Sunday, April 22, 2018

Shabbat Service 3-21-2018

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


The Covenants of the Priesthood - Part 4

In part 4 we explore the Covenant of Salt.


On the High Mountain

By Dan & Brenda Cathcart
Moed Ministries International

The video version of this teaching is available at:

Scripture readings for this teaching:
Mark 9:2-13 (Matthew 17:1-13; Luke 9:28-36 
Last week we saw Yeshua healing two blind men and again feeding a multitude of people with what appeared to be meager provisions only to find that there was plenty of leftovers.  After most such busy times, Yeshua would go to a hill or mountain to spend time in prayer.  He sometimes took several disciples with him.  On this occasion he took three, Peter, James and John.  But this time was different; this time something extraordinary happened. 
Mark 9:2-4 from the Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels.  After six days, Yeshua took Petros, Ya’akov, and Yochanan, and brought them up along with him on a high mountain, and he was changed before their eyes.  His clothes shone and became very white like snow; a launderer on earth would not be able to make something so white. Then Eliyahu (or Elijah) and Mosheh (Moses) appeared to them and they were speaking with Yeshua.
On this mountain, on this day, the disciples encountered the very Glory of the divine Yeshua; transfigured before their eyes!  Mountains are a common place for Yeshua and the disciples to find solitude to pray and to seek out divine revelation. The scriptures have many examples.  But what is the significance of this encounter with Moses and Elijah?  What was the purpose of these specific disciples being allowed to see a glimpse of the kingdom of God and the glory and majesty of Yeshua that was yet to come?
Christian church tradition places this transfiguration of Yeshua on Mount Tabor, located at the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley, not far from Yeshua’s home town of Nazareth.  In the fourth century and later, the Christians made pilgrimages to Mount Tabor.  In the Byzantine era, many churches and monasteries were built on top of Mount Tabor.
But it is unlikely that Mount Tabor would be the actual location of this transfiguration for a number of reasons. One; Yeshua was, just before this event, in the northern Galilee, in or near the city of Bethsaida.  And immediately following was again in the Northern Galilee region.  Mount Tabor is many days journey to the south.
At the time of Yeshua, Mount Tabor was the location of many hundreds of Roman troops as well as the location where the Sanhedrin would place one of the many large bonfires signaling the sighting of the new moon at the beginning of the Biblical months.  Mount Tabor would be quite crowded and not the place to find an isolated spot to pray, as was the custom of Yeshua.  In addition, Mount Tabor was in the territory under the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas whom Yeshua was going out of His way to avoid; Yeshua hadn’t entered his territory since the execution of John the Baptist.
The most likely location for Yeshua’s transfiguration would be Mount Hermon, above the city of Caesarea Philippi. Mount Hermon was ell know for mystical associations in Jewish literature.  The Book of Enoch references the patriarch Levi having a vision of seven heavens while at the top of Mount Hermon.[1] The book of Psalms makes some Messianic connections to Mount Hermon.
Psalms 133:1-3 NKJV 1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. 3 It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing-Life forevermore.
As we read in Mark 9:2, Yeshua was transformed before the disciples.  The Greek word translated as “transformed” is number 3339 in the Strong’s Dictionary, metamorphoo; where we get the English word, metamorphosis.  It means to transform or change.  Matthews gospel describes what this change or metamorphosis was like.
Matthew 17:2 NKJV 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
The prophets describe the glory of God as like bright, visible light.
Isaiah 60:1 NKJV 1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
Also in Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 1:3-4 NKJV 3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was upon him there. 4 Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
Moses reflected this same radiance of God after spending forty days and nights on the mountain.
Exodus 34:29 NKJV 29 Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses' hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.
According to Jewish tradition, Adam and Eve were not naked in the Garden before their sin but were clothed in God’s glory and radiance.  Quoting from the Talmud:
“Adam’s heel outshone the globe of the sun; how much more the brightness of his face”[2] And “Adam’s garments blazed like a torch”[3]
Yeshua told his disciples that at the time of His return, we, too, will be changed and shine like the sun!
Matthew 13:41-43 NKJV 41 "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 "and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
But what is the significance of Moses and Elijah appearing at this time with these three disciples being witnesses?  Moses and Elijah may serve the function as two witnesses.  The Torah speaks of the need for more than one witness to establish a matter. Matthew records Yeshua’s own words regarding the necessity of two or more witnesses.
Matthew 18:16 NKJV 16 "But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'
Also, in one sense, Moses and Elijah may be representing the Torah and the Prophets respectively as suggested by Malachi.
Malachi 4:4-5 NKJV 4 "Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments. 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
Yeshua Himself referred to the dual testimony, or witness, of the Torah and the Prophets.
Luke 24:27 NKJV 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
In another sense, Moses and Elijah represent the witness of both life and death.  Moses, as recorded at the end of the book of Deuteronomy, went up on Mount Nebo in the land of Moab and died.  Elijah, on the other hand, did not die.  He was taken up in a whirlwind as recorded in second Kings 2:11. Both Moses and Elijah were the only ones to climb Mount Sinai and hear God speak!
Luke’s gospel records that Moses and Elijah came to bring a message to Yeshua about the path of suffering that He would take.
Luke 9:30-31 NKJV 30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
Along with the appearance of Moses and Elijah, Mark’s gospel, in chapter nine verse seven, relates that a cloud enveloped Yeshua and the two guests.  This was reminiscent of the cloud of God’s glory followed the Children of Israel and enveloped the Tabernacle in the wilderness.
Exodus 40:36-38 NKJV 36 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. 37 But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
This same cloud appeared at the dedication of the Temple which Solomon built.
1 Kings 8:10 NKJV 10 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD,
Jewish tradition associates the cloud of God’s glory with the festival of Sukkot.  In fact, according to an Aramaic Targum, the festival of Sukkot is referred to as the Festival of the Clouds.  The Aramaic word used in reference to Sukkot is Metalaya, which also means “clouds.”
Out of the cloud which surrounded Yeshua, Moses and Elijah came the voice of God!
Matthew 17:5b-6 NKJV 5 … behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.
The Hebrew term for the voice out of Heaven is “bat kol”, which literally translated would be “daughter of the voice.”  It is used most often to describe an echo.  The Talmud uses the term for the voice of an unseen speaker.  There are two other accounts of a voice speaking from heaven in the gospels, one at Yeshua’s baptism, and the other at the triumphal entry.  The apostle Paul heard a voice from heaven speak to him;
Acts 9:3-4 NKJV 3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
John also heard the voice from heaven:
Revelation 1:9-10 NKJV 9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,
The voice from heaven here on the Mount of Transfiguration carried the same message as that voice which spoke at the time of Yeshua’s baptism by John in the Jordan river.  The gospels record the exact words a little differently as does Peter in his second epistle, but the message is the same.
Matthew 17:5 NKJV 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"
The words, “my beloved son,” invokes a memory of God’s instruction to Abraham.
Genesis 22:1-2 NKJV 1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." 2 Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."
The heavenly voice on this night on the mountain instructed then to “listen to him.”  In Deuteronomy 18, Moses told the people that in the future the LORD would raise up a prophet like him from among His people and that they should listen to that prophet.
Deuteronomy 18:18-19 NKJV 18 'I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 'And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.
The voice from heaven certainly frightened Peter, James and John. So much so that they fell prostrate on the ground. Surely their belief in Yeshua as the Son of God was confirmed and strengthened that night!
As they headed back down the mountain, Yeshua instructed them to tell no one of their experience on the mountain until after he was resurrected.
Matthew 17:9 NKJV 9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead."
The disciples assumed that Yeshua wanted them to keep quiet about the experience on the mountain that night until the resurrection of the dead. They questioned Yeshua on their way back down.
Mark 9:11-13 NKJV 11 And they asked Him, saying, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" 12 Then He answered and told them, "Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 "But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him."
The three disciples had just seen Elijah so hadn’t he already come?  The common Jewish understanding is that Elijah will come first and usher in the Messianic age.  But they also saw Elijah depart.  Shouldn’t Elijah be busy at work announcing the arrival of the Messiah?
Yeshua explained as they descended the mountain that Elijah, in his role as a for runner of the Messiah at the onset of the Messianic Age, would also be a forerunner in the suffering of the Messiah as we just read in Mark 9:12-13.  Yeshua was telling them that John the Baptist was Elijah in the role as the forerunner of the suffering Messiah.
Matthew 17:12-13 NKJV 12 "But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands." 13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.
But Elijah’s work is not finished.  He returns a second time as the avenger before the return of Messiah. The largely lost ancient work “The Apocalypse of Elijah,” which was commonly known among the Jewish people and the disciples of the time, speaks directly of Elijah’s return prior to Messiah’s coming to fight against the enemies of Israel and the forces of evil.  First Fruits of Zion in their work, The Chronicles of the Messiah quotes from a fragment of this ancient writing.
Then when Elijah and Enoch hear that the shameless one has revealed himself in the holy place, they will come down and fight with him… The shameless one will hear, and he will be angry, he will fight with them in the market place of the great city. And he will spend seven days fighting with them. And they will spend three and one half days in the market place dead, while all the people see them. But on the fourth day they will rise up and they will scold him saying…[4]
The early Christian historian Tertullian comments:
Enoch was translated and so was Elijah. They did not experience death; it was postponed and only temporarily. They are most certainly preserved for the purpose of suffering of death so that, by their blood, they may extinguish the Antichrist.[5]
As Yeshua, Peter, James, and John rejoin the other disciples at the base of the mountain, they didn’t speak of their experience that night. It was several years later that Peter recounts his experience in his second epistle.
2 Peter 1:16-19 NKJV 16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;
At the time, even Peter didn’t fully understand the lessons which the Master Yeshua was trying to teach him.  Like many of us, he was stubborn and thick skulled.  But like a good, well written mystery, as we read the gospels, we see a critical character, in this case Peter, being given all the clues.  We can see them, but he does not.  It was not until after Yeshua’s resurrection and ascension that Peter put it all together and became the powerful witness for the coming kingdom of God.
Study Questions:
1. The gospel reading from Mark opens with a statement that the Transfiguration event took place six days later, but six days after what?

2. In this account, we see Yeshua climbing a mountain as He often did to pray and consult with God the Father. He also often takes His closest disciples with him. Compare this practice with that of Moses going up Mount Sinai to seek out God. What other time, or times, did Yeshua take these same three disciples along to pray? Compare those events as well.

3. Most Christian teaching and tradition says that the two witnesses who stand guard in the Holy Place during the reign of the Antichrist are a resurrected Moses and Elijah. But as we have seen, evidenced by the ancient writing The Apocalypse of Elijah, an earlier popular understanding is that these witnesses will be Elijah and Enoch. Discuss this interpretation and the implications of the two witnesses being Elijah and Enoch.

4. What is the Biblical, historic, and perhaps spiritual significance of Mount Hermon as the location of the transfiguration as opposed to Mount Tabor? What other Biblical events took place at these locations?

5. In our natural world, we associate clouds with darkness or subdued light. At the Transfiguration, we read of the cloud and exceedingly bright light along with the voice of God coming out of the cloud, discuss the significance of the association of the cloud with bright light and the presence of God? What other places in the Bible describe similar circumstances and manifestations of God?
© 2018 Moed Ministries International.  All rights reserved

[1] 1 Enoch 6:6. Also found in “The Testament of Levi” 1-3
[2] Leviticus Rabbah 20:2
[3] Genesis Rabbah 20:12
[4] “Apocalypse of Elijah,” in Charlesworth, The old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 747-748
[5] Tertullian, Treatise on the Soul, 50.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Shabbat Service 4-14-2018

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

Friday, April 13, 2018

Who Do You Say I Am?

By Dan & Brenda Cathcart
Moed Ministries International

The video version of this teaching is available at:

Scripture readings for this teaching:
Mark 7:31 – 9:1 (Matthew 15:29-16:28; Luke 9:18-27)

As Yeshua’s ministry progressed, the crowds around Him grew larger and larger. It became more difficult for Him to take His disciples apart from the multitude to teach them. Yeshua first took His disciples to the region of Tyre and Sidon. When He was inevitably found, He healed the daughter of a Canaanite. Afterwards, Yeshua moved through the wilderness area of the Decapolis region to approach the Sea of Galilee from the east side.

Mark 7:31 NKJV Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee.

What was Yeshua’s primary goal during this phase of His ministry? How did Yeshua accomplish this goal?

When Yeshua healed the daughter of the Canaanite woman, He got the attention of His disciples. The disciples’ attitude when the woman approached Yeshua reveals their prejudice and narrow focus.

Matthew 15:22-23 NKJV And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed." But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, "Send her away, for she cries out after us."

The woman is persistent however and begs even for the “leftovers” of Yeshua’s attention.

Matthew 15:26-28 NKJV But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." And she said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Even the “leftovers” from Yeshua’s table have the power to heal! Even the Canaanites can exhibit faith and receive from the master. Yeshua had previously healed the servant of a Roman centurion who was described as a friend of the Jewish people, but now, Yeshua healed the daughter of the hated Canaanite race. This definitely got the attention of the disciples and sets up Yeshua’s agenda for the next days. The disciples’ ears were ready to hear and their eyes were ready to see what Yeshua wanted to show them!

When Yeshua arrived back at the Sea of Galilee, a deaf and speech impaired man was brought to Him.

Mark 7:32-34 NKJV Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. 33 And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened."

Yeshua took the man aside from the multitude. He wasn’t interested in making a big display. In fact, after healing the man, Yeshua will instruct him to say nothing about his healing.

Mark 7:36 NKJV Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.

Yeshua, also, didn’t just speak to heal the man; He put His fingers in the man’s ears and put His spit on the man’s tongue. I’m reminded of how we use hand motions to illustrate songs or sayings. In particular, when we speak the saying, “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil,” we first cover our ears, then our eyes and then our mouth or tongue. Yeshua is not closing this man’s ears and mouth; He is opening them to hear and to speak. Those who witnessed this healing marveled!

Mark 7:37 NKJV And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak."

The crowds are seeing that Yeshua is fulfilling the words of the prophet Isaiah about the time when God would send salvation to His people.

Isaiah 35:4-5 NKJV Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you." 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

Yeshua opened the ears of the deaf, but He didn’t open his ears so he could ear, Yeshua looked to heaven and He sighed as He healed the man. Why did Yeshua look to heaven and sigh? Why is this detail included in Mark’s account? There is a parallel between this healing and Yeshua’s instructing His disciples. He took His disciples aside just like He took this man aside. He was teaching His disciples about who He was and what His mission was. At that time, although Peter had confessed that he believed Yeshua had the answer to eternal life after the miraculous feeding of the five thousand, they were still missing something. Their ears were not opened and they did not hear.

The story of Yeshua opening the ears of the deaf man quickly spread through the region and the crowds once more found Yeshua and gathered around Him.

Mark 8:1-2 NKJV In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat.

This was a familiar situation! Yeshua had dealt with this before when He fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. The disciples ask Yeshua how He will feed such a large group of people with only the resources they have with them.

Mark 8:4-5 NKJV Then His disciples answered Him, "How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?" He asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" And they said, "Seven."

It seems that the disciples had already inventoried their supplies and were ready with an answer. Perhaps, their question was not one of doubt, but of hope that He would duplicate the miracle of the feeding the five thousand. This even of feeding the four thousand followed the same pattern as that of feeding the five thousand. Yeshua had the multitude sit on the ground. He took the bread and the few small fish that they had, gave thanks to God, broke the bread and had the disciples pass out the food.

Mark 8:6-10 NKJV So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

As with the feeding the five thousand, everyone was able to eat until they were satisfied and there was ample food leftover. This event was not too long after the Canaanite woman said she was satisfied to eat the crumbs that fell from the master’s table. The “crumbs” leftover after Yeshua fed and satisfied the hunger of the four thousand amounted to seven baskets full! The number seven is the number of spiritual completion. The fact that there were seven baskets leftover may imply that even after satisfying the spiritual hunger of the Jews, there is still a spiritual completion leftover. Others have connected the seven baskets with the number seventy which is the number of the nations symbolizing that Yeshua extends His feeding to the Gentiles after satisfying the hunger of the Jews. Paul writes that salvation is for both the Jew and the Gentile.

Romans 1:16 NKJV For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

The parallels with feeding the five thousand continue. After providing food for the multitude, Yeshua left the area by boat. Then, after arriving at His destination, He is confronted by a group of people demanding a sign. This time, it is a group of Pharisees who confront Him.

Mark 8:11-12 NKJV Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation."

There is that sigh again! After all the signs that Yeshua had already done, they seek another sign. Yeshua refuses their demand for a sign. Matthew records that Yeshua chastised them for their inability to recognize the signs they have been given.

Matthew 16:2-3 NKJV He answered and said to them, "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'; "and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.

Yeshua did give them signs, many signs, but the Pharisees did not recognize a single one. John states that there were so many signs, he couldn’t write them all in his book!

John 21:25 NKJV And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

They were given signs, but they didn’t see or hear. The prophet Isaiah says that they would continue to miss the signs as long as their hearts were hard.

Isaiah 6:9-10 NKJV And He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' "Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed."

Yeshua goes on to tell them that the only sign they will receive is the sign of Jonah, the sign of His resurrection.

Matthew 16:4 NKJV "A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He left them and departed.

Yeshua and His disciples get back in their boat to journey to Bethsaida. On their way they seem to have gotten hungry and realize that they didn’t bring any bread to eat. Yeshua sees this as a teachable moment.

Mark 8:14-15 NKJV Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. Then He charged them, saying, "Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod."

Unfortunately, the disciples totally miss the point! They think Yeshua is chastising them for forgetting to bring bread. But Yeshua is referring to the conversation they had just had with the Pharisees.

Mark 8:17-18 NKJV But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, "Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? "Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?

He questions whether they are as blind and deaf as the Pharisees and as hard of heart. Don’t they see the signs that Yeshua has done? Don’t they hear the words of Isaiah as Yeshua fulfills them? Yeshua reminds them of feeding the five thousand and the four thousand.

Mark 8:19-21 NKJV "When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?" They said to Him, "Twelve." "Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?" And they said, "Seven." So He said to them, "How is it you do not understand?"

He reminded them that He provided abundantly above their needs with first twelve and then seven baskets left over!

Before feeding the four thousand, Yeshua had opened the ears and loosened the tongue of a man who couldn’t hear or speak. Now, Yeshua will heal a blind man.

Mark 8:23-25 NKJV So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, "I see men like trees, walking." Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.

The Thomas Nelson NKJV Study Bible comments on these verses:

Jesus’ healing of the blind man in stages paralleled the disciples’ imperfect perception of Jesus. Like the man, they were no longer blind, but they could not see clearly either. Only the Holy Spirit could clear the vision.[1]

After this event, Yeshua wanted to know if the disciples had begun to see. Did they see the fulfillment of Isaiah yet?

Isaiah 32:1-4 NKJV Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, And princes will rule with justice. A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, And a cover from the tempest, As rivers of water in a dry place, As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. The eyes of those who see will not be dim, And the ears of those who hear will listen. Also the heart of the rash will understand knowledge, And the tongue of the stammerers will be ready to speak plainly.

Yeshua begins the conversation asking who the people say He is. Then He asks who they say He is.

Matthew 16:15-17 NKJV He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

Yeshua’s answer reveals that this understanding is now deeper than it was when Peter first proclaimed that Yeshua was the Messiah. Yeshua declares that He will build His congregation on Peter. Or does He? Let’s look a little closer!

Matthew 16:18 NKJV "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Peter’s name is really Simon but Yeshua calls him Peter or “Petros” in the Greek and “Kefa” in Aramaic. The name “Petros,” #4074 in Strong’s Concordance means a piece of rock. There is that interesting word play between Peter’s name and the rock upon which Yeshua will build His congregation. But why does Yeshua declare at that time the Simon’s name is now Peter or Petros? It is in response to Peter’s declaration of faith!

In the Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua talks about two builders. One builder is wise and builds his house on the rock while the other builder is foolish and builds his house on the sand. The one who is wise is described as hearing Yeshua’s words and doing them.

Matthew 7:24-25 NKJV  "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

Peter finally really heard the words of Yeshua; his ears had been opened. He responded to Yeshua’s words in faith, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.”

Isaiah also spoke of a rock. That rock was Abraham, the father of faith. The rock was the promise that through Abraham all nations would be blessed!

Isaiah 51:1-2, 4-5 NKJV "Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.  Look to Abraham your father, And to Sarah who bore you; For I called him alone, And blessed him and increased him."… "Listen to Me, My people; And give ear to Me, O My nation: For law will proceed from Me, And I will make My justice rest As a light of the peoples. My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, And My arms will judge the peoples; The coastlands will wait upon Me, And on My arm they will trust.

The rock Yeshua referred to was not Peter; it was his profession of faith in the Messiah, the Comfort of Israel, the Righteous King; God’s salvation! It was a faith grounded on the rock that tribulation and trials could not cause to fall!

Yeshua states that the gates of Hades could not prevail against His congregation founded on such faith! Hades is a Greek word for the Hebrew concept of the place of the dead. In Hebrew, this word would be “Sheol” #7592 meaning the world of the dead, or the grave. Yeshua is stating the those with this faith, like Peter, cannot be kept in the grave. Peter had earlier confessed the Yeshua had the words of eternal life.

John 6:68 NKJV But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Yeshua has now achieved His purpose. His disciples have a deeper understanding of who He is and are now ready to hear how Yeshua will achieve that purpose. But Yeshua tells His disciples not to tell anyone that He is the Messiah. It is not yet time for everyone to know. The reason for that is, of course, that He is not coming as the conquering king. He is coming to suffer and die.

Matthew 16:21 NKJV From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

This stage of Yeshua’s ministry is now complete and the final stage is about to begin. Yeshua begins to teach His disciples that He must become the suffering servant Messiah before He can be the reigning King. This is a truth that they will not fully understand until His resurrection. Yeshua has begun His final journey to the cross.

Study Questions:

1.      What new insight did you gain by watching this video? How do you respond to this new insight? How will you realign your life based on this new understanding?

2.      How do the events of healing the deaf man and the blind man “bookend” feeding the 4000?

3.      In Ruth 2:14-18, Ruth ate until she was satisfied, then gave to Naomi and she ate and was satisfied. The Hebrew word in these verses is #7646.  obs saba`, saw-bah' meaning to sate, i.e. fill to satisfaction (literally or figuratively):--have enough, fill (full, self, with), be (to the) full (of), have plenty of, be satiate. Compare this situation to the 4000 eating until they were satisfied and having abundant leftovers.

4.      Matthew 16:19 says that Yeshua gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Peter. The context of the teaching in Matthew 7 about the house built on the rock is in the context of who can enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 7:21-27) In what way, then does Peter have the keys to the kingdom of heaven?

5.      Yeshua goes further in Matthew 16:19 and says that Peter has the authority to bind or loosen. In the context of the kingdom of heaven, what is Yeshua referring to?

6.      We quoted from Isaiah 35 and Isaiah 51 in this teaching. Read Isaiah 35:1-1-10 and Isaiah 51:1-11. How does the comparison of these two passages connect Yeshua healing the deaf man and the blind man with Peter’s declaration of faith and Yeshua declaring that His congregation will be founded on the rock?

© 2018 Moed Ministries International. All rights reserved

[1] NKJV Study Bible, Earl D. Radmacher, Th.D, Ronald B Allen, Th.D, H. Wayne House, Th.D. ©1197, 2007 Thomas Nelson, Inc. Page 1566.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Shabbat Service 4-7-2018

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

The Covenants of the Priesthood - Part 3

Join us every 1st and 3rd Fridays at 7:50 pm for our Erev Shabbat Bible study. We live stream on our page and on Facebook. Download the participant notes from our website and join in the discussion via the chat room.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

What is the Feast of Unleavened Bread?

Last week we celebrated the Passover.  Most Christians consider Passover to be a Jewish holiday or festival. But as we have learned, all the Feasts of the LORD, as they are referred to in the scriptures, are given to all who believe in Him. The Hebrew word that is translated as “feast” is Moed which means an appointed time. God purposely set aside Passover and six additional feasts as days appointed to accomplish His redemption plan! Most Christians are aware that Yeshua died at Passover and that we have redemption because He died as our Passover Lamb. It wasn’t a coincidence that Yeshua died on Passover. But did you know that Yeshua was placed in the burial cave just as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the second of God’s feast days, established in the scriptures began? What is the significance of this aspect of Yeshua’s crucifixion? What is the observance of Unleavened bread all about?

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Shabbat Service 3-31-2018

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The LORD's Passover Sacrifice

When God spoke to Moses from out of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, He gave Moses instructions on how to draw near to Him through the five different offerings. This occurred after God brought them out of Egypt and after He took them for His people through the covenant mediated by Moses. The system of offerings was designed to allow God’s already chosen and covenant people to draw near to Him. When we accept that Yeshua is our offering that allows us to draw near to God, we need to realize that this happens after we are taken out of slavery in Egypt and after entering into the New Covenant. How can this be? If it is not the offerings that shadow salvation through Yeshua, what does? How are we redeemed from slavery to sin? How do we enter into the New Covenant? It all begins back in Egypt with the Passover sacrifice.

(transcript not available for this teaching)


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Shabbat Service 3-24-2018

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

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Clean and Unclean Hands

By Dan & Brenda Cathcart
Moed Ministries International

The video version of this teaching is available at:

Yeshua’s actions and the actions of His disciples fell under that constant scrutiny of the religious authorities of His day chief of whom were the Pharisees and the scribes. They saw the influence that Yeshua had over the masses and wanted to determine if Yeshua followed Torah. After Yeshua fed the five thousand, some Pharisees and scribes came from Jerusalem to where Yeshua was ministering to the masses in Galilee.

Mark 7:1-2 NKJV 1 Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. 2 Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault.

The Pharisees and scribes immediately found fault with Yeshua’s disciples, and through them, found fault with Yeshua. What is the criticism of the Pharisees based on? What is the custom of washing or immersing hands as it was practiced in the time of Messiah?

In order to understand the context of this passage, we need to understand more about the Pharisees and their motivations. The Pharisees practiced a strict form of Judaism that frequently separated them from the ordinary Jew of the time. As a result, it was nearly impossible for them to eat in the homes of Jews who were not Pharisees.[1] Some of the Pharisees attempted to live in a constant state of ritual purity or cleanness. Being clean or unclean was determined by whether or not a person came into contact with things or people that rendered them unclean. Some of these things are contact with a dead body, touching a woman during her menstrual cycle, coming into contact with the carcass of an unclean animal. Anything that comes into contact with the carcass of an unclean animal, itself becomes unclean. Anything that a woman sits on during her menstrual cycle becomes unclean and anyone touching such an object becomes unclean.

As you can see, trying to live in a constant state of ritual purity requires constant vigilance. Most state of uncleanness can be remedied by washing and waiting until evening although others require rituals of cleansing lasting seven days.[2]

First Fruits of Zion in the work The Chronicles of the Messiah, report that:

“For example, some Pharisees attempted to eat their meals while in a state of Levitical purity, a standard which assumed those who prepared the meals had done so also in a ritually pure state.”[3]

This involved treating the vessels for food with the same standards as those applied to vessels in the temple, and bathing not only before entering the temple, but whenever they returned to their homes after visiting the public market. Mark remarked on this when he explained the complaints of the Pharisees against Yeshua’s disciples.

Mark 7:3-4 NKJV 3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.

In other words, the Pharisees went beyond the scope of the Torah in maintaining ritual purity. The Pharisees believed that by eating in a ritually pure state, they were committing acts of devotion and worship that would elevate their souls and protect them from wicked character traits!

In contrast, Yeshua was not concerned with maintaining a ritual state of purity. He didn’t limit Himself to eating with the Pharisees and their overzealous interpretation of Torah. He ate in the homes of Jewish tax collectors whom the Pharisees regarded as less than Jews.

Luke 5:29-30 NKJV 29 Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. 30 And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, "Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?"

Yeshua was more concerned with the soul of the tax collector and the sinner than He was with applying purity laws of the temple to the common home.

Luke 5:31-32 NKJV 31 Jesus answered and said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."

Yeshua was constantly subjecting Himself to situations where He would become unclean. Anyone who touches a leper becomes unclean and Yeshua reached out and touched the leper to heal him.

Luke 5:13 NKJV 13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately the leprosy left him.

Being in the house where there is a dead body or where someone died makes a person unclean. Yeshua entered the home of, Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue of Capernaum whose daughter had died. He touched the girl and lifted her to her feet.

Mark 5:38-41 NKJV 38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, "Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping." 40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, "Talitha, cumi," which is translated, "Little girl, I say to you, arise.

As Yeshua was on the way to Jairus’ house, a woman with an discharge of blood touched Him making Him unclean. However, Yeshua was not concerned over becoming unclean, He was concerned with who He had healed.

Mark 5:30-34 NKJV 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My clothes?" 31 But His disciples said to Him, "You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?'" 32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."

Yeshua didn’t stay in an isolated environment where He could enjoy the benefits of living in a state of ritual purity. He went where the people were and met their needs. The Pharisees and scribes, who should have been the ones instructing the people and meeting their needs, thought they were better than the masses. The Pharisees referred to the people, the crowds as being ignorant of the Torah.

John 7:47-49 NKJV 47 Then the Pharisees answered them, "Are you also deceived? 48 "Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? 49 "But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed."

When the Pharisees who came from Jerusalem to question Yeshua’s observance of the Torah criticized some of Yeshua’s disciples for not following their own practices of washing their hands even before eating common food, Yeshua called them on their hypocrisy.

Mark 7:5-7 NKJV 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?" 6 He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'

Yeshua tells them their acts of devotion that they thought brought them nearer to God were empty practices! They honor God with their lips but in their hearts they were really honoring themselves! Yeshua explains that their hypervigilance about trying to prepare and eat even common foods as if they were holy did not replace obeying the Torah in other more important matters.

Mark 7:8-9 NKJV 8 "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men--the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do." 9 He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.

Yeshua is telling them that keeping this tradition does not allow them to reject the Torah in other areas. Yeshua goes on to give examples where they used a legal argument to circumvent the commandment to honor their parents.

Mark 7:10-13 NKJV 10 "For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' 11 "But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban"-' (that is, a gift to God), 12 "then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 "making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do."

Yeshua quoted Moses’ instruction to take care of one’s mother and father. There is another commandment that says that anything devoted to God cannot be used for any other purpose.

Leviticus 27:28 NKJV 28 'Nevertheless no devoted offering that a man may devote to the LORD of all that he has, both man and beast, or the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted offering is most holy to the LORD.

Some Pharisees were devoting property and resources to God and, then, stating that they could not take care of their aging parents because their resources were devoted to God. They were neglecting the commandment to honor their parents in favor of an optional gift to God. Yeshua is telling them that honoring their parents is a higher commandment than the optional giving a gift to God. Like the practice of artificially maintaining a state of ritual purity or treating all foods as if they were holy, giving a gift to God does not automatically make one more holy or protect them from wicked character traits. Conversely, eating food that is common does not cause one to exhibit wicked character traits. Yeshua addresses this directly.

Mark 7:14-15 NKJV 14 When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15 "There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.

Yeshua’s disciples did not understand this short statement and asked Him about it privately. He explains that food we take into our bodies does not affect our hearts; that is they don’t affect the character. Food is taken in by the stomach and passes out through waste.

Mark 7:17-20 JP Green Interlinear   And when He entered into a house from the crowd, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. And He said to them, “Are you also so undiscerning? Do you not perceive that all that enters from the outside into the man is not able to defile him? This is because it does not enter his heart, but his belly, and goes out into the wastebowl, purging all the food.

Physical food does not stay in the body; it passes through. It does not cause a permanent change to the heart or the character of a person! As for the food that is either clean or unclean to begin with, one it passes through the body and is eliminated; it is regarded as ritually pure and unable to pass on ritual impurity. First Fruits of Zion in their work The Chronicles of Messiah explains:

Legally speaking, excrement cannot be ritually unclean or transmit ritual impurity… According to the Talmud, when an animal or a person eats something ritually unclean, that object ceases to be ritually unclean when it becomes excrement.[4]

Whether the food that is eaten is clean or unclean, it will pass out of the body without affecting the heart of the person. The body purges the food by making it pass out of the body, and, in the process of digesting the food, making once was unclean, clean. Yeshua did not say that all food is clean when it enters the body! He said that it did not have a permanent consequence on the person’s moral character. The things that do have a permanent effect on a person are those thoughts and actions that come from the heart.

Mark 7:20-23 MKJV 20 And He said, That which comes out of the man is what defiles the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things pass out from inside and defile the man.

After this confrontation with the hypocritical Pharisees and scribes, Yeshua retreated from the crowds traveling outside of Israel proper to the region of Tyre and Sidon on the northern coast. Mark 7:24

Mark 7:24 MKJV 24 And He arose from there and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered into a house and desired no one to know it. But He could not be hidden.

While there, Yeshua has an encounter with a woman that Matthew identifies as a Canaanite.

Matthew 15:22-23 MKJV 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan coming out of these borders cried to Him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is grievously vexed with a demon. 23 But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and begged Him, saying, Send her away, for she cries after us.

The woman asks for deliverance for her daughter, but she is not a Jew. Yeshua doesn’t immediately answer her; He keeps silent. Perhaps to see what His disciples will do or say. They were insulted that such a woman would speak to Yeshua. This is very similar to their reaction when Yeshua spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well. Like the Samaritan woman, she acknowledges her understanding of the coming of the Messiah. With the Samaritan woman, Yeshua gladly spent two days with the people of Samaria teaching them about who He was. In this case, Yeshua draws the woman out encouraging her to state her case before the disciples.

Matthew 15:24-28 MKJV 24 But He answered and said, I am not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, Lord, help me! 26 But He answered and said, It is not good to take the children's bread and to throw it to dogs. 27 And she said, True, O Lord; but even the little dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' tables. 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, O woman, great is your faith! So be it to you even as you wish. And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

On the surface, we may think that Yeshua is confirming that only Jews can receive salvation. Mark states that Yeshua said that the message must go first to the Jews but doesn’t state that He won’t go to the Gentiles.

Both the Samaritans and the Canaanites were considered unclean and no Jew would voluntarily have anything to do with them. However, the woman demonstrates her understanding that salvation comes from the Son of David. The woman’s daughter is delivered by her statement of faith in Yeshua.

In contrast to the Pharisees who wouldn’t even associate with their fellow Jews, Yeshua is willing to interact with and even bring deliverance to the most hated of the Gentiles. Matthew will later record Yeshua’s instructions to take the good news of the kingdom of heaven to all nations and embrace them as their disciples!

David describes the one who truly has clean hands; He is the one with a pure heart and true worship.

Psalms 24:3-4 MKJV 3 Who shall go up into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul to vanity, and has not sworn deceitfully.

Yeshua corrected the vanity of the Pharisees who thought that separating themselves even from the common things of this world was the way to true worship. Yeshua pointed out that it was the things that come out of the heart that defile or do not defile a person.

Discussion Questions:

1. What new insight did you gain by this teaching? How do you respond to this new insight? How will you realign your life based on this new understanding?

2. Yeshua too the Pharisees and scribes to task about their over-zealous application of traditions.  However, traditions are that part of our lives which bring joy, stability, purpose, and a sense of community.  How do we avoid the pitfalls of traditions from overtaking our obligations to our families and fellow believers?

3. Why is the woman’s identity as a Canaanite important in how the disciples react to her?

4. Why is the interpretation that Yeshua declared all food clean an incorrect interpretation of this passage?

5. Describe Yeshua’s ongoing criticism of the practices of the Pharisees.

© Copyright 2018 Moed Ministries International. All rights reserved

[1] The Chronicles of the Messiah, Volume 2. Lancaster, D.T. ©2014. Page 376-377.
[2] Leviticus11-12, 15
[3] The Chronicles of the Messiah, Volume 2. Lancaster, D. T. ©2014. Page 653.
[4] The Chronicles of the Messiah, Volume 3. Lancaster, D. T. ©2014. Page 764.