Tag Archives: Messiah

IT’S ROSH HASHANAH 5775, IS YOUR LAMP LIT?

Shana Tova!  Today marks the beginning of the Jewish high holiday Rosh Hashanah, a celebration of the new year, a celebration of the creation of the world.  Once again, we pause and reflect on what has been, what is, and most importantly, what is to come.

With each new year comes a deeper understanding of what is occurring in the world.  This understanding is a gift from God, as we have all been given a unique dose of both wisdom and perspective.  As Rosh Hashanah 5775 is upon us, God is calling each and every one of us to use the wisdom and perspective he has given us to carry on in our unique calling.

This year it has been given to us to explore quantam physics, and its how it explains any number of phenomena, such as prayer and eternity, which are often dismissed by natural science.  It is a call to believe and walk in faith and courage.

It has also been given to us to present the healing miracles of Jesus presented in the Gospel of Luke, during the first ten weeks of 2015 on the Gregorian calendar.

It is now time to remind ourselves why Rosh Hashanah is especially important for those of us who believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah.

The Feast of Trumpets and the Messiah’s Return

We are convinced that the Messiah, Jesus, is returning. We are equally convinced that it has not been given to any man to know the exact time of his return.

What we do know is that we will know the season of his return. The interpretations which we have heard of Jesus’s declaration recorded in Matthew 24:36 generally center around the premise that some sort of series of great catastrophes will be unfolding and a series of signs will be in some stage of fulfillment, implying that these things will mark the season of Jesus’s return.

Here at The Mint, we subscribe to a much simpler and more profound understanding of this scripture, drawn from an understanding of the Jewish wedding ceremony. Jesus will arrive during the fall season in the Northern Hemisphere.

In fact, based on the timing of His death and resurrection, the Passover, we believe that His triumphant return will logically take place over Rosh Hashanah. The celebrated Feast of Trumpets.

Feast of trumpets by Aleksander Gierymski (1850–1901): Painting of Hasidic Jews performing tashlikh (ritual washing away of sins) on Rosh Hashanah, placed on the banks of the Vistula River in Warsaw.
Feast of trumpets by Aleksander Gierymski (1850–1901): Painting of Hasidic Jews performing tashlikh (ritual washing away of sins) on Rosh Hashanah, placed on the banks of the Vistula River in Warsaw.

Not necessarily this fall, mind you. For it is impossible to know for certain. If one were to attempt to pick a specific year, the logical choices would be one of the upcoming Jubilee years, 2018 (starting on Rosh Hashanah 2017 on the Gregorian calendar) or 2068, or the final year of the 6000 year Jewish Calendar, 2240.

Yet it could be tomorrow, or the next day, as Rosh Hashanah has the element of uncertainty as to precisely when the new moon occurs. This detail fits nicely with Jesus’s declaration that we would not know the day or time.

With all of the things that are happening in the world, many have begun to speculate that the end is nigh.

Clearly, the end is always nigh, and calamities such as the ones humanity is currently suffering have always taken place to some degree ever since mankind chose to disobey God and turn their back on their Creator.

Today, with billions of us on the planet, these calamities are multiplied to a staggering degree. The good news is that God’s grace and mercy are experienced in abundance as well, and this will overcome all suffering and calamity as He daily establishes His Kingdom within and amongst us.

Rosh Hashanah may be the most important and least observed/understood holiday for anyone who is not Jewish.  However, what occurs over the next nine days will set the tone for the coming year.  They occurrences are of such magnitude that the Jewish title, the “days of awe,” may be the only appropriate descriptor.

The following is an excerpt from our teaching last year on the sixth sign performed by Jesus that is recorded in the Gospel of John, which took place during this season some 2000 years ago.

Sukkot and the days of awe

Under these circumstances, Jesus announced that He would not attend the upcoming Feast of Booths (Tabernacles), or Sukkot, the Jewish Festival which follows Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, which was the holiest day of the year. Jesus’ initial reluctance to attend the Feast, and ultimate decision to attend, has great significance, both for our understanding of the sixth sign and for Jesus’ future second coming.

As you may recall, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, marks a new beginning. The Jews believe that on this day the fate of each person for the upcoming year is written by YHWH in theBook of Life. The days (approximately 9) between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, known as the the days of awe, are spent in deep reflection, fasting, and prayer. It is a time of confession and repentance, it is a time of recognition that we are but dust, yet infinitely precious in YHWH’s sight.

The Jews believe that the fate which is written on Rosh Hashanah is then sealed by YHWH on Yom Kippur, at which point the Feast of Booths begins. It is our speculation that Jesus made the decision to ultimately attend the Feast of Booths to symbolically seal His fate. He would give His life for humanity on the upcoming Passover.

Yom Kippur is regarded as the Sabbath of Sabbaths, as such, it is only appropriate that the Jewish leaders who were looking for a reason to kill Him, would carefully observe Jesus in hopes of catching Him breaking their observance of the Sabbath.

As Rosh Hashanah begins, we hold fast to our faith, cleanse our minds and spirits, and resolve to love and forgive as God has loved and forgiven us.   May this year be filled with a generous portion of wisdom and perspective, and the faith and courage to use it to fulfill our calling.  The Messiah is coming, the trumpet is about to sound!

Is your lamp lit?

Its Rosh Hashanah 5774, is your lamp lit?

Today marks the beginning of the Jewish high holiday Rosh Hashanah, a celebration of the new year, a celebration of the creation of the world.

We are convinced that the Messiah, Jesus, is returning. We are equally convinced that it has not been given to any man to know the exact time of his return.

What we do know is that we will know the season of his return. The interpretations which we have heard of Jesus’s declaration recorded in Matthew 24:36 generally center around the premise that some sort of series of great catastrophes will be unfolding and a series of signs will be in some stage of fulfillment, implying that these things will mark the season of Jesus’s return.

Here at The Mint, we subscribe to a much simpler and more profound understanding of this scripture, drawn from an understanding of the Jewish wedding ceremony. Jesus will arrive during the fall season in the Northern Hemisphere.

In fact, based on the timing of His death and resurrection, the Passover, we believe that His triumphant return will logically take place over Rosh Hashanah. The celebrated Feast of Trumpets.

Feast of trumpets by Aleksander Gierymski (1850–1901): Painting of Hasidic Jews performing tashlikh (ritual washing away of sins) on Rosh Hashanah, placed on the banks of the Vistula River in Warsaw.
Feast of trumpets by Aleksander Gierymski (1850–1901): Painting of Hasidic Jews performing tashlikh (ritual washing away of sins) on Rosh Hashanah, placed on the banks of the Vistula River in Warsaw.

Not necessarily this fall, mind you. For it is impossible to know for certain. If one were to attempt to pick a specific year, the logical choices would be one of the upcoming Jubilee years, 2018 (starting on Rosh Hashanah 2017 on the Gregorian calendar) or 2068, or the final year of the 6000 year Jewish Calendar, 2240.

Yet it could be tomorrow, or the next day, as Rosh Hashanah has the element of uncertainty as to precisely when the new moon occurs. This detail fits nicely with Jesus’s declaration that we would not know the day or time.

With all of the things that are happening in the world, many have begun to speculate that the end is nigh.

Clearly, the end is always nigh, and calamities such as the ones humanity is currently suffering have always taken place to some degree ever since mankind chose to disobey God and turn their back on their Creator.

Today, with billions of us on the planet, these calamities are multiplied to a staggering degree. The good news is that God’s grace and mercy are experienced in abundance as well, and this will overcome all suffering and calamity as He daily establishes His Kingdom within and amongst us.

Rosh Hashanah may be the most important and least observed/understood holiday for anyone who is not Jewish.  However, what occurs over the next nine days will set the tone for the coming year.  They occurances are of such magnitude that the Jewish title, the “days of awe,” may be the only appropriate descriptor.

The following is an excerpt from our teaching last year on the sixth sign performed by Jesus that is recorded in the Gospel of John, which took place during this season some 2000 years ago.

Sukkot and the days of awe

Under these circumstances, Jesus announced that He would not attend the upcoming Feast of Booths (Tabernacles), or Sukkot, the Jewish Festival which follows Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, which was the holiest day of the year. Jesus’ initial reluctance to attend the Feast, and ultimate decision to attend, has great significance, both for our understanding of the sixth sign and for Jesus’ future second coming.

As you may recall, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, marks a new beginning. The Jews believe that on this day the fate of each person for the upcoming year is written by YHWH in the Book of Life. The days (approximately 9) between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, known as the the days of awe, are spent in deep reflection, fasting, and prayer. It is a time of confession and repentance, it is a time of recognition that we are but dust, yet infinitely precious in YHWH’s sight.

The Jews believe that the fate which is written on Rosh Hashanah is then sealed by YHWH on Yom Kippur, at which point the Feast of Booths begins. It is our speculation that Jesus made the decision to ultimately attend the Feast of Booths to symbolically seal His fate. He would give His life for humanity on the upcoming Passover.

Yom Kippur is regarded as the Sabbath of Sabbaths, as such, it is only appropriate that the Jewish leaders who were looking for a reason to kill Him, would carefully observe Jesus in hopes of catching Him breaking their observance of the Sabbath.

As Rosh Hashanah begins, we hold fast to our faith, cleanse our minds and spirits, and resolve to love and forgive as God has loved and forgiven us. The Messiah is coming, the trumpet is about to sound!

Is your lamp lit?

Its Rosh Hashanah 5773, is your lamp lit?

Today marks the beginning of the Jewish high holiday Rosh Hashanah, a celebration of the new year, a celebration of the creation of the world.

We are convinced that the Messiah, Jesus, is returning.  We are equally convinced that it has not been given to any man to know the exact time of his return.

What we do know is that we will know the season of his return.  The interpretations which we have heard of Jesus’s declaration recorded in Matthew 24:36 generally center around the premise that some sort of series of great catastrophes will be unfolding and a series of signs will be in some stage of fulfillment, implying that these things will mark the season of Jesus’s return.

Here at The Mint, we subscribe to a much simpler and more profound understanding of this scripture, drawn from an understanding of the Jewish wedding ceremony.  Jesus will arrive during the fall season in the Northern Hemisphere.

In fact, based on the timing of His death and resurrection, the Passover, we believe that His triumphant return will logically take place over Rosh Hashanah.  The celebrated Feast of Trumpets.

Feast of trumpets by Aleksander Gierymski (1850–1901):  Painting of Hasidic Jews performing tashlikh (ritual washing away of sins) on Rosh Hashanah, placed on the banks of the Vistula River in Warsaw.
Feast of trumpets by Aleksander Gierymski (1850–1901): Painting of Hasidic Jews performing tashlikh (ritual washing away of sins) on Rosh Hashanah, placed on the banks of the Vistula River in Warsaw.

Not necessarily this fall, mind you.  For it is impossible to know for certain.  If one were to attempt to pick a specific year, the logical choices would be one of the upcoming Jubilee years, 2018 (starting on Rosh Hashanah 2017 on the Gregorian calendar) or 2068, or the final year of the 6000 year Jewish Calendar, 2240.

Yet it could be tomorrow, or the next day, as Rosh Hashanah has the element of uncertainty as to precisely when the new moon occurs.  This detail fits nicely with Jesus’s declaration that we would not know the day or time.

With all of the things that are happening in the world, many have begun to speculate that the end is nigh.

Clearly, the end is always nigh, and calamities such as the ones humanity is currently suffering have always taken place to some degree ever since mankind chose to disobey God and turn their back on their Creator.

Today, with billions of us on the planet, these calamities are multiplied to a staggering degree.  The good news is that God’s grace and mercy are experienced in abundance as well, and this will overcome all suffering and calamity as He daily establishes His Kingdom within and amongst us.

As Rosh Hashanah begins, we hold fast to our faith, cleanse our minds and spirits, and resolve to love and forgive as God has loved and forgiven us.  The Messiah is coming, the trumpet is about to sound!

Is your lamp lit?

Lessons from John’s gospel, chapters 1-3

This year, it is our privilege to get to know John, the author of a good portion of what is now the New Testament.

There is much to learn.  Today, we had two revelations as we began our journey:

Revelation one has to do with what we willthe mechanics of rebirth.  It is written in John 1:12-13 that those who believe in Jesus, the Messiah, are given the right to become children of God.  How does this miracle occur?

It was revealed to us as the spirit of God penetrating the believer.  It is a miracle, yet we will attempt to describe it as clearly as possible.  The Spirit of God descends as a mere drop of oil on the head, which then enters the body, as if flesh were not a barrier.

Russian Orthodox icon of the Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, 18th century (Iconostasis of Transfiguration Church, Kizhi Monastery, Karelia, Russia
Russian Orthodox icon of the Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, 18th century (Iconostasis of Transfiguration Church, Kizhi Monastery, Karelia, Russia)

This drop grows larger until it fills the entire physical presence of the believer, for it is the essence of the Lord permeating the flesh of the believer.

This was confirmed as we read the next line, John 1:14:  The Word BECAME FLESH and dwelt amongst us.  This vision and John’s choice of descriptive language reveal the deep understanding and intimacy that John has with the Father.

It is no mistake that in Chapter 3, the third witness of this truth appears as John recounts Jesus’ shock in John 3:10 that Nicodemus, a teacher of Israel, would be ignorant of the mechanics of spiritual rebirth.  Nicodemus’ ignorance is striking because He was a Pharisee, one who believed in life after death and the coming of the Messiah.

The second revelation is that John was one of two disciples of John the Baptist, whom upon witnessing the baptism of Jesus, immediately followed Jesus and asked where He was staying.  The other was Andrew.  Both of these first disciples told their brothers that they had found the Messiah.  The brother of Andrew was Peter, and the brother of John was James.

John, like Isaiah before Him, was eagerly awaiting the Jewish Messiah.  While He was a fisherman by day, his spiritual thirst attracted Him to John the Baptist.  His perceptiveness drew Him to Jesus.

The spirit of Isaiah was upon John, and the Spirit of the Living God is upon all of us.

We encourage you to join us on this journey, we will be studying the Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Revelation, and The Acts of John.  We will also look back to Proto-Isaiah for the source of this passion for the Messiah which He and John shared.

We would love to have you along and to hear your insights as they are revealed.

The death of Isaiah

The following is a brief narrative loosely based on the “Ascension of Isaiah”, an early Christian text:

“You are around a campfire on a mountain after fleeing Bethlehem, which you had fled to after you’d fled Jerusalem.  You are with Isaiah and other prophets who have come under persecution by Manasseh, and you are overjoyed.  Not because of your current circumstances, but by what the Lord has spoken to you and your brethren who are sitting around the fire with you this cold night.

Isaiah has just told you and your brethren about his ascension to the seventh heaven, where he was permitted to see the Son of Man descend, undetected, through the heavens and down to earth to come to his own as a babe in a manger.  He then tells how he saw the Son of Man nailed to a tree and then descending into Sheol, only to return victoriously to the seventh heaven in unimaginable glory to sit at the right hand of the Eternal One.

Indeed, it is a terrible and wonderful time.

As you are rejoicing with your brethren over the promised Messiah and the Lord’s final victory over death, you see torches and hear shouts coming from the valley below, you and your brethren quickly extinguish the flames and run to hide wherever you can.  As you crouch behind a rock, out of the corner of your eye you watch Isaiah slip into a hollowed out tree. 

The men in torches appear and begin to search the area around the smoldering campfire.  You see that they are led by none other than Manasseh, the king of Judah.  You then recall that Isaiah had prophesied that indeed he would die by Manasseh’s hand.  As you are piecing this together in your mind, one of Manasseh’s men passes the by the rock which is your cover and strides up next to the tree in which Isaiah is hiding.  As he searches the branches above, he notices a light emanating from within the trunk of the tree.

It is Isaiah. 

You fix upon Isaiah’s face and watch as a holy calm and radiance comes over him.  A radiance that would later be recognized on the face of Stephen, the first Jew to be martyred for giving testimony to the messiah that Isaiah foresaw some 700 years earlier.

Then the unthinkable happens…

{Editor’s Note:  For those unfamiliar with the story, it is widely believed that Isaiah was sawn in two by Manasseh’s men while hiding in the tree.  This is testified to in the Jerusalem Talmud, the Babylonian Talmud, and the early Christian psuedepigrapha “The Ascension of Isaiah,”}