom *|FNAME|*, 

Wednesday night (when this RR is published) will be the 4th light of Chanukah.  Thursday night, then, will be the 5th light.  (For those of you lighting up.)

We love to quote this verse (part of the Sermon on the Mount) at this time of year.  Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  After all, this is the Feast of Dedication (Chanukah means “dedication”), also known as the festival of lights.

The following verse in Matthew 5 is important to Messianic Jews… Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.  What does “fulfill” mean?  It does not mean (as is usually taught in churches) that Yeshua fulfilled the Law so I don’t have to).  

It means to fill all the way up so that it is full.  Isaiah 42:21 seems connected.  Isaiah 42:21 Adonai was pleased, for the sake of His righteousness, to make Torah great and glorious.  Making the Torah “great and glorious” does not sound like it is done away with.  It sound like Yeshua is making the Torah even more valuable.

What follows in Yeshua’s teaching from the Mount of Beatitudes (which is the opposite of “don’t be attitudes”) is a further explanation of the consequences of keeping, teaching and, in all likelihood, breaking God’s righteous principles.  

Matthew 5:18 Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.  (Rabbi’s note: all things have not yet, even to this day, come to pass.) 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and Torah scholars, you shall never enter the kingdom of heaven!

The rabbis know that the standard for living a sin-free life is impossible to attain.  But we have a problem.  Our repentance is seen by God for what it is… Isaiah 64:4(5) You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways. Behold, You were angry. When we keep sinning all the time, would we be saved? 5(6) For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteousness is like a filthy garment, and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away, like the wind.

We can repent, but not in the flesh, only in the spirit by the blood of the Savior.  The flesh that caused the problem can not fix the problem because it is the problem.  (Who ever heard of fixing a problem with more of the problem?)  Foundationally, this is unsound reasoning.  

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now I say this, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and what decays cannot inherit what does not decay.

We we turn (repent) to God… Acts 3:19 Repent, therefore, and return—so your sins might be blotted out, 20 so times of relief might come from the presence of Adonai and He might send Yeshua, the Messiah appointed for you.

Please join me in this… 

Week 52
Memory Verse:  Revelation 21:3 I also heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is among men, and He shall tabernacle among them. They shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them and be their God. 4 He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. Nor shall there be mourning or crying or pain any longer, for the former things have passed away.”

256   12/23    Monday:        Revelation 2 

257   12/24    Tuesday:       Revelation 3

258   12/25    Wednesday:  Revelation 19:6-20

* 259 12/26    Thursday:      Revelation 21

260   12/27    Friday:           Revelation 22

Question of the day:  Who is the Bride of Messiah?

Answer:  I get this question a lot.  The answer is mentioned in today’s reading of Revelation 21.  

Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city—the New Jerusalem—coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

There you have it; New Jerusalem is the bride.  New Jerusalem is called “the holy city” here.  But New Jerusalem is not buildings and real estate.  The citizens of New Jerusalem don’t just dwell there.  They are the city.  And we who follow Messiah are them.  This city is described more fully in the rest of Revelation 21 (go ahead and read that), but to get more, we have to go back to Revelation 19.

Revelation 19:6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude—like the roar of rushing waters or like the rumbling of powerful thunder—saying, “Halleluyah! For Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot reigns! 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready,

Who is this “great multitude?”  Revelation 19:9 Then the angel tells me, “Write: How fortunate are those who have been invited to the wedding banquet of the Lamb!”  The central part of every wedding is communion.  No wonder there is such an emphasis on communion within our Shomair family.  It is the highest form of spiritual warfare available to us.  When we celebrate communion, we are answering Yeshua’s John 17 prayer to be one with Him and with each other.

Those who take part in the first resurrection are the bride of Messiah.  Revelation 20:6 How fortunate and holy is the one who has a share in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no authority, but they shall be kohanim of God and the Messiah, and they shall reign with Him for a thousand years.

Please don’t consider what I wrote to be the authoritative last word on this subject.  All I’m doing here is providing food for thought.  If you want to know more, study harder.  Whether we are the Bride or the friend of the Bride, we have plenty of reason to rejoice.