Archive For The “Special Articles” Category

Light Dawns in the Temple at Chanukkah

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The traditional story of Chanukkah (Feast of Dedication) comes from First and Second Maccabees—part of the Jewish apocryphal books. The day for its observance, Kislev 25 (ninth month), was likely chosen based on temple prophecies in the book of Haggai. Haggai, the prophet, exhorted the Jews living in Israel to begin rebuilding the Holy Temple after neglecting to do so for years. Up to that time, they had only focused on taking care of their own houses.   Now set your heart (to consider), from this day and forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth (month), from the day the foundation of the Holy Place was laid; set your…

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Understanding Temple Idioms: Threshing Floor

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Understanding Temple Idioms: Threshing Floor

Gathering the Nations Magazine – Click on the PDF to view full screen and ESC to close full screen (older versions of safari may not be able to view this PDF)

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Purim, Ancient Persia & the US

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Many people remain puzzled over Obama’s current love affair with Iran and his contempt for Israel. In the natural realm this makes no sense but in the spiritual realm perhaps the real truth lies hidden in the story of Esther. The book of Esther brings to light the spiritual consequences of life in exile for the Jews who failed to return to the land of Israel to rebuild God’s House, the Holy Temple. That choice reflected their refusal to acknowledge God’s sovereign authority in favor of paying homage to the kings of Persia? If God’s name is hidden in the book of Esther, could this mean God’s hand of protection…

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Chanukah and the Tabernacle

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Chanukah, the Feast of Dedication, is familiar to many of us and is based on a story from the book of Macabbees.   Some believe the Macabbees based the date for Chanukah, Kislev 25, on actual events.  However, it is more likely they chose the date based on the prophecies of Haggai, who identified Kislev 25 as the time of the completion for the construction and dedication of the Temple.  Of course today’s celebration includes lighting the Chanukah candles and reminds us of the priests lighting the menorah in the Temple.  Even more significant are Haggai’s prophecies that connect to Numbers chapter seven.  This chapter outlines the dedication of the altar…

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Giving Thanks!

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Thanksgiving is a special time for most Americans.  My family enjoys this unique celebration because we love to take time to recognize God’s bounty in our lives, and to reflect on the price paid by our spiritual forefathers to see those blessings poured out on our nation.  One Psalm, that perfectly reflects our desire to honor the provisions we have received from the hand of the Father, is Psalm 136.  It speaks of the direct intervention by the Lord himself to give us our daily sustenance and ties that sustenance to the rule of God.  We might also recall the Lord’s prayer in which Yeshua reminds us to pray, “Give…

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My Joy is Complete

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Have you ever wondered what Yeshua meant by, “my joy is complete”?  This phrase is used in the book of John in connection to a marriage. “The bridegroom is the one who has the bride; but the bridegroom’s friend who stands and listens to him is overjoyed at the sound of the bridegroom’s voice.  So this joy of mine is complete.”                                                 John 3:27 There is an obvious relationship between joy and the consummation of the marriage.  Joy is complete when the marriage is complete and the friend of the bridegroom is overjoyed at the sound of the groom’s voice, which confirms there is a marriage in Israel.  We will…

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The “Aleinu”

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The Special Prayer called “Aleinu”.   There is a special prayer in the Siddur called the “Aleinu” which means, “it is our duty”.  It is actually one of the very oldest prayers and is found at the conclusion of every prayer service.  Early sources say the “Aleinu”, as a dedication of faith, was actually composed by Joshua after he led Israel across the Jordan into the Promised Land.  Eventually the prayer became part of the daily service.  It was said, that this prayer pointed to the Oneness of God and His kingship, and expressed the belief that all humanity would accept Him as the only God. The “Aleinu” contains excerpts…

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The Heart of the Matter

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The Bible is clear, “Whoever says “fool” incurs the penalty of burning in the fire of Gei Hinnom.” Why such strong words about the fool and what does this really mean? In our culture a fool simply connotes someone who acts unwisely or is silly. But, what was the ancient view of the “fool”? The rich imagery and symbolism in the story of Abigail and Nabal in First Samuel 25 might help explain the real meaning behind the Biblical view of the fool. This particular story is filled with a variety of images and patterns related to the redemption. First, the heart of Nabal relates to the stages of redemption…

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The Voice of the Holy Spirit

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There is nothing like the voice of a mother calling for her children to come home.  A child can always hear her voice no matter the circumstance.  That is because her voice is unique, distinct and imprinted on the soul of every child.  In Judaism the Holy Spirit is that voice, equated with the Shekinah, and the mother aspect of God.  Scholars are recognizing more and more the Holy Spirit as the “female vehicle” for the outpouring of higher teaching and spiritual rebirth.  We recognize the Holy Spirit as the power of God manifested in the world. All the matriarchs represent the voice of God or the Holy Spirit in…

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Israel as the Fish

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The conventional understanding of “fish” in John 21:1-14 views this symbol as representing the redemptive salvation of the Christian Church.  A review of the literature of the last thirty-five years finds this conclusion is often based on a tendency to interpret the NT from the NT.  However, a review of the literature also offers periodic glimpses of veiled meaning from the Hebrew Scriptures (HS).  For example, Edersheim suggests the fish symbolize the great harvest of souls at the end of days, and Trudinger explores, through the Hebrew system of gematria, the meaning of the number 153, which were the number of fish caught in the net.[1]  This paper continues an…

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