Thursday, October 29, 2009

By Our Works Faith is Manifest

Noah is the first person in the Bible described as being “righteous.” Abraham was also considered righteous before God. What is righteousness and how does one obtain it? Paul tells us that we have all fallen short. Look at Romans 3. We often quote only verse 23, but there is more to the passage than just that.

Romans 3:21-31 MKJV 21 But now a righteousness of God has been revealed apart from Law (Torah), being witnessed by the Law (Torah) and the Prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ, toward all and upon all those who believe. For there is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness through the passing by of the sins that had taken place before, in the forbearance of God; 26 for the display of His righteousness at this time, for Him to be just and, forgiving the one being of the faith of Jesus. 27 Then where is the boasting? It is excluded. Through what law (Torah)? Of works? No, but through the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the works of the law (Torah). 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only, and not also of the nations? Yes, of the nations also, 30 since it is one God who will justify circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31 Do we then make the Law (Torah) void through faith? Let it not be! But we establish the Law (Torah).

The entire next chapter (Romans 24) is about Abraham being justified by faith. Right after Paul quotes Psalm 32:1&2 he goes on to the central theme of chapter 24 in verses 9-12.

Romans 4:9-12 NIV 9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

Further, Paul tells us that the Torah is powerless to bestow righteousness on us. In that sense, there is no “righteousness of Torah.” Yet Paul talks about the righteousness of the Torah being fulfilled in us as we walk by faith.

Romans 8:3-4 MKJV 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; 4 so that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Again in Phil 3:9, He says of himself, “… (that I may) be found in Him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the law (Torah), but through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith.”

Paul is saying “righteousness of Torah” cannot be obtained by his own actions or works. Isaiah tells us that all their righteous acts are as dirty rags but nevertheless salvation is possible.

Isaiah 64:6 MKJV 6 But we are all as the unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as a menstruous cloth. And we all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

So, the righteousness of God can only be obtained by faith. So, what faith did Noah have? What righteousness did Abraham have? Gen 6:9 says that Noah walked with God. Enoch walked with God, Abraham walked with God. Righteousness through faith is evidenced by a relationship with God and obedience to His Word.

Hebrews 11:7-10 MKJV 7 By faith Noah, having been warned by God of things not yet seen, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out into a place which he was afterward going to receive for an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he went. 9 By faith he lived in the land of promise as in a strange country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs of the same promise with him. 10 For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

James 2:20-24 MKJV 20 But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Do you see how faith worked with his works, and by the works faith was made complete? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness, and he was called the friend of God." 24 You see then how a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

So, the righteousness of Torah is fulfilled in us as we walk out our faith. Faith requires action and actions without faith are worthless! If we have faith in the saving blood of Yeshua, then our actions, our works, will prove it out! Faith and works are two sides of the same coin, so to speak. The works side is obedience. Yeshua said in John Chapter 14

John 14:10-15 MKJV 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak of Myself, but the Father who dwells in Me, He does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the very works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes on Me, the works that I do he shall do also, and greater works than these he shall do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you may ask in My name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. 15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.

Our works are obedience to Him. In Jewish culture and thought, works are not miracles, signs and wonders, but are mitzvot. Mitzvot means to fulfill the positive commandments of the Torah. When both Paul and Yeshua were speaking of works, both were speaking of mitzvot. So If we love Him we will keep His commandments. Our faith must be in Him and our actions, our works, must be in Him. They go hand in hand. Just as Noah was faithful to God and showed it through obedience to God’s commandments to him. And just as Abraham was faithful by doing the commandments that God also gave to him. So we show our faith by obedience of the commandments given to us. We work out our faith through obedience, through works and it is credited to us as righteousness.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan & Brenda Cathcart

Brenda and I are going to Israel next June 19th to 29th. You can join us in the land promised to Abraham for a special tour where you will see the promised Messiah of Israel like you have never seen Him before! We will visit places off the beaten path and follow in the foot steps of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Join us as we also explore the people, culture, politics and conflict that is today’s Israel and a special Sabbath day in Jerusalem. For details on the tour visit .

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Brenda and I are Teaching Torah Club

For those who have been following this blog, I appologize for the long delay between some posts. Brenda and I were given the honor of teaching Torah Club on Monday nights while Pastor Mark Biltz is away leading a tour in Israel. ( the preparation for the classes has taken up most of our time lately.) The portion was "Noach" from Genesis 6:9-11:32. You can listen to it by clicking on the title of this post or going to this link . This will link you to the web page where you can also download the MP3 and the PowerPoint slides. We will also be teaching the next portion which is Lech Lecha. Enjoy.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan & Brenda Cathcart

You can join us on a special trip to Israel in June of 2010. We will be teaching from our bible study series "Shadows of Messiah". We will be exploring the scriptures as we travel the promised land and meet the people and culture of today's Israel. You will see the scriptures come alive as we retrace the footsteps of the patriarchs and see the promised Messiah through their eyes. go to for details and booking.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Canaanites and the Mark of the Beast

When God promised to give Abraham the Promised Land, He said that Abraham wouldn’t receive it yet because the “sins of the Amorites is not yet complete.” (Gen. 15:16) When the Israelites took the Promised Land, they were to drive out all the Canaanites because the Canaanite’s sin was so great that the land had vomited them out.

Leviticus 18:24-28 MKJV 24 Do not defile yourselves in any of these things. For in all these the nations are defiled, which I cast out before you. 25 And the land is defiled. Therefore I visit its wickedness on it, and the land itself vomits out those who live in it. 26 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, neither the native, nor any stranger that lives among you. 27 For the men of the land who were before you have done all these abominations, and the land is defiled. 28 You shall not do these so that the land may not spew you out also when you defile it, as it spewed out the nations that were before you.

Deuteronomy 20:17-18 MKJV 17 But you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; as the LORD your God has commanded you, 18 so that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done to their gods. So you would sin against the LORD your God.

Joshua 3:9 MKJV 9 And Joshua said to the sons of Israel, Come here and hear the words of the LORD your God.

In the empire of the antichrist, no one will be able to buy or sell unless they have the mark of the beast. (Rev. 14:16) What does it mean to buy or sell? Merchants and traders buy and sell. The Book of Revelation goes on to describe the fall of Babylon. Her merchants and traders mourn her falling.

Revelation 18:11 MKJV 11 And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their cargo any more;

Revelation 18:23 MKJV 23 And the light of a lamp will never more shine at all in you (Babylon). And the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride will never more be heard at all in you. For your merchants were the great ones of the earth; for by your sorceries all nations were deceived.

The merchants are described in this passage as greedy and selfish. This is the sin that finally brought judgment against Sodom and Gomorrah.

Ezekiel 16:49-50 MKJV 49 Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom; pride. Fullness of bread and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters. Nor did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty and did abominable things before Me, so I turned away as I saw fit.

Jesus kicked the same kind of people out of the temple courts.

Matthew 21:12 MKJV 12 And Jesus went into the temple of God and cast out all those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of those who sold doves.

Before Jesus comes again, the antichrist takes over Jerusalem and sets up the abomination of desolation in temple. (Dan. 11:31) I can’t help but think that there may yet again be those who “buy and sell” in the temple. When Jesus steps down on the Mt. of Olives, it splits in two and water runs out to the east and to the west.

Zechariah 14:4 MKJV 4 And His feet shall stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall divide from its middle, from the east and to the west, a very great valley. And half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Zechariah 14:8 MKJV 8 And it shall be in that day, living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them shall go toward the eastern sea, and half of them toward the western sea. In summer and in winter it shall be.

Water is an element that purifies. Jesus is purifying His city, Jerusalem. In that day, there shall be no profane thing in the city of Jerusalem. The final verse of Zechariah prophesies about that day.

Zechariah 14:21 KJV 21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

The word “Canaanite” is from the Hebrew #3669 Kena`aniy, ken-ah-an-ee'
a Canaanite or inhabitant of Canaan; by implication, a peddler, merchant, trafficker.

This verse will be fulfilled in both senses of the word. There will be no Canaanite or greedy merchant in the house of the LORD, only those whose names are written in the Lambs book of life. (Rev. 21:27)

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart

Friday, October 9, 2009

Reasons for Christians to observe Shimeni Atzerat, the Eighth Day Assembly

Although the Feast of Tabernacles is seven days long, the eighth day, the day after the feast, is to be observed with a holy convocation or assembly.

Le 23:36 Seven days you shall offer a fire offering to the LORD. On the eighth day shall be a holy convocation to you. And you shall offer a fire offering to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly. And you shall do no work of labor. (MKJV)

The scripture doesn’t offer any obvious clues as to the nature of the assembly only that it is to be held on the eighth day. What is the significance of the eighth day? The number eight represents new beginnings. What new beginning is being observed on this day? Each year, this eighth day called Shimeni Atzerat begins a new feast cycle. This cycle will repeat each year until Yeshua comes again. When He does come, this day begins the millennial reign of Yeshua. Let’s look at what Zechariah said will occur every year of Yeshua’s reign.

Zec 14:16 And it shall be, everyone who is left of all the nations which came up against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. (MKJV)

Also in Micah and Isaiah:

Mic 4:2 And many nations shall come and say, Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for the law shall go forth out of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (MKJV)

Isa 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come, and let us go to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go out the Law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (MKJV)

Scripture clearly connects observing the Feast of Tabernacles with the teaching of Torah and so, Shimeni Atzerat is also called Simchat Torah or Rejoice in the Torah. Each year, the Books of Moses are read through. Shimeni Atzerat marks the new beginning of reading the Torah. The book of Deuteronomy is finished and Genesis started again without a break. It is customary to stay up all night studying the Torah. Yeshua Himself will teach Torah to all nations in the millennium.

Isa 54:13 And all your sons shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of your sons. (MKJV)

We can celebrate Shimeni Atzerat as we keep in mind the words of Paul in 2 Timothy:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 MKJV 16 All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.

Let us spend the day in study as we look forward to the return of the Messiah, the author and finisher of our faith.

One thousand years later, there will be another Feast of Tabernacles which establishes the new heaven and earth, and the reign of God and the Lamb forever.

Re 22:1-5 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of its street, and of the river, from here and from there, was the Tree of Life, which bore twelve fruits, each yielding its fruit according to one month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And every curse will no longer be; but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will serve Him. And they will see His face, and His name will be in their foreheads. And there will be no night there. And they need no lamp, or light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light. And they will reign forever and ever. (MKJV)

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart

Come with Brenda and I next June 19th to 29th to Israel, the land promised to Abraham for a special tour where you will see the promised Messiah of Israel like you have never seen Him before! We will visit places off the beaten path and follow in the foot steps of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Join us as we also explore the people, culture, politics and conflict that is today’s Israel and a special Sabbath day in Jerusalem. For details on the tour visit .

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Last Great Day of the Feast

The Feast of Tabernacles lasts for seven days with the last day called “Hashanna Rabba” which means the Great Hosanna. Hosanna means “save now” so the last day is the “great save now” where the Israelites cry out to God for salvation.

Part of the ceremony of the Feast is the ritual of water pouring which developed out of the words of Isaiah 12:3, “And with joy you shall draw water out of the wells of salvation.” The high priest carrying a golden pitcher and his assistant carrying a silver pitcher with wine in it went down to the pool of Siloam. The way to the pool was lined with the Jewish pilgrims to the feast waving their lulavs, a bouquet of the four species Israel was told to use in their rejoicing in the Feast (Lev. 23:40). The high priest dipped his pitcher into the pool drawing out living water.

Living water is water that flows. It has a continual inflow and outflow. A cistern, for example, would not be living water. The pools for washing at the temple were designed to be constantly flowing. The pool of Siloam was fed by the spring Gihon and so was living water. The word Siloam means “Sent” and Gihon which is the name of one of the rivers flowing out of the Garden of Eden means “to gush or break forth, to labor to bring forth.” The living water from the pool of Siloam can be seen as a symbol of Jesus. It breaks forth from the Garden of Eden sent to bring salvation.

The High priest and his assistant proceed ceremoniously back to the temple with the pitchers of water and wine where they will be met by another group of priests who had gone down to the valley east of Jerusalem and cut 30 feet tall willow branches. The two groups meet in the temple around the altar. The High priest and his assistant proceed up the ramp to the altar while the other priests march around the altar with their willow branches. The people join in around them waving their lulavs. All are singing a combination of Isaiah 12:3, the song of Moses from Exodus 15:1-2, and the Hallelujah Psalms, Psalms 113-118. They finish with Psalm 118.

Psalms 118:25-29 KJV 25 Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD. 27 God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. 28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. 29 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

As they sing the final verse, the people lift their lulavs and wave them toward the altar. This ceremony was conducted each day of the feast. On each of the first six days, the priests circled the altar only once. On the last great day, they circled seven times. It is at this time on the great day of the Feast as the worshippers completed their final circuit of the altar in the pause at the end of the song that “Jesus stood and cried, saying, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38)

The Israelites recognized this as a Messianic claim. Ezekiel writes of a river of living water flowing from the temple in the days of Messiah (Eze. 47). Zechariah writes of Living water flowing from Jerusalem in the days of Messiah (Zech. 14) Jeremiah says that the LORD Himself is a spring of living water.

Jeremiah 17:13 KJV 13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.

On this great day of the Feast, what were the reactions of the Israelites? John tells us that some believed He was the Christ, the Messiah. Others didn’t know what to believe. They would have six months before Passover to make their decisions.

When Jesus came into Jerusalem on the tenth of Nisan, four days before Passover, He was greeted with pilgrims lining the streets waving palm branches before Him, shouting “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD, Hosanna, Blessed is the King of Israel.” Waving palm branches was not something that was done at Passover. Remember those lulavs from the Feast of Tabernacles? They were made up willow, myrtle and palm branches and the citron fruit. The willow and the myrtle would not yet have leaves at the time of Passover but the Palm tree would. Their greeting of Jesus at this time was more like the ceremony of water pouring at the Feast of Tabernacles! Further, the sages say that one of the reasons they were to rejoice with lulavs was to remember that even creation recognizes and praises God.

Luke records that during this triumphant entry into Jerusalem that some of the Pharisees cried out for Jesus to rebuke his disciples. What was Jesus’ response?

Luke 19:40 KJV 40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

On a future Feast of Tabernacles, the words of Ezekiel and Jeremiah will come true; living water will flow from the temple in Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 47:12 NASB 12 "And by the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing."

Isaiah 44:23 MKJV 23 Sing, O heavens; for the LORD has done it. Shout, lower parts of the earth. Break out into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it. For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart

Come with Brenda and I next June 19th to 29th to Israel, the land promised to Abraham for a special tour where you will see the promised Messiah of Israel like you have never seen Him before! We will visit places off the beaten path and follow in the foot steps of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Join us as we also explore the people, culture, politics and conflict that is today’s Israel and a special Sabbath day in Jerusalem. For details on the tour visit .

Thursday, October 1, 2009

What is the Feast of Tabernacles?

What is the Feast of Tabernacles?

The Feast of Tabernacles, held in the seventh month, is the seventh and final feast of the festival year. See Leviticus chapter 23 for the seven Feasts of the LORD. The feasts in the seventh month span from the 1st to the 22nd, three weeks plus 1 day. The Feast of Tabernacles starts on the 15th of Tishrei and is celebrated for seven days followed by an eighth day that is celebrated as a Sabbath. In Hebrew, this day is called Shimeni Atzerat meaning the eighth day assembly. Just as Passover is a one day feast to start the festival season, Shimeni Atzerat is a one day feast to end the festival season. It is observed as a day to rejoice in the Torah, keeping with the Feast of Tabernacles theme of rejoicing.

The Feast of Tabernacles is one of the three pilgrimage feasts and during temple times all the men would go up to Jerusalem to celebrate. Each of the pilgrimage feasts is associated with a specific harvest. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was at the beginning of the barley harvest, the first harvest of the agricultural year. It was at this time that Yeshua rose from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits in the midst of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Feast of Weeks is the beginning of the wheat harvest. On this day, the Holy Spirit fell on all the disciples in Jerusalem. The Feast of Tabernacles is at the end of the harvest of the fruits such as grapes, figs, and citron. It concludes the harvest season. This feast comes after God’s final harvest of souls, some to eternal life and others to eternal destruction. We rejoice in the completion of His redemption plan.

Prophetically, the Feast of Tabernacles is a rehearsal of the wedding supper of the lamb. It is a time to rejoice! God has again taken up His dwelling place with man. His son, Yeshua is on the throne and the millennial reign begins!

In the time of Yeshua, the Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated around the clock. Because this was one of the pilgrimage feasts the population of Jerusalem once again swelled to around two and half million. Although all the feasts of the Lord are joyful occasions, the Feast of Tabernacles is specifically a time of rejoicing. In the Talmud, the Rabbis write, “He that hath not beheld the joy of the drawing of water hath never seen joy in his life.” (Sukkah 5:1) There was dancing, singing, juggling, and acrobatics all night long every night.

In the days leading up to the Feast of Tabernacles, sukkot or temporary dwellings sprang up all over the countryside leading up to Jerusalem in honor of the commandment to dwell in booths. Sukkot were built wherever space could be found. Not only the pilgrims, but also the permanent residents of Jerusalem would build and live in a Sukka (singular form of Sukkot) for the seven days of the feast. Imagine the whole city of Jerusalem moving out of their homes and building sukkot all over the city! The building of Sukkot is practiced to this day in the land of Israel and through out the world.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart

Come with Brenda and I next June 19th to 29th to Israel, the land promised to Abraham for a special tour where you will see the promised Messiah of Israel like you have never seen Him before! We will visit places off the beaten path and follow in the foot steps of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Join us as we also explore the people, culture, politics and conflict that is today’s Israel and a special Sabbath day in Jerusalem. For details on the tour visit .