Sunday, October 21, 2018

Shabbat Service 10-20-2018

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 MoedMinistries.com) and be ready to join in the discussion on Shabbat.  We live stream our service on the home page of our website, Livestream.com and on our Moed Ministries International Facebook page.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

New Teaching Series begins 10-24-2018

Join us each Wednesday nights at 7:30 pm Pacific time for our new weekly teaching series called "Ancient Perspectives."

As You Go, Make Disciples


By Dan & Brenda Cathcart
The video version of this teaching is available at: https://youtu.be/ZmOmeHspm9g
The scripture reading for this teaching is: Luke 24:44-53, John 21:1-25
After Yeshua’s resurrection, He appeared to His disciples and family over a period of forty days. E. W. Bullinger in Numbers in Scripture tells us that forty is a number of probation. As a multiple of eight, the number of new beginnings, the number forty relates to an enlarged dominion, renewal or extended rule.[i] Yeshua prepared for His ministry with forty days of trial in the wilderness; He concludes His ministry on Earth with forty days of preparing the disciples for their increased role in expanding the kingdom of God. The disciples would be responsible for taking the message of the kingdom beyond the borders of Israel.
Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
Before the disciples could go, they needed to be prepared and empowered. They needed to be given their mission and the instructions for carrying out this mission. What did Yeshua do to equip them for the days ahead? These days would lead to great joy and fulfillment as well as horrific persecution and death.
The first thing that Yeshua did after His resurrection was to open their eyes to the necessity of Yeshua’s suffering and death and what it accomplished. He was equipping them to be witnesses of His entire ministry. Yeshua spoke to the twelve apostles about this role at their Passover Seder before His arrest and crucifixion.
John 15:26-27 NKJV 26 "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 "And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
In Yeshua’s first appearances to His disciples after His resurrection, starting with those on the road to Emmaus, He explained to them that the entire body of scripture pointed to the necessity of His death before He entered into His glory.
Luke 24:26-27 NKJV 26 "Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Later that day, Yeshua explained these same things to the remaining eleven apostles gathered together in Jerusalem. Peter would later recall these words as he explained the need to appoint another in Judas Iscariot’s place.
Acts 1:21-22 NKJV 21 "Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 "beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection."
Peter testified to the necessity of Yeshua’s death and resurrection to the gathered pilgrims during the Feast of Shavuot when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples. Peter explained King David’s prophecies about Yeshua.
Acts 2:30-32 NKJV 30 "Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
Peter expounds on the necessity of Yeshua’s suffering in his first epistle to the scattered believers in Yeshua.
1 Peter 1:10-11 NKJV 10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
After Yeshua’s initial explanations about what had happened during the crucial day of Passover, He went on to call the disciples to be messengers of the good news. When Yeshua met seven of the disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He provided a harvest of fish after the disciples had spent the entire night fishing without catching a single fish.
John 21:6 NKJV 6 And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.
The situation was reminiscent of an earlier night of fishing when they didn’t catch any fish either. At that time, Yeshua had just begun His ministry and had yet to select His twelve apostles to be with Him full time. Simon, John and James had all been witnesses to Yeshua’s baptism. They knew who He was, but had not yet committed to following Him full time. When Yeshua told them to let down their nets one more time, they willingly followed His instructions and were blessed with nets full of fish. At that time, Yeshua called them to leave their fishing behind and follow Him.
Luke 5:10b-11 NKJV 10b And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men." 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
However, the responsibility to be fishers of men did not stop with Yeshua’s death and resurrection. The responsibility was instead increased. Along with sharing the good news of the kingdom of God, they needed to do more. In particular, Yeshua singled out Peter and told him three times to take care of His flock.
John 21:15 NKJV 15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs."
The forty days that Yeshua spent preparing His disciples were like the days that Moses spent preparing the children of Israel and especially his chosen successor Joshua for the change in leadership and authority.
Numbers 27:18-20 NKJV 18 And the LORD said to Moses: "Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; 19 "set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and inaugurate him in their sight. 20 "And you shall give some of your authority to him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.
God, also, prepared both Elijah and Elisha for Elijah’s departure and Elisha taking over the duties of Elijah. Elisha, like Joshua with Moses, was chosen ahead of time to take Elijah’s place. Elijah had fled to the wilderness to escape Jezebel’s plan to kill him. He thought that he had been abandoned and that he would die in the wilderness. God sent an angel to minister to him. When Elijah had recovered, God told him it was time to anoint his successor; his duties as prophet of the LORD were coming to a close.
1 Kings 19:15-16 NKJV 15 Then the LORD said to him: "Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. 16 "Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.
Yeshua also anointed the apostles and passed on His authority and duties as a prophet of God.
John 20:21-23 NKJV 21 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
Yeshua sent the apostles to carry on the work the Father had given to Him. The same instructions applied to the apostles as they applied to Yeshua; they were to speak only the words of the Father and to do the will of the Father. Peter explained his commission to Cornelius’ household.
Acts 10:42-43 NKJV 42 "And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 "To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins."
Yeshua prepared His apostles and disciples to go and be witnesses of all that Yeshua said and did.
Acts 1:8 NKJV 8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Yeshua not only told the disciples to go, He told them to baptize others in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. What does this mean? What did it mean to the first century Jew? Baptism or immersion was an everyday part of Jewish life. Every Jewish home had its own mikvah or baptism pool. It looked like a modern day bathtub only deeper and sunk into the ground. And, of course, it had no water taps or drain plug! The mikvah was used to maintain ritual purity. A woman immersed each month after her menstrual cycle. Both men and women immersed after sexual relations. Any contact with the carcass of an unclean animal required an immersion. Anyone who went into the temple in Jerusalem had to be immersed first.
A second reason to be baptized or immersed was a change in legal status. When Jacob returned to the Promised Land, the members of his household carried idols with them. After the disastrous events at Shechem, God chastised Jacob and told him to get his house in order. After burying all the idols they had with them, Jacob and his household immersed themselves.
Genesis 35:2-3 NKJV 2 And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. 3 "Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone."
This immersion was to restore the ritual purity of the household, to signal the fulfillment of Jacob’s vow to God, and for the entire household to enter into the covenant promise of God.
Before the children of Israel were given the covenant at Mt. Sinai, they were told to wash themselves and their clothes.
Exodus 19:10-11 NKJV 10 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. 11 "And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
A final reason for baptism was for repentance or confession of sin. John the Baptist was a leading proponent for this type of baptism. He called on the Jewish people to be baptized for the remission of their sins.
Mark 1:4-5 NKJV 4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
When Peter testified to the resurrection of Yeshua at the Feast of Shavuot, he instructed the Jews who accepted his testimony to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins.
Acts 2:38 NKJV 38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Peter’s instructions are the same as John the Baptist’s instructions: Be baptized for the remission of sins. He added that they were to be baptized in the name of Messiah Yeshua. What does it mean for something to be done in the name of another person? Have you heard the expression on old television shows when a policeman comes to the door and demands that a person “open up in the name of the law?” The authority to demand entrance is the law.  In this case, to do something in the name of another person is to invoke their authority to do so.  How about when a donation is made in the name of another person? In this case, to do something in the name of another person is in some way for the benefit or glory of that person.
Perhaps baptizing in the name of Yeshua has both elements. Yeshua is the one who has the authority to forgive sins. Yeshua instructed the scribes and Pharisees about His authority to do so.
Luke 5:24 NKJV 24 "But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" --He said to the man who was paralyzed, "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house."
Mark records Yeshua’s instructions to include baptism for salvation.
Mark 16:15-16 NKJV 15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
After baptism, our actions reflect on Messiah Yeshua. When we follow His commandments, we bring glory to Yeshua and, through Him, to the Father.
What about baptism or immersion for ongoing confession and to maintain ritual purity? The disciples continued to worship God at the temple as long as it remained standing in Jerusalem. They continued in their Jewish life with the regular practice of immersion. John reminds us that we must practice confession of our sins throughout our walk.
1 John 1:8-9 NKJV 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Paul compares Yeshua immersing us in the word of God to baptism.
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,
Baptism, then, is more than the ritual cleansing needed to enter into the New Covenant through the blood and authority of Yeshua; it is a practice of maintaining that ritual purity through confession of sins and being cleansed through the power of the Word!
Yeshua continued His instructions to the disciples to make more disciples, to teach them to observe all that Yeshua did and taught. Disciples in Yeshua’s time were expected to stay with and learn from their teacher usually over a period of three years. Yeshua followed this model with His own disciples. They lived with Yeshua, traveled with Him and learned from Him.
As Yeshua’s forty days with His disciples came to a close, it was time for Him to pass on the mantle like Moses passed his authority to Joshua and Elijah passed on his mantle to Elisha. When God took Moses to up to Mount Nebo to die, Joshua took over the leadership of the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy 34:9 NKJV 9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses.
When Elijah selected Elisha as his successor, he threw his mantle over Elisha. When it was time for Elijah to be taken up into heaven, Elisha asked for a double portion of his spirit.
2 Kings 2:9-10 NKJV 9 And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?" Elisha said, "Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me." 10 So he said, "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so."
Elisha did see Elijah taken up in a whirlwind into heaven. As Elijah went up, his mantle fell from him and Elisha took it up.
2 Kings 2:13-15 NKJV 13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, "Where is the LORD God of Elijah?" And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over. 15 Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, "The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha." And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him.
A double portion of the spirit that was on Elijah fell on Elisha. The spirit was on Joshua because Moses anointed him. Yeshua also anointed His disciples who would take over for Him. We read in John 20:23 earlier that Yeshua breathed the spirit of God onto them. Then Yeshua took the disciples out to the region of Bethany on the Mt. of Olives. The disciples  saw Yeshua ascend into heaven.
Luke 24:49-51 NKJV 49 "Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." 50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.
A double portion must have fallen on them as it fell on Elisha because Yeshua said that the one who believes in Him would do greater works than those recorded in the gospel.
John 14:12 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.
When God took Moses, the children of Israel wept and mourned his death. When God took Elijah into heaven, Elisha wept and mourned. When Yeshua died on the cross, His disciples wept and mourned. However, when Yeshua ascended into heaven, His disciples rejoiced and praised God! Yeshua had equipped them well for their new mission. Ten days later, they would receive the promised Holy Spirit giving them the power to carry out all that Yeshua had entrusted to them. We, also, are recipients of that same Holy Spirit giving us power to achieve the mission God has given us. It is our responsibility to act as disciples to Yeshua learning from Him and spending time with Him so that we can be true and knowledgeable disciples of our LORD and Master Yeshua. The tools are available for us to be equipped so that, as we go, we can spread the good news of eternal life through the shed blood of Yeshua and His resurrection from the dead.
Study Questions:
1. The phrase “Go therefore and make disciples” in Matthew 28:19 is in the grammatical form which we would usually translate as “Going therefore and make disciples.” We have titled this teaching with the phrase “As you go.” How does this change the way we understand the Yeshua’s instructions?

2. If salvation is by faith (Acts 10:43, Eph 1:8), why do we need to be baptized (Matt 28:19, Acts 2:38)?

3. In John 20:23, Yeshua seemingly gives authority to the apostles to forgive or withhold forgiveness of sins. Does a pastor, priest or rabbi have authority to forgive or withhold forgiveness of sins? Support with scriptures please! Consider Peter’s understanding of this in Acts 8:22.

4. To be baptized in the name of Yeshua can mean either by Yeshua’s authority of for Yeshua’s glory. How does our baptism bring glory to Yeshua?

5. Read 2 Kings 2:1-5 about the transference of power from Elijah to Elisha. How can Elijah and Elisha be compared to Yeshua and His disciples/follower? What role does the Holy Spirit play in this? How can Moses and Joshua be compared to Yeshua and His disciples/followers?

© 2018 Moed Ministries International.  All rights reserved.


[i] Bullinger, E. W. Number in Scripture. Eyre and Spottiswoode. ©1894. Cosimo Edition. New York, NY. ©2005. Page 266.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Shabbat Service 10-13-2018

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 MoedMinistries.com) and be ready to join in the discussion on Shabbat.  We live stream our service on the home page of our website, Livestream.com and on our Moed Ministries International Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Two on the Way


By Dan & Brenda Cathcart
The video version of this teaching is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKyXWeapdXY
The scripture reading for this teaching is: Luke 24:13-35
Yeshua had indeed risen from the dead!  He first appeared to the women at the tomb who had come to anoint His body with burial spices on the morning of the first day of the week after the Sabbath.  At first no one would believe them as they related their experience to the disciples gathered together in the house.  Peter and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves and found the empty tomb and the neatly folded grave clothes just as the women had reported.
Whenever I read this story, I am reminded of a song recorded back in the 80’s by Don Francisco titled “He’s Alive” that tells the story of Yeshua’s resurrection in poetic verse set to a powerful musical backdrop.  The Master was nowhere to be found.  Had he actually risen as the women had reported? Or had His body been relocated by the Romans or the High Priest and the corrupt Sadducees?  What had become of Him?  There were key witnesses, chosen by God before hand to speak boldly of the risen Messiah. 
Acts 10:40-41 NKJV 40 "Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 "not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
After His resurrection, Yeshua did not appear before great multitudes as He had done many times during His earthly ministry.  He did not return to the Temple to clean it of its corrupted state and establish His kingdom on earth as many expected Him to do. Yet the prophecies that Yeshua had often spoken of throughout His ministry, prophecies that the disciples and followers, at the time, had little understanding of what they meant, were about to play out in a powerful way.
The disciples had the eye witness testimony of the women who went to Yeshua’s burial tomb, but none of them, thus far, had seen the risen Messiah themselves.  Jewish tradition of the day did not require them to remain in Jerusalem for the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Many were engaged in preparations to return to their homes and lives in the Galilee region.  Although the details of which are lost to history, Simon Peter was the first of the disciples to encounter the risen Yeshua.  Paul establishes Peter’s encounter in his first epistle to the Corinthians
1 Corinthians 15:3-5 NKJV 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, (Peter) then by the twelve.
Sometime, most likely before Simon Peter’s encounter with Yeshua, two of the disciples departed for home, traveling on the road between Jerusalem and a village known as Emmaus.
Luke 24:13 NKJV 13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem.
Identifying the exact village which these disciples were traveling to is rather difficult given that there were a number of villages known by the name Emmaus.  The name Emmaus is of Greek origin.  It is number #1695 in the Strong’s Lexicon.  According to the Word Study Dictionary, outside of its use as a proper name for a place, the word means hot spring.[i]
The original site of this village is unknown but was most likely located on the major route between Jerusalem and the Galilee about 7 miles north of Jerusalem.  The Greek manuscripts use the Greek measurement of “stadion” to describe the village’s location, of which sixty stadion cover the distance to Emmaus. A stadion is approximately equivalent to a modern day furlong, about one eighth mile.
One of the two disciples traveling on the road that day was a man named Cleopas. Although a common name at the time, this Cleopas was probably the same Cleopas mentioned in John 19:25, the husband of the Mary who accompanied Mary the mother of Yeshua at the cross. Cleopas was Yeshua’s uncle, the brother of His earthly father Joseph.
As Cleopas and the other un-named disciple were walking along the road, I can imagine that they were broken hearted and depressed over the events of the preceding days.  While on this journey, a stranger joined them.
Luke 24:14-16 NKJV 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
Mark’s gospel records that Yeshua’s appearance was different and that is why they did not recognize Him.
Mark 16:12 NKJV 12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country.
Although Yeshua, in His resurrected and glorified state, was indeed flesh and bone, His resurrected glory was different than His previous earthy glory. Paul speaks of this differing glory in his first letter to the Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 15:39-42 NKJV 39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.
Not recognizing Yeshua in His resurrected state was not unusual.  Mary Magdalene thought He was the gardener.  First Fruits of Zion in their work The Chronicles of the Messiah, make an observation about their failure to recognize the Master.
“Some (commentaries) suggest that the two on the way to Emmaus did not recognize Yeshua because they were stubborn and unbelieving. (Other) commentaries suggest that the devil blinded them to the Master’s identity. On the contrary, Luke says, “Their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him” (Luke 24:16). Jewish writers typically use passive constructions like (this) as a way of protecting the name of God.”[ii]
As they walked along the road, Yeshua engaged them in a conversation.
Luke 24:17-21 NKJV 17 And He said to them, "What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?" 18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, "Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?" 19 And He said to them, "What things?" So they said to Him, "The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 "and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 "But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.
Cleopas probably though that this stranger was just another pilgrim returning home after the pilgrimage for Passover.  Yeshua seemed to play along by asking, “what things.”  Their description of Yeshua as a “prophet mighty in deed and word before God” perhaps reflects their disappointment about their Messianic hopes for Yeshua.  They did however, recognize the responsibility of the chief priests and rulers for Yeshua’s crucifixion even though it was the Romans who actually carried it out. They had hoped that Yeshua was the one who would be the Messiah and bring the redemption of Israel. Cleopas went on to tell the stranger what the women had found earlier that morning.
Luke 24:22-24 NKJV 22 "Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 "When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 "And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see."
When Cleopas and the other disciple set out on the road to Emmaus, the mystery of the missing body of Yeshua remained unsolved! After Cleopas relayed the details of the previous three days, Yeshua answered them.
Luke 24:25-27 NKJV 25 Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 "Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
The exact things that Yeshua shared with them on the road that day are not recorded. Cleopas and the other disciple still did not recognize this stranger as being the resurrected Yeshua! We can imagine that Yeshua spent a great deal of time explaining the things in the Torah, the Prophets and Writings which spoke of Messiah.
Yeshua’s conversation with them would have encompassed the entire body of scripture.  Perhaps they slowed their pace or occasionally stopped along the road to argue a point or two.  This type of discussion would not be uncommon in 1st century Judaism and is spoken of in the scriptures.
Deuteronomy 6:7 NKJV 7 "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Up until now, the disciples did not understand Yeshua’s predictions about His suffering, death, and resurrection. The reality of Messiah’s death and resurrection can be inferred from the Hebrew scriptures and there are other Rabbinic sources which speak of the suffering and death of the Messiah. Perhaps Yeshua was taking Cleopas and the other disciple back through the scriptures and revealing them in a new light.
We do not know what the ensuing discussion consisted of. All that Luke states is the Yeshua explained the prophecies contained in the scriptures which concerned Himself.  We can probably infer from texts cited later by the apostles to reconstruct what Yeshua may have spoken of.
Perhaps Yeshua spoke of Abraham and his promised son, through whom was promised the land and through whom all nations would be blessed. He would have spoken of the significance of the sacrifice of Isaac, the very promised son and heir!  Jewish tradition says that Isaac actually died and was resurrected by God.
There was that story of Joseph, who was hated and rejected by his own brothers.  Later when they themselves were in desperate need because of famine in the land, the brothers went to Egypt seeking help, did not recognize Joseph who was now in command and second only to Pharaoh.  Joseph forgave them for their betrayal none the less.
Yeshua would have surely spoken of the sacrificial system with all its rites and ceremonies and how it all speaks so loudly of the Messiah who suffers and sacrifices for all.  Brenda and I wrote about the Messianic aspects of the sacrificial system in our Shadows of the Messiah in the Torah study series volume three.
In reference to the prophets, Yeshua would have certainly cited Daniel
Daniel 9:26 NKJV 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
Yeshua would have reminded them of the words of the prophet Zechariah.
Zechariah 12:10 NKJV 10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
And from the prophet Amos the frightening event that would have been fresh in their minds.
Amos 8:10 NKJV 10 I will turn your feasts into mourning, And all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist, And baldness on every head; I will make it like mourning for an only son, And its end like a bitter day.
The servant of the LORD prophesies of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 would have been a particularly powerful witness to the events of the last few days.
As the Master continued to teach and share the Messianic implication of the scriptures with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, He would have discussed Psalms, particularly Psalm 22 as well as other Psalms of David where David speaks of his tribulations as well as triumphs.  In the Acts of the Apostles it is recorded that they cited many times from the Psalms, particularly Psalm 16 as a prophecy of Yeshua’s resurrection.
Psalms 16:9-11 NKJV 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. 10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
All through Yeshua’s teaching, Cleopas and the other disciple did not recognize the stranger walking with them as the Master Yeshua.  As they approached the village, they asked the stranger to stay with them.
Luke 24:28-29 NKJV 28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, "Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent." And He went in to stay with them.
Perhaps they were beginning to see all the pieces fall into place and their spirits lifted as Yeshua spoke to them.  They saw that all of the events of the last few days, although frightening and tragic, were predicted long ago.  Perhaps they now understood the meaning of the empty tomb!  His body had not been taken away by the Romans or the chief priest’s men.  But if he was indeed resurrected and alive, where was he?  I am sure that with building excitement they wanted to know more from this amazing and knowledgeable stranger.
It was only two days into the Festival of Unleavened Bread so as they prepared for the evening meal, matzah would be placed on the dinner table.  Cleopas, being the eldest present would have been the logical one to offer the blessing over the bread, instead he deferred to the stranger who agreed to dine with them.
During Yeshua’s earthly ministry, the disciples were with him for more than three years and perhaps present with Him every day for every meal.  As Cleophas handed off the matzah to the stranger, something amazing took place.  The biblical scholar David Instone-Brewer comments on this encounter at Emmaus.
“The story of Emmaus suggests that (Yeshua) had a characteristic way of blessing bread, and all the Synoptics note that (Yeshua) looked up to heaven as he blessed the bread for thousands, so perhaps He did this in a particularly singular way.”[iii]
Before Yeshua finished the blessing, the astonished disciples realized that this stranger they had spent the last several hours with was none other than the Master Himself!  As Yeshua took a piece of the matzah into His mouth, he vanished from their sight.
Luke 24:30-31 NKJV 30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
Can you imagine the excitement they must have experienced! They now knew beyond any shadow of doubt that Yeshua had risen from the grave and was alive on the earth with them! Their fears were dispensed with and their greatest hopes were now realized! They changed their plans of returning home to the Galilee and could not wait to return to Jerusalem and tell the other disciples that He was alive!
Luke 24:32-35 NKJV 32 And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?" 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.
Although is was late and traveling at night was rather dangerous, Cleopas and the other disciple hurried back to Jerusalem. I can imagine that they would be out of breath when they reached the house where the other disciples were staying.  As they shared their story with the others, Yeshua appeared in their midst and greeted them with “Peace to you”.  Now all of the remaining eleven closest disciples and perhaps a few others would see Him and know that He had indeed risen from the grave. They all would then realize as so well put in the last words of Don Francisco’s song, “He’s alive and I’m forgiven, heaven’s gates are opened wide!”
Study Questions:
1. Yeshua specifically mentions in Luke 24:25-27 that the Messiah must suffer and then enter into His glory.  Other than Isaiah 53, where is this mentioned in the scriptures?  Reference the Torah Prophets and Writings.
2. Yeshua appeared to the disciples in His glorified state, yet He was still flesh and bone; He was still a physical being, able to eat and drink and be touched, etc.  Are there other examples in the scriptures of a person or persons being in this state of glory other than Yeshua? 
3. The story of Yeshua’s encounter with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus is the fourth encounter that Yeshua has with people after His resurrection.  Reading further in the gospels and epistles, following the Emmaus road experience, what other encounters are recorded?  What are the circumstances and reactions of the people when encountering the resurrected Yeshua?
4. Compare the “Great Commission” found in Matthew 28:19 with the commandment in Deuteronomy 6:7, how are we, as disciples of Yeshua, to apply both of these instructions in our daily lives?
5. When Yeshua appeared to the disciples following the return to Jerusalem of Cleopas and the other disciple, the disciple Thomas was not present.  Thomas was skeptical of the reports and had to see Yeshua for himself, going so far as to touch the nail scars in His hands and the spear wound in His side. Compare Yeshua’s answer to Thomas in John 20:29 with the “Be Attitudes” in Matthew 5:1-11.
© 2018 Moed Ministries International. All rights reserved


[i]  The Complete Word Study Dictionary, New Testament.  AMG Pub. P574
[ii] FFOZ The Chronicles of the Messiah. D. Thomas Lancaster. Vol. 5 P1712
[iii] David Instone-Brewer, Traditions of the Rabbis From the Era of the New Testament, Vol 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004), 75.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Shabbat Service 8-6-2018

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 MoedMinistries.com) and be ready to join in the discussion on Shabbat. We live stream our service on the home page of our website, Livestream.com and on our Moed Ministries International Facebook page.

 

The Stone the Builder's Rejected - Part 2 10-5-2018

Part 2 of our study from our series "The Shadows of the Messiah in the Torah - Volume 4"

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Hope of Israel


By Dan & Brenda Cathcart
The video version of this teaching is available at: https://youtu.be/JV4Ma7FPhvA
The scripture readings for this teaching are: 
Luke 24:1-12, Matthew 28:1-15, Mark 16:1-9, John 20:1-18

After Yeshua’s death on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus courageously came out in the open by asking for the right to take Yeshua’s body for burial. Both men were members of the Sanhedrin but did not approve of nor participate in the arrest and mock trial of Yeshua. They, who were powerless to stop the atrocity of Yeshua’s death, now did what they could to honor the body of the Master.
John 19:38-40 NKJV 38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
As the sun set and the Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread began, Yeshua was dead and buried. Yeshua’s death rocked the world of His followers. They didn’t know what to think. Was this man they had given up everything to follow really the Messiah or had they been horribly deceived? God, of course, knew that these doubts would play on the minds of Yeshua’s disciples as they do on the minds of seekers today. What evidence or signs did God put in place to confirm that these events followed God’s plan for our redemption?
His disciples were stunned with grief, sorrow and, perhaps, even anger at Yeshua’s death. The scriptures don’t record any of them as being present when Joseph took charge of the burial details. Matthew tells us that Joseph was a rich man fulfilling the prophecy by Isaiah that Yeshua would die among criminals but have His resting place among the rich.
Isaiah 53:9 NKJV 9 And they made His grave with the wicked-But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
Joseph had hidden his belief in Yeshua because he was afraid of the other council members. It, also took courage to go before Pilate, the ruler of all Judea, and ask for the body of a condemned criminal.
Mark 15:43 NKJV 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
Finally, we learn that Joseph was waiting for the kingdom of God! Luke records that, at the time of Yeshua’s birth, a man named Simeon was also one who was waiting for the kingdom of God.
Luke 2:25-26 NKJV 25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
Yeshua’s birth and death were both marked by the appearance of those who were awaiting His coming and the coming of His kingdom!
Joseph took Yeshua into his new tomb where no one had ever been laid before.
Matthew 27:59-60 NKJV 59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.
Because the tomb had not been used before, it was not ceremonially unclean. The ground Yeshua was laid in was clean ground. While Joseph and Nicodemus anointed Yeshua’s body, some of the women watched from outside the tomb.
Matthew 27:61 NKJV 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.
Luke also records that the women from Galilee followed Joseph to the tomb.
Luke 23:55 NKJV 55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.
These women were also at the cross and witnessed Yeshua’s death. Mathew, Mark, and John list different women who were at the cross. First Fruits of Zion in their work The Chronicles of the Messiah, examined these lists and came up with five different women who were identified as being at the cross.
“More Galilean women may have been present, but these five had become prominent personalities among the community of early believers and received special mention. Four of the five were named Mary. Mary (Miryam) was the most popular female name among first-century Jews in the land of Israel.”[i]
The first of these women was Mary or Miriam the mother of Yeshua. The next was identified as Mary’s sister the wife of Clopas. The church historian Eusebius identifies Clopas as Joseph’s brother. This Mary was Yeshua’s aunt and sister-in-law to His mother. The next Mary was Mary of Magdala. Luke identifies Mary of Magdala as one of the rich patrons of Yeshua.
Luke 8:1-3 NKJV 1 Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities--Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.
The city of Magdala was next to Tiberius in the Galilee. It was the regional administrative center for Herod Antipas. Mary, like Joanna, was probably the wife of an administrator in Herod’s government although she is erroneously identified as the prostitute who anoints Yeshua’s feet in Luke 7.
The last Mary at the cross was the mother of the James and Joses or Joseph, two of the apostles. The final woman identified as being at the cross was Salome the mother of James and John.
These women noted the location of the tomb so they could find it after the Sabbath and personally tend to the body of their Master.
Each of the gospels tells the story of what happened after Yeshua’s burial with slightly different details and the order of events seems to be jumbled. There was a lot of confusion and running back and forth to the tomb. Mary of Magdala apparently arrived at Yeshua’s tomb first.
John 20:1-2 NKJV 1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him."
While Mary of Magdala was taking the news to Peter and John, the other women arrived at the tomb.
Luke 24:1-3 NKJV 1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
Unlike Mary of Magdala, this group of women went into the tomb. Although the body of Yeshua was not there, two angels greeted them. Mark reports only one angel who was on the right side of the chamber. The other angel must have been on the left side.
Luke 24:4-7 NKJV 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 "He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 "saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'"
Mark records the additional instructions that they should specifically tell Peter about Yeshua’s resurrection and that Yeshua would meet all of His disciples again in the Galilee.
Mark 16:5-7 NKJV 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 "But go, tell His disciples--and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."
As this group of women leaves, they don’t immediately go to tell the disciples what they saw and heard. They were perplexed and afraid.
Mark 16:8 NKJV 8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
In the meantime, Mary had arrived where the apostles were staying and given her report about Yeshua’s body being missing. Peter and John ran to the tomb followed by Mary. John arrived first but waited for Peter to arrive before entering.
John 20:3-7 NKJV 3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.
Where the women had seen two angels, Peter and John only saw the empty tomb and Yeshua’s grave-clothes lying on the slab in the center of the tomb. Peter was puzzled. When Yeshua raised Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus came out wearing his grave-clothes. On the other hand, why would the Romans steel the body but leave the grave-clothes behind? This would not only take additional time, but would leave the impression the Romans were seeking to avoid, that Yeshua had risen from the grave!
Peter and John returned to the house where they were staying but Mary lingered near the tomb where she, then, saw two angels.
John 20:11-12 NKJV 11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
They ask her why she is weeping and even as she answers that her Master’s body has been stolen, Yeshua appears to her.
John 20:14-15 NKJV 14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away."
Mary mistakes Yeshua for the gardener and continues to seek information about where Yeshua was taken. It wasn’t until Yeshua said her name that she recognized Him.
John 20:16-17 NKJV 16 Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'"
Mary runs to tell the disciples that Yeshua’s body wasn’t missing like they thought. He had actually risen from the dead!
In the meantime, the other women who were afraid and uncertain about what the angels had told them had also lingered in the garden near the tomb. Just as they decided that the message was indeed true and that they should report this to the disciples, Yeshua appeared before them as well.
Matthew 28:9-10 NKJV 9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me."
Why did Yeshua appear to Mary of Magdala first and then the other women of whom many were also named Mary or Miriam? Peter and John were at the tomb, why didn’t the angels or Yeshua appear to them? There is another case in which a person named Miriam watched over the inevitable death of a loved one which connects these events to the Exodus from Egypt.
When the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt, Pharaoh ordered the midwives to kill any Hebrew baby boys as they were being born. The Hebrew midwives thwarted Pharaoh’s plans and stated that the Hebrew women gave birth so quickly that the child was born before they could arrive for the birth. Pharaoh then issued a decree that all Hebrew baby boys be thrown into the river. We are told about one mother who defied the edict.
Exodus 2:1-2 KJV 1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. 2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.
This child is seen to be a “goodly” child. The Hebrew word is #2896, Tov, meaning good. This is the word that God used to describe His creation. When the child could be hidden no longer, he was placed in a basket in the Nile River. His sister Miriam was tasked with the duty of watching over the child.
Exodus 2:3-4 NKJV 3 But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank. 4 And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.
Miriam, like the Miriams at the cross, watched to see what would happen! As the child floated on the river, the rich daughter of Pharaoh, pulled him out of the river. Miriam bravely stepped out in the open to make sure that the child was taken care of.
Because of the acts of the Hebrew midwives and of Miriam and her mother, the women of that generation were considered more righteous than the men. First Fruits of Zion in their work Torah Club Volume 5: Rejoicing of the Torah explains:
It was the women who passed the torch of faith to the next generation. It was the women who refused to be broken, who insured that despite what Pharaoh and Egypt may do, Israel “multiplied and spread.”[ii]
Like the original Miriam, sister of Moses, the women at the cross named after this original Miriam, were faithful to Yeshua. When He could not be hidden any longer and was arrested and sentenced to death, they faithfully watched over Him. They waited to see what would be done to Him. They followed His body as Miriam followed the basket down the Nile. They came to anoint His body, to take care of Him even in death. For their faithfulness and service, they were the first to receive the message that Yeshua had risen from the dead! They were the first to see the Master in His glorified body.
Luke 24:22-24 NKJV 22 "Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 "When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 "And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see."
The events of Yeshua’s death and resurrection are bookended by the watchfulness of the women especially those named Miriam! Within that framework, the tomb that Yeshua rested in belonged to Joseph. Another tomb belonging to the first Joseph the son of Jacob who was a rich man, second only to Pharaoh, was also left empty.
After Yeshua’s resurrection, those entering Yeshua’s tomb saw only His grave-clothes. These were the evidence of his occupation of the tomb. Unlike Lazarus, when Yeshua rose from the dead, He didn’t exit the tomb in His grave-clothes. Yeshua had no need of mortal garments; He was clothed with the garments of immortality!
This day, the first day of the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is also the Feast of Firstfruits. As Yeshua was greeting the women in the garden where the tomb was located, the priests in the temple were readying the first sheath of the barley harvest for offering before the LORD. Yeshua, in His words to Mary, indicate that He was preparing to ascend to His Father, but that He would later meet with His disciples. Yeshua had an important date with the Father. When the priests lifted up the barley harvest in thanks to God for the grain that God brought forth from the land, Yeshua would ascend to the Father as the first fruits that God had brought forth from the grave.
Before the day had ended, Yeshua would appear to others, but the privilege for first seeing Yeshua went to those who faithfully waited and watched over Him.
Study Questions:
1. What is the meaning of the name “Miriam”, The word picture for Miriam would be the head and the hand in the midst of the water. What would the word picture indicate about Miriam? How can these meanings add to the symbolism of the Miriam the sister of Moses, and the Miriam’s at the cross?

2. What role did women play as disciples of Yeshua?

3. How do the angels on the left and right, at the head and feet of where Yeshua’s body laid represent the various appearances of two cherubim?

4. Mary mistook Yeshua for a gardener. In what was can Yeshua be thought of as a gardener?

5. Is there any significance to the grave clothes being left in the tomb? What about the head covering being folded and set apart from the other grave clothes?

© 2018 Moed Ministries International. All rights reserved





[i] [i] The Chronicles of the Messiah. D. Thomas Lancaster. First Fruits of Zion. ©2014 D. T. Lancaster. P.1648.
[ii]  Torah Club Volume 5: Rejoicing of the Torah. D. T. Lancaster, First Fruits of Zion. ©2006. P.252.