Sunday, September 16, 2018

Shabbat Service 9-15-2018

Join us each Shabbat at 10:00 am Pacific time for our weekly service. Watch our midweek video teaching on Wednesday nights, download the discussion questions from our midweek teaching (available from our website at and be ready to join in the discussion on Shabbat. We live stream our service on the home page of our website, and on our Moed Ministries International Facebook page.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Cup of Suffering

Moed Ministries International

The video version of this teaching is available at:

The scripture reading for this teaching is Matthew 26:36-46

Yeshua had spent a busy and probably stressful time in the week leading up to the His final Passover observance. As He began the journey from Jericho up to Jerusalem, He knew what awaited Him there. He tried to prepare His disciples by taking them aside and telling them what was about to happen.
Matthew 20:17-19 NKJV 17 Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, 18 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, 19 "and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again."
Now that His Passover celebration with His disciples has been concluded, Yeshua is confronted with the reality of His betrayal, torture and death. What exactly is He accepting as He submits Himself to the Father? What does it mean for Israel and for those of us who believe in Him as the Messiah sent by God?
After celebrating a Passover Seder with His disciples, Yeshua went out to the Mt. of Olives with the remaining eleven disciples. Luke records that they went to the place where they had gone many times before.
Luke 22:39-40 NKJV 39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation."
John describes the place as being in an enclosed garden of some type.
John 18:1 NKJV 1 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered.
The phrase “the place” is a reminder of another place referred to as just “the place.” That place is the place that God led Abraham for the purpose of offering up his son Isaac. From that place Abraham looked behind him to the place where a ram was caught in the thicket by its horns.
Genesis 22:13 NKJV 13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
If Abraham’s offering of Isaac took place on the future site of the temple as we believe, then looking behind him would be to look at the Mt. of Olives. Perhaps the place Yeshua took His disciples was the place where Abraham saw the ram caught in the thicket. Also, if the Romans followed their usual practice of putting a prisoner to death at the place of his arrest, this place would also be the place of the crucifixion.
The events at this place on the Mt. of Olives follow two threads—Yeshua’s prayers at this place and the inability of the disciples to stay awake and keep watch.
Yeshua’s heart is deeply troubled and in pain. He knows what awaits Him and the weight of it was heavy on His soul.
Matthew 26:37-38 NKJV 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me."
Yeshua took Peter, James, and John with Him and went a short distance away from the other disciples. Then He instructed the three disciples to watch with Him until the hour of His betrayal. These are the same three disciples that Yeshua took with Him to witness His transfiguration. Now, Yeshua wants those who witnessed His glory to be with Him to witness the agony that awaited Him. Yeshua went a little further where He began to pray and pour out His pain and sorrow to His Father. He fell on His face and cried out.
Matthew 26:39 NKJV 39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."
Matthew records that Yeshua prayed this prayer three separate times. Each time after praying He returned to the place He had left His disciples to find them asleep. This would indicate that each time He prayed, He spent some time pouring out His agony and receiving comfort from the Father.
We can imagine Abraham, also being in agony of spirit, as he traveled for three days to the place where God showed Him to offer up Isaac. Perhaps He asked God each day if it was necessary for Him to offer up Isaac, the Son of Promise. On the third day of the journey, Isaac had asked about the absence of the ram for the sacrifice.
Genesis 22:7-8 NKJV 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" 8 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together.
Abraham and Isaac went together to the place and Isaac willingly submitted Himself to be offered up to God. Just as Abraham lifted the knife to slay Isaac in prefect submission to God, an angel spoke and stayed Abraham’s hand.
Genesis 22:10-12 NKJV 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." 12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."
An angel also appeared to Yeshua. After the third time that Yeshua cried out to God asking that the cup be removed from Him but never the less submitting Himself to God’s will, the angel appeared, not to provide a substitute, but to give Him strength to do what He needed to do.
Luke 22:42-43 NKJV 42 saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
What exactly was this cup that Yeshua submitted Himself to the Father to drink? Let’s look at the metaphor of drinking from a cup. At the simplest level, it is what the future holds. Yeshua would be betrayed and die on the cross. At a deeper level, the cup holds reward or judgment specifically from God. The Psalmist writes about the cup the wicked will receive.
Psalms 11:6 NKJV 6 Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup.
The Psalmist also describes the cup of the righteous.
Psalms 16:5-6 NKJV 5 O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. 6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.
The cup can also be a source of nourishment. The good shepherd prepares a table and full cup for his sheep.
Psalms 23:5 NKJV 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Similarly, the cup can be a cup of poison that leads to death.
Jeremiah 51:7 NKJV 7 Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, That made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; Therefore the nations are deranged.
John refers to this golden cup of Babylon and describes its contents.
Revelation 17:4 NKJV 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.
The results of drinking from a cup depend on what is in the cup. Is the cup filled with nourishment that leads to life or poison that leads to death? Is the cup filled with punishment or reward? What is the future that unfolds when one drinks from a particular cup? What is in the cup that Yeshua drank from?
The author of Hebrews sheds light on Yeshua’s cup. The context of this passage we will examine is that of Yeshua being chosen of God as His Son to be the High Priest forever.
Hebrews 5:5-6 NKJV 5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You." 6 As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek";
Yeshua did not glorify Himself; it was God who glorified Him. The glorification of the Son was realized as soon as Judas Iscariot left the Passover Seder to betray Yeshua.
John 13:31 NKJV 31 So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him.
The passage in Hebrews continues telling us that Yeshua’s prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane were heard and answered. Continuing with Hebrews 5:7:
Hebrews 5:7 NKJV 7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,
God did hear and answer Yeshua’s prayers as He prayed repeatedly and fervently that He would not have to drink from the cup prepared for Him. Although God heard His prayer, it was necessary that Yeshua drink the cup. Continuing with Hebrews 5:8-10:.
Hebrews 5:8-10 NKJV 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek,"
Yeshua learned or fully understood what obedience to God entailed. Then we read something we don’t expect; we read that Yeshua was perfected through obedience. Wasn’t Yeshua already perfect? The Greek word translated as “having been perfected” is tel-i-oo, #5048 in Strong’s Concordance meaning, in the tense used here, as being completed, perfected, finished or fulfilled. Through the perfection, completion, or fulfillment of Yeshua’s obedience, He became the High Priest who is the author of eternal salvation!
It was in His role of both sin offering and High Priest that Yeshua drank the cup! The role of the high priest is to bring the blood of the sin offering before God making atonement for the children of Israel.
Hebrews 9:11-12 NKJV 11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
The sin offering brought before the LORD had all the sins of the children of Israel laid upon its head. Isaiah describes the punishment or wrath that fell upon Jerusalem as a result of her sins.
Isaiah 51:17 NKJV 17 Awake, awake! Stand up, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk at the hand of the LORD The cup of His fury; You have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling, And drained it out.
This same cup of God’s fury would in turn be poured out on the nations.
Isaiah 51:22-23 NKJV 22 Thus says your Lord, The LORD and your God, Who pleads the cause of His people: "See, I have taken out of your hand The cup of trembling, The dregs of the cup of My fury; You shall no longer drink it. 23 But I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, Who have said to you, 'Lie down, that we may walk over you.' And you have laid your body like the ground, And as the street, for those who walk over."
The Psalmist also describes this cup that all the wicked of the earth shall drink.
Psalms 75:8 NKJV 8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, And the wine is red; It is fully mixed, and He pours it out; Surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth Drain and drink down.
Yeshua drank the cup of the wrath of God that was poured out on all the nations! As the sin offering for all who would believe, the fury God has towards us for our sins and disobedience fell on Yeshua. This is the cup from which He drank and learned obedience. As Paul says in his letter to the Philippians “obedience even unto death.” By this obedience He became the author of eternal salvation to all who in turn obey Him!
During the time that Yeshua prayed in the garden, He instructed Peter, James and John to stay with Him and watch with Him, but they fell asleep. Little did they realize that they would soon be facing the greatest trial of their lives so far. When Yeshua returned and found them sleeping, He rebuked Peter specifically and addressed them all.
Mark 14:37-38 NKJV 37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
During the Seder meal, Peter stated emphatically that He would never stumble.
Matthew 26:33-34 NKJV 33 Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble." 34 Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."
James and John were the two disciples that asked to be seated at the right and left hand of Yeshua when He established His kingdom. They stated categorically that they could drink from the same cup that Yeshua did.
Matthew 20:22 NKJV 22 But Jesus answered and said, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They said to Him, "We are able."
While Peter, James and John should have been praying and preparing for the trials ahead; the trials that Yeshua warned them about just hours before, they had all fallen asleep. Yeshua especially warned Peter to pray that he wouldn’t fall into temptation. Yet Mark records that all the disciples fled when Yeshua was arrested.
Mark 14:50 NKJV 50 Then they all forsook Him and fled.
Even though Yeshua had told them what was coming before they even arrived at Jerusalem, the disciples were taken by surprise by Yeshua’s arrest and eventual crucifixion on the cross. They couldn’t process what was happening. Peter denied Yeshua three times before the sun could rise. John stood with Yeshua’s mother at the foot of the cross without saying a word. The women who traveled with them focused on the here and now; how to anoint Yeshua’s body and make sure they followed all the burial customs.  But Yeshua had prayed for His followers.
John 17:6-9 NKJV 6 "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 "Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 "For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 9 "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.
The disciples believed that Yeshua was sent by God and after His resurrection, they began to understand why it was necessary for Messiah to die and be resurrected. Peter would later write about what Yeshua’s obedience in drinking the cup of suffering has accomplished for those who believe in Yeshua.
1 Peter 3:18 NKJV 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
Peter explained about the cup of suffering that believers will experience as well as the cup of joy that is waiting for us.
1 Peter 1:6-9 NKJV 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
James would be the first apostle to die for his faith in Yeshua. Peter and Andrew were both crucified. Tradition tells us that eight of the eleven original apostles died a martyrs death.[i] They tasted the cup of suffering for belief in Messiah Yeshua. Paul explains that all the sufferings we endure is worth it all.
2 Corinthians 1:5-7 NKJV 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.
Yeshua willingly submitted to the Father drinking the cup of wrath that God poured out on all the disobedient. He did this willingly so that all of us who accept His sacrifice and punishment in our place, can receive the gift of eternal life. God loved us so much, that He chose to give us the gift of His Son to provide the way for us to have life and fellowship with the Father.
Study Questions:
1. The angel that came to Yeshua strengthened Him (Luke 22:43). The angel Gabriel, whose name means God is my strength, may have been the angel that came to Yeshua. Where else does the angel Gabriel appear?

2. Yeshua prayed fervently and with persistence. How does this follow the pattern that He instructed His disciples to follow? 

3. Matthew 20:23: Yeshua tells John and James that they would drink from the same cup He drank from. In what way did they drink from the same cup? How could this apply to believers then and now?

4. John describes the place that Yeshua and His disciples went to on the Mt. of Olives as a garden. What other events associated with Yeshua’s death and resurrection occurred in a garden or were associated with a garden?

5. Yeshua spent a lot of time on the Mt. of Olives. What are some of those situations? What other events in the Bible occurred or will occur on the Mt. of Olives?

© 2018 Moed Ministries International.  All rights reserved.


Monday, September 10, 2018

The Shout of God: A Yom Teruah Teaching

God commanded the children of Israel to celebrate a feast on the first day of the seventh month, the month of Tishrei.

Leviticus 23:24 NKJV 24 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: '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.

The celebration was to be observed as a Sabbath, all ordinary work was to be set aside to focus on God’s instructions and purpose for the day. They were to gather together to remember. Our English translation says to remember by blowing trumpets. But the Hebrew communicates something a little bit different. Let’s start with the word blowing. The Hebrew for this word is “teruah.” Teruah, #8643, means a clamor of sound. It comes from the root word “rua,” #7321 which means to mar by splitting the ears with sound such as with a shout or blowing a trumpet. The Hebrew word for wind or spirit also comes from this same root word. So, a teruah is a splitting the ears with a loud shout or blowing of a trumpet.

Now, we come to the word trumpet in Leviticus 23:24. It actually isn’t in the Hebrew text at all. It is placed there to indicate that some instrument is blown as a memorial. On the surface, this day could be a memorial marked by making a loud noise of any kind. However, when we examine the scriptures, the word teruah is always translated as shouting, alarm, or blowing. Of course when teruah is translated as blowing, something must be blown that makes a loud sound; that instrument could be any type of trumpet like instrument. Why, then, do we blow the shofar and not other trumpets on Yom Teruah?

To answer this, we look at the reason for this feast day. It is to be a day of remembrance marked by a loud shout or blowing of a trumpet. This commandment was given to Israel as they were getting ready to leave Mt. Sinai after spending nearly a year at the foot of the mountain. As they left, they would be remembering the events from the previous year. They left slavery behind in Egypt and embarked on a new life. When they arrived at Mt. Sinai, they were met there by God! Within a few days of their arrival, God descended on the mountain amidst fire and smoke and rumbling of the earth. When He spoke, His words sounded louder and louder like a great blast or a shofar, or ram’s horn.

Exodus 19:16 NKJV 16 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.

Notice that everything came from the mountain and was observed from the camp. Even the sound of the trumpet came from the mountain. The word translated as trumpet is shofar which is a horn made from a ram’s horn not crafted from silver or other metal. This is the specific even they were to remember. They were to remember the great trumpet sound of God voice as He spoke the words of the Covenant from Mt. Sinai. They were to remember that they responded that they would do all that the LORD commanded. They were now God’s people, no longer under slavery to Egypt, but free to serve and worship God!

Isaiah tells us that the second Exodus will be at the blowing of the shofar!

Isaiah 27:12-13 NKJV 12 And it shall come to pass in that day That the LORD will thresh, From the channel of the River to the Brook of Egypt; And you will be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel. 13 So it shall be in that day: The great trumpet will be blown; They will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria, And they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt, And shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

As God continued with His instructions to the children of Israel about celebrations they were to hold, God included another one that involved blowing the shofar. They were to blow the shofar every fifty years on the day of Jubilee.

Leviticus 25:9 NKJV 9 'Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.

The literal translation is “You shall cause the shophar of teruah to cross…. You shall cause the shofar to cross throughout all your land.”

The “shofar of teruah” or shout of the shofar sounds freedom to all the slaves, debtors, and prisoners. Paul tells us that at the sound of the great trumpet, God will descend as He descended at Mt. Sinai and take His people for His own.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NKJV 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

As the children of Israel were getting ready to leave Mt. Sinai, God instructed them to use various sounds of the trumpets to signal gathering, marching out and going to battle. With a camp of over two million, a loud signal would be needed to quickly get everyone moving with order instead of as an unorganized mob. The signals were to be given with the sounding of the silver trumpets, not the shofar. However, two of the signals were called a “teruah” or a shout. The first of these signals was the sound to move out of the camp. Young’s literal translation renders the word “teruah” as the word “shout.”

Numbers 10:5-6 YLT 5 `And ye have blown--a shout, and the camps which are encamping eastward have journeyed. 6 `And ye have blown--a second shout, and the camps which are encamping southward have journeyed; a shout they blow for their journeys.

The second of these signals is the warning of the coming of an enemy or a battle.

Numbers 10:9 YLT 9 `And when ye go into battle in your land against the adversary who is distressing you, then ye have shouted with the trumpets, and ye have been remembered before Jehovah your God, and ye have been saved from your enemies.

Joel tells us that a great shofar of God will sound at the time of the great battles that mark the day of the LORD.

Joel 2:1 NKJV 1 Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand:

When the children of Israel were camped on the Plains of Moab poised to go into the Promised Land, Balak the king of Moab sent to Balaam to curse the children of Israel. God took over his voice and Balaam was only able to bless Israel. As Balaam looked down at the camp of Israel, he prophesied about the coming of a king.

Numbers 23:21-22 NKJV 21 "He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. The LORD his God is with him, And the shout of a King is among them. 22 God brings them out of Egypt; He has strength like a wild ox.

Yes, the word “shout” is teruah! The shout of God will mark the coming of Yeshua and the gathering of His people.

Matthew 24:30-31 NKJV 30 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

As the children of Israel went into the Promised Land, they were commanded to blow the shofar and to shout to bring down the walls of Jericho.

Joshua 6:3-5 MKJV 3 And you shall go around the city, all the men of war. Go around the city once. So you shall do for six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of ram's horns in front of the ark. And the seventh day you shall go around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. 5 And it shall be when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout. And the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall go up, each man straight before him.

The army of Israel did not do anything to breach the walls of Jericho. The entire victory over Jericho was due strictly to God’s intervention; God gave them the victory.

Joshua 6:16 NKJV 16 And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: "Shout, for the LORD has given you the city!

Finally, in the establishment of Israel, there was one final event marked by blowing the shofar. When David brought the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem, it was to the sound of the shofar and the shouts of the people.

1 Chronicles 15:28 NKJV 28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn, with trumpets and with cymbals, making music with stringed instruments and harps.

The Psalmist tells us that God goes up with the shout and the sound of the shofar. He is the one who brings the victory! He is the great and only God and King!

Psalms 47:1-9 NKJV 1 <> Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! 2 For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth. 3 He will subdue the peoples under us, And the nations under our feet. 4 He will choose our inheritance for us, The excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah 5 God has gone up with a shout, The LORD with the sound of a trumpet. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 7 For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding. 8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne. 9 The princes of the people have gathered together, The people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted.

Yeshua’s reign on Earth will begin at the sound of the seventh trumpet.

Revelation 11:15-19 NKJV 15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. 18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth." 19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

In the words of the Psalmist, blessed are those who hear the teruah!

Psalms 89:15 MKJV 15 Blessed is the people that knows the joyful sound; they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of Your face.

Blessed are those who heard the shout of God at Mt. Sinai as God took the children of Israel as His people. Blessed are those who will hear the shout of God as Yeshua returns for His people and to establish God’s kingdom on Earth.

(c) 2018 Moed Ministries International. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Shabbat Service 9-8-2018

Join us each Shabbat at 10:00 am Pacific time for our weekly service. Watch our midweek video teaching on Wednesday nights, download the discussion questions from our midweek teaching (available from our website at and be ready to join in the discussion on Shabbat. We live stream our service on the home page of our website, and on our Moed Ministries International Facebook page.


Erev Shabbat Study - 9-7-2018

Part 1 of our study "The Stone the Builders Rejected."


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Where I am Going - Yeshua's Last Teaching

By Dan & Brenda Cathcart
The video version of this teaching is available at:
The scripture reading for this teaching is: John 14:1-17, 15:1-8
Yeshua and His disciples gathered in a private room and celebrated the Passover together with a traditional Seder meal.  As they proceeded through the Seder, Judas Iscariot made the fateful decision to betray Yeshua and arranged for Him to be handed over to the corrupt High Priest who was looking for an opportunity to arrest and kill Yeshua in secret.
It was just six months earlier that Yeshua made the unprecedented statement that He would soon be leaving them.  While speaking to the gathered crowds in the outer courts of the Temple during the feast of Sukkot, the leaders and the Chief Priests attempted to take Yeshua away.
John 7:32-34 NKJV 32 The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him. 33 Then Jesus said to them, "I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 "You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come."
At the time, the disciples did not understand Yeshua’s statement about His going away.  Now, here at their last night together, still not completely understanding, Yeshua gave them their final instructions. His mission was nearly complete, and His disciples were as ready as they would ever be to take up the gospel message of repentance and the kingdom of God!

The Master Yeshua’s words about departing from them and going where they could not follow, frightened and disturbed the Disciples.  After all, they had made the commitment to drop everything and follow Him!  For the last three years they had left everything behind; their livelihood and their families.  If they could not now follow their Master, what would they do and where would they go?
Yeshua’s long dissertation is recorded in somewhat disjointed detail in John’s gospel chapters 13 through 17.  Yeshua’s last journey would be one to the cross of crucifixion.  The disciples did not comprehend this end for their Master!  The disciples following Him immediately was not in keeping with the Master’s plan for them.
All this teaching takes place following the defection of Judas Iscariot and before the remaining eleven disciples and Yeshua retreat to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray later that evening. Yeshua understood their fears about His impending departure and opens his teaching with words of encouragement.
John 14:1-4 NKJV 1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 "And where I go you know, and the way you know."
These words of encouragement acknowledge their belief in God and their belief in Yeshua as the promised Messiah and perhaps brings to mind a passage in Exodus where the people also believe in the one God sent to redeem them from slavery.
Exodus 14:31 NKJV 31 Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.
The Children of Israel proved their faith in God by believing and following the one God sent, Moses.  Yeshua, being a prophet like Moses, points the way to the Father.  Belief in Yeshua is belief in the Father.  Yeshua pointed it out earlier in John 12:44-45
John 12:44-45 NKJV 44 Then Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 "And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.
Yeshua restates this again on this last night with His closest disciples.  Philip asks Yeshua to show him the Father.
John 14:8-9 NKJV 8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
Yeshua encourages them by explaining that He is going to prepare a place for them as we read in verses 2 and 3 of John chapter 14.  The Biblical Hebraic concept is that this is a dwelling place, specifically a “Beit Av”, which means “house of the Father.”
Unlike in our modern society and culture, especially here in the United States, families in Yeshua’s day and culture did not separate to entirely separate households.  In Yeshua’s day, and in much of the near Eastern cultures even to this day, sons usually did not leave their homes when they took a bride.  They built additions onto their father’s house as they began a new life with their bride.  When Yeshua spoke of mansions in His Father’s house, he invoked this image of building an addition to His father’s house specifically for them as would a son for his bride.
The popular Christian interpretation of these “mansions” is that of heavenly dwelling places for the faithful disciples who depart this life.  This theology is derived directly from the apocryphal book of Enoch which speaks of a heavenly dwelling place for the righteous.
Enoch 39:3-4 And in those days a whirlwind carried me off from the earth and set me down at the end of the heavens. And there I saw another vision, the dwelling places of the holy, and the resting places of the righteous. Here mine eyes saw their dwellings and His righteous angels, and their resting places with the holy.
But there is another aspect of this dwelling place contained in Yeshua’s words to His disciples when He says in verse 3 that when He returns, He will come and retrieve us.  This is a direct allusion to His physical return to the earth and the establishment of His kingdom in Jerusalem!  When He returns, He will have prepared a place for us in His earthly kingdom in the Messianic age!  That place prepared will be here on earth!
Yeshua then told them that they would do greater things than He had done since the beginning of His ministry.
John 14:12-14 NKJV 12 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
Yeshua was preparing His disciples to carryout and continue His work as His agents here on earth.  He had accomplished many signs and wonders throughout His ministry.  Now that He was returning to the Father, He could now multiply His work through the disciples.  He would no longer be limited to one man in one place at one time.  His disciples would soon be given the same authority and power that He had received from the Father.  In this way, Yeshua was preparing a place, the kingdom of God on earth, for them to dwell with Him.
Yeshua told the disciples to pray to the Father and ask in His name.  In Judaism, to pray in the name of someone is to invoke the merit and virtue of that righteous person.  In Chasidic circles to this day, prayers are often said in the name of their righteous Rabbi.  We see a Biblical example of this with Eliezer, the servant of Abraham.
Genesis 24:12 NKJV 12 Then he said, "O LORD God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
Moses also prayed in the name of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and even modern-day Jewish prayers often invoke the names of the patriarchs.
The sages of old transmitted the teachings of the Torah in the name of previous sages, that is, on the authority of their teaching.  The disciples did the same thing; they baptized in Yeshua’s name, they cast out demons, they healed the sick, and performed other miracles in the name of, or authority of Yeshua!  Yeshua did not tell them to pray to Him, but to pray to the father “in His name” or His authority and He, Yeshua, would act on the request.  Yeshua would intercede with the Father on behalf of the disciples.
John 14:13-14 NKJV 13 "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
Yeshua’s very next statement in His answer to Philip is both a call to action on the part of the disciples, as well as a reassurance that God would always be with them.
John 14:15-21 NKJV 15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 19 "A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 "At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."
The common Christian theological construct of Yeshua’s statement in verse 15 is limited to His “new commandment” of love for one another or His summary of the Torah of loving God and one’s neighbor. However, since Yeshua only speaks the words the Father gives Him, the full range of the Father’s revelation given in the Torah is also reiterated in Yeshua’s words. First Fruits of Zion in their work The Chronicles of the Messiah make this observation:
“According to the Targums, the commandments of the Torah entered into the world and were spoken to Moses through the divine word of the LORD (the Logos/Memra). The commandments of Yeshua, the Logos made flesh, (John 1:1) are the commandments of the Torah.”[1]
Yeshua had often said during His ministry that he only spoke the words of the Father and did what the Father told Him.  Yeshua spoke to His disciples in the agency of the Father.  He did not speak on His own initiative, He spoke as a prophetic voice on behalf of the Father and in complete unity with the Father. We see this concept further expanded later in Yeshua’s teaching recorded in John chapter 15
John 15:8-12 NKJV 8 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. 11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
All of Yeshua’s teachings were explanations and expansions on the Father’s Torah commandments. John explained this when he said that every disciple of Yeshua is obligated by their love for God to walk in obedience to the Torah!
1 John 5:1-3 NKJV 1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
Next Yeshua reveals that when He returns to the Father He would send another advocate or comforter to guild them and be with them. We previously read this in John 14:16-17.  Let’s take a closer look.
John 14:16-17 NKJV 16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
Yeshua reassured His disciples that, after He departed from them, the Father would send them another.  The Greek word used in the text is “paraklaytos”, number 3875 in the Strong’s lexicon meaning intercessor, consoler, advocate, comforter.  In five different saying of Yeshua, He uses this word in reference to the Holy Spirit.
The sixteenth century theologian John Lightfoot argues that the Greek paraklatos is used to translate the Hebrew Menachem meaning comforter.
“The rabbis used the word Menachem as a title for the Messiah. They derived the title from Isaiah’s prophecies about the consolation of Zion (Isaiah 40:1)”[2]
The Septuagint, the third century BCE Greek translation of the Hebrew Tanach, uses the Greek paraklatos many times to translate the Hebrew Menachem.
This fits very well with the context of John chapter 14.  Yeshua promised them another “Menachem”, another comforter.  He promised them the Holy Spirit.  The Father sent them another Menachem that the world does not see or know, but the disciples do see and know the Spirit because He abides with them and will dwell in them.  The Menachem abided with them in the person of the Master Yeshua and will abide in them in the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.
As the disciples reclined around the Passover table, Yeshua continued to teach them using a parable about the true vine and branches. We can imagine that Yeshua gave this teaching as they prepared to drink the final cup of wine at the Seder, The cup of acceptance.
John 15:1-8 NKJV 1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
This seems more of an explanation of a parable than being the parable itself.  First Fruits of Zion in the Chronicles of the Messiah speculate that the actual parable may have been something like this:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who planted a vine in his vineyard. When the year for the harvest had come, he examined the branches. Those branches that did not bear fruit he cut from the vine and tossed aside where they withered and died until they were picked up and thrown into the fire as fuel.  Those branches that did bear fruit he left to remain on the vine, but he pruned them back that they might yield abundant fruit”[3]
Yeshua declared Himself the true vine!  In rabbinic parables, the vine represents Israel.  As the Messiah and the king of Israel, Yeshua stands in the place of the nation of Israel. Psalm 80 contains a description of Israel as the vine with Messianic implications.
Psalms 80:14-17 NKJV 14 Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts; Look down from heaven and see, and visit this vine 15 And the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, And the branch that You made strong for Yourself. 16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down; They perish at the rebuke of Your countenance. 17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.
Yeshua does not replace the nation of Israel, but as the true vine, he provides the nourishment that feeds the fruit bearing branches.  If branches are not attached to the vine, the Messiah, then they cannot bear fruit.
The Father, the vinedresser, cuts off every branch that does not bear fruit and prunes those that do so that they can bear even more fruit. The “pruning” of the branches is akin to a purging of sin from our lives. Philip Levertoff in his book Love in the Messianic Age explains:
“If the disciples do not bring forth fruit they are separated from Him; if they do, He “purges” them.  The “purging” means the freeing from sin; it will be removed because it disturbs the growth of love. Love is thus the aim, freedom from sin only a means to an end.”[4]
In the midst of the imagery of the vine and branches, Yeshua says that the disciples were “… already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”  How is this statement connected to the vine and branches?  When a new vine is planted, any fruit which the branches bear is not used for the first three years and is considered unclean.  Yeshua’s disciples have been with Him for the past three years and it was now time for them to bear clean fruit!
The fruit that we as disciple are to bear is love.  Love for one another, love for the Master Yeshua, love for the Father through obedience to His commandments, and advancing the kingdom of heaven by producing and training up disciples as Yeshua commissioned us to do.  Whether we are of the true branch, or the wild branch grafted into the vine as the apostle Paul spoke about, we must remain attached to the vine, the Master Yeshua, the king of Israel, then the world will know that we are true disciples of Yeshua by the love that we have for each other.
Study Questions:
1. The Greek word translated as “mansion” in John 14:2 is #3538 mone (mon-ay’) which means a staying, i.e. residence (the act or the place):--abode, mansion.  According to the prophets Ezekiel and Zechariah, what are the “additions” that will be made to the Father’s house?  What is the Father’s house and what are it’s boundaries?

2. Yeshua commanded His disciples to love one another as He loved them. (John 13:34, 15:12) This is a central theme to Yeshua’s evening of teaching His disciples and He repeats it several times through the course of the evening.  Using John chapters 14 and 15 as a basis, what is the hierarchy of love, and what does Yeshua say about putting this love into practice? 

3. As we saw in the teaching, Yeshua used a parable of the True Vine and the Branches.  In John 15:1 Yeshua says, “I am the true vine.”  What other places in John’s gospel does Yeshua use the phrase “I Am” and what is the accompanying metaphor?  For example, “I am the ___________” Fill in the blank.

4. Philip Levertoff said that, “freedom from sin is a means to an end of bearing the fruit of love.”  How does freedom from sin enable a person to produce the fruit of love?

© 2018 Moed Ministries International. All rights reserved

[1] FFOZ, The Chronicles of the Messiah, Vol. 5 P1506
[2] John Lightfoot, Commentary in the New Testament from Talmud and Hebraica, vol 3 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Press, 1997), 400
[3] FFOZ, The Chronicles of the Messiah, D. Thomas Lancaster, Vol 5 P1512
[4] Paul Philip Levertoff, Love in the Messianic Age (Marshfield, MO: Vine of David, 2009), 79

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Shabbat Service 9-1-2018

Join us each Shabbat at 10:00 am Pacific time for our weekly service.  Watch our midweek video teaching on Wednesday nights, download the discussion questions from our midweek teaching (available from our website at and be ready to join in the discussion on Shabbat.  We live stream our service on the home page of our website, and on our Moed Ministries International Facebook page.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Servant of All

By Dan & Brenda Cathcart
The video version of this teaching is available at:
The scripture reading for this teaching is John 13:1-30
Preparations for the Passover had been completed. All was now in readiness to celebrate the most important Passover of all.
Luke 22:7-8 NKJV 7 Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. 8 And He sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat."
As Peter and John prepared the Passover at which Yeshua would give His life so that others could have eternal life, Judas Iscariot was also making preparations.
Matthew 26:14-16 NKJV 14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.
The scriptures go on to describe the last Passover meal Yeshua shared with His disciples. In this description we see contrasting behaviors and motivations of Yeshua and Judas’ actions.
The events set in motion with the preparation of the Passover play out as the Passover began. Yeshua had one last opportunity to demonstrate the depth of His love for His disciples. John’s gospel describes that love and contrasts it with Judas’ betrayal of that love.
John 13:1-2 NAS95 1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him,
Even as the meal began, part of Yeshua’s awareness is focused in the upcoming betrayal by Judas.
Matthew 26:20-21 NKJV 20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. 21 Now as they were eating, He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me."
The disciples couldn’t conceive that one of them would actually betray Yeshua. They had lived together with these men and with Yeshua for the past three years. At Yeshua’s announcement that one of them would betray Him, each one of the disciples sought to establish his own innocence by asking in essence, “I’m not the one am I?
Matthew 26:22-24 NKJV 22 And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, "Lord, is it I?" 23 He answered and said, "He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. 24 "The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born."
First Fruits of Zion in The Chronicles of the Messiah explain that Yeshua is describing the ritual of the karpas which involves dipping a vegetable twice in red wine vinegar. The modern observance of this ritual is that of dipping the vegetable, specifically parsley, into salt water. Like many rituals of the Passover, it has multiple meanings. First Fruits of Zion explains:
The meaning of the ritual is obscure, but according to some opinions, it represents the betrayal of Joseph whose brothers dipped his coat in goat’s blood—the event that initiated the descent into Egypt. It may also represent dipping the hyssop into the lamb’s blood.[i]
Both meanings can apply to Judas dipping his hand into the dish at the same time that Yeshua did. Judas’ betrayal is a betrayal of Yeshua’s blood poured out for Him. The writer of Hebrews warns that those who know the Torah of God but reject it are subject to judgment. The writer, then, applies that same concept to those who know that salvation comes through the blood of Yeshua but reject it.
Hebrews 10:29 NKJV 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
Judas, who just happened to have dipped his hand at the same time that Yeshua did, understood the reference to the dish and that Yeshua knew Judas would betray Him.
Matthew 26:25 NKJV 25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "Rabbi, is it I?" He said to him, "You have said it."
As the disciples speculated who among them was the traitor, the discussion degenerated to boasting about who was the best disciple.
Luke 22:23-24 NKJV 23 Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing. 24 Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest.
This was not a new argument; the disciples had engaged in this same type of discussion before. One time, James and John’s mother got involved lobbying for her sons to have the seats of greatest honor in Yeshua’s kingdom! At the Passover meal,Yeshua, once again, rebuked them for behaving like the Gentiles who were without God.
Luke 22:25-26 NKJV 25 And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called 'benefactors.' 26 "But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.
Yeshua had stated before that the greatest among them would be the one who serves.
Mark 9:35 NKJV 35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."
How could Yeshua get this message through their heads? The fact that they were once again arguing about who was greatest shows that they still didn’t get the message! Yeshua had only this one evening left to convince them that His kingdom was ruled differently than the world. That in His kingdom, service to others was the most prized action and was associated with the character trait that would lead to the greatest reward! Yeshua decided to demonstrate in a way that could not be denied. Yeshua begins by explaining that He comes as a servant.
Luke 22:27 NKJV 27 "For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.
Yeshua, then, knowing His place in the kingdom of God, set it all aside and began to wash the disciples’ feet.
John 13:3-5 NKJV 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
The act of washing a guest’s feet was a duty of a slave of the house. It was a duty that only the lowest of servants was expected to carry out. First fruits of Zion in The Chronicles of the Messiah explains that although a slave was expected to wash the feet of guests, it would be beneath even his dignity to be expected to remove the guests sandals to do so. So, only the act of removing the sandals to wash the feet would be of lower caste than that of actually washing the feet! Yeshua took on the lowest of duties. First Fruits of Zion explains:
Yet another [passage of the Talmud] says, “A disciple must render to his teacher all the service that a slave renders to his master except that of loosening his shoe. In other words, the disciples considered it beneath their own dignity to wash the Master’s feet, how much less should He have washed theirs.[ii]
The disciples were all both outraged and embarrassed! Their own Master was performing a duty to them that only a slave was expected to perform!
It was a duty that they would not even consider doing for their beloved Master! Peter, as usual, the impulsive one, immediately cried out against Yeshua washing his feet!
John 13:6-8 NKJV 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?" 7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this." 8 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me."
Yeshua told Peter that he would understand Yeshua’s actions after He had completed them and explained. Yeshua continued to wash all the disciples’ feet delaying the explanation for after He had finished.
John 13:12-16 NKJV 12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? 13 "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 "Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.
The context of Yeshua’s words was that He knew that He was sent from God and was returning to God. Yeshua’s own Master was none other than God the Father. If serving others as a slave was not beneath Yeshua whose own master was God, than serving others was certainly not beneath the dignity of a disciple! This lesson was not about washing feet, but about serving others and performing even the tasks that are considered the lowest of the low! Yeshua, who loved His disciples to the very end, was demonstrating that love here!
However, Yeshua hints at a deeper meaning when He says it is necessary for Yeshua to wash their feet if they are to have any part of Him. We go back to the Torah and the requirements of the priests to wash their feet in the laver before approaching God.
Exodus 30:18-20 NKJV 18 "You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, 19 "for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. 20 "When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the LORD, they shall wash with water, lest they die.
When Peter understood that he needed to allow Yeshua to wash his feet, He offered up both his head and his hands for washing as well.
John 13:9-10 NKJV 9 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!" 10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."
Yeshua stated that they had already bathed and the rest of their body was already clean. Before participating in the Passover, Yeshua and all the disciples would have undergone a mikvah or ceremonial cleansing. Only those who were ritually pure could participate in the Passover.
Then, as part of the opening rituals of the Passover Seder, Yeshua and the disciples would have already ceremonially washed their hands before drinking from the first cup of the Seder, the cup of sanctification. So, at this point only the feet of the disciples, which would have become dirty in the walk from the ceremonial baths to the location of the Seder, would need to be washed again. Only their feet, with which they interact with the world in an intimate way as they walk through life, needed to be cleaned once again.
Yeshua refers to the state of their cleanliness when He told them He is the vine and that they are the branches who abide in Him and produce fruit.
John 15:3-4 NKJV 3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
Once we have our entire bodies washed, we are clean and sanctified before God. Paul writes to Titus that we are saved by the washing that comes through faith in Yeshua.
Titus 3:3-6 NKJV 3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Paul again writes in his epistle to the Ephesians that we are both cleansed and sanctified through the word.
Ephesians 5:25-26 NKJV 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
Although all the disciples had undergone the mikvah and had their feet washed, Yeshua stated that not all of them were clean. He was, of course, referring to Judas Iscariot who, even as Yeshua was washing his feet, was planning to betray Him! Once again, the identity of the traitor would be revealed through a ritual of the Passover Seder. This time it was at the time when the matzah is declared to be the “bread of affliction” and is dipped into the bitter herbs and charoset. Eating the lamb, the matzah and the bitter herbs together is called the korech or binding because it binds the elements that God commanded to be eaten during the Passover together. Rabbi Yechiel Lichtenstein, as quoted by First Fruits of Zion in The Chronicles of the Messiah explains:
But here Yeshua dipped and gave it to Judas, for it is the custom until today that the host does this dipping [of korech] of the Passover and bitter herbs in the charoset; he divides it among all the guests, as we know.[iii]
It is after Yeshua served Judas the korech, the lamb, bitter herbs, and matzah together, that Judas immediately leaves and rejects God’s Passover sacrifice!
John 13:30 NKJV 30 Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.
John makes the obvious statement that it was night. Remember, that Yeshua stated that He was the light and they were to walk in the light not the darkness.
John 12:35-36 NKJV 35 Then Jesus said to them, "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. 36 "While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
Judas rejected the light and did not receive the blessing of becoming a son of light! What exactly did Judas reject? If Judas left as soon as the meal was complete, then he would have participated in receiving the matzah, the bread that Yeshua blessed and broke for them.
Matthew 26:26 NKJV 26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."
Judas would have received the cup that Yeshua stated was the blood of the new covenant. Yeshua stated that they were all to drink it!
Matthew 26:27-28 NKJV 27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Judas betrayed the body and blood of Yeshua. Judas betrayed the love that Yeshua had for him! He truly trampled the Son of God and insulted the spirit of grace! Judas rejected the New Covenant! It is right that Yeshua later calls Judas the son of perdition!
John 17:12 NKJV 12 "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
The word perdition is translated from the Greek word ap-o’-lia, #684 in Strong’s Concordance meaning ruin, loss or destruction. Judas lost the salvation offered to him! His end was ruin and destruction! Judas demonstrated selfishness, pride, rejection and unbelief.
But Yeshua kept all the others that God gave to Him. He demonstrated His love for them by serving them physically as He washed their feet and served them the Passover meal. He served them spiritually as He broke His body for them and poured out His blood to establish the New Covenant. Immediately after Judas had gone out and into the night, Yeshua stated that now, the Son of Man is glorified.
John 13:31-32 NKJV 31 So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. 32 "If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately.
The betrayal had been set in motion; Yeshua would be delivered to the hands of the Jewish authorities and Roman officials. He would pour out His life on the cross for His disciples and for us. This is His love for us! At this time, Yeshua gave His disciples a new commandment.
John 13:34-35 NKJV 34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
The commandment to love each other is not a new commandment. Loving your neighbor as yourself is a commandment of the Torah. Loving God above all is the first and greatest of the commandments! Loving one another is a new commandment because it was given to be observed after Yeshua died on the cross. Yeshua’s words that He would humble Himself to wash His disciples’ feet even though He was sent from the Father and would return to the Father remind me of Paul’s words in Philippians 2:5-11:
Philippians 2:5-11 NKJV 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
As Paul said, we are to have the same mind as that of Yeshua. So, we are to love one another as He demonstrated His love for His disciples then and now. As Yeshua washed the feet of His disciples then, we are to wash each other’s feet now. As Yeshua demonstrated His love by coming as a servant, we, also, are to be servants! As He was and is the servant of all, we, also, are to be servants of all!
Study Questions:
1. Passover is called the LORD’s sacrifice in Exodus 12:27. Zephaniah writes about the day of the LORD’s sacrifice in Zephaniah 1. In what was this fulfilled when Yeshua was rejected as the Passover sacrifice? In what way can it be understood that it will be fulfilled again?

2. Yeshua said that unless He washes their feet, the disciples would have not part of Yeshua. What is required of them and of us to have a part of Yeshua?

3. John writes about the evidence of love in 1 John. What evidence does John cite?

4. Judas chose to walk in darkness as described by Yeshua in John 12:35. What does Paul say in Ephesians 5:1-14 about walking in love and light? What does John say about walking in the light in 1 John 1? What does this mean in our daily lives?

5. In what way is Judas a son of Perdition or loss? Paul calls the Antichrist the man of sin and the son of perdition in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Compare the description of the actions of this man in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. How does Judas fit the description of an antichrist as described by John in 1 John 2:18-19?

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[i] The Chronicles of the Messiah. D. Thomas Lancaster. First Fruits of Zion. ©2014 D. T. Lancaster. P.1463.
[ii] The Chronicles of the Messiah. D. Thomas Lancaster. First Fruits of Zion. ©2014 D. T. Lancaster. P.1464..
[iii] The Chronicles of the Messiah. D. Thomas Lancaster. First Fruits of Zion. ©2014 D. T. Lancaster. P.1473.