Keyboard and Mouse



Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!

Previously, we listed the many ways in which the Old Testament scriptures pointed us to the Only One who matters - Jesus Christ. As we turn now to the Gospels, we are given four unique perspectives of Jesus, each highlighting a particular role or mission of His.

The Gospel of Mark was the first to be written. Targeting Roman Gentile believers, Mark was a short, fast-paced, action and miracles-oriented account portraying Jesus as the Suffering Servant and Son of God. Although Mark highlighted Jesus’ divine authority as God’s Son, he did not touch on Jesus’ ancestry or family line because the Roman gentile readers then were unlikely to appreciate what it meant and why it was significant. You could say that Mark was written in a simple and engaging style to reach out to a wide audience of ordinary folks.

Next came the Gospel of Luke. Addressing the Greek Gentiles, Luke was a systematic account portraying Jesus as the Perfect Saviour of the World and Son of Man. In Luke, Jesus’ ancestry was traced all the way back to Adam - the first man. Luke probably did this to show the intellectually-minded Greek readers that Jesus was not just sent to the Jews but to all mankind as their Saviour. If Mark reads like a news tabloid, then Luke is like a lengthy research paper carefully laying out the details of Jesus’ life.

The Gospel of Matthew was written next and was aimed at the Jews, to show that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies as God’s Promised Messiah and King, the Son of David. In Matthew, Jesus’ family line was traced to Abraham and David as further proof to the Jews that Jesus was who they were waiting for. Matthew is therefore like the Jewish edition of the Gospels.

Last came the Gospel of John. Meant for everyone, John was a deeply intimate, reflective, and spiritual account of Jesus as the Divine “I AM” - God Himself. In John, Jesus was revealed to be the Word that was with God and was God. You see, by the time John wrote this Gospel, at least fifty years had passed since Jesus’ death and resurrection. As many believers by then would not have seen Jesus personally or even met the Apostles or others who had known Jesus in person, some began to question if Jesus could come as a man and yet be fully God. John wrote this Gospel partly to counter these false teachings that were emerging then.

Some scholars have noticed a correlation between the four faces of the cherubim found in the books of Ezekiel and Revelations and the four roles or missions of Jesus as seen in the four Gospels - here, the Ox represented Jesus’ Servanthood, the Man reflecting how Jesus was also the Son of Man, the Lion symbolizing Jesus as the Lion of Judah and King of Kings, and lastly the Eagle a depiction of Jesus as God Himself. Taken together, the four Gospels portrayed Jesus as both God and Man, Saviour of Jews and Gentiles, and finally as both Servant and King.

Turning back to our perspective of the Seven Days of Creation, we see that Jesus was the Greater Light that capped the end of the Fourth Day of Creation. If you recall, the completion of the Temple in AM 3000 marked the beginning of the Fourth Day of Creation, with Israel now fully equipped to act as God’s Lesser Light. But - as Paul had described in Galatians - when the set time or Kairos had fully come, which is a thousand years later in AM 3992, God sent His Son Jesus to redeem His people by dying for us on the Cross.

Now, the Gospel did not simply end here with all of us living happily ever after. We are, after all, only at the end of the Fourth Day of Creation with 3 more days to go. Instead, Jesus spoke of the need for Him to depart in order to herald in the New Life in the Spirit and Body of Christ and that there would be opposition culminating in the rule of the Antichrist before He returns again to finally establish His Millennial Reign.

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Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!

Today, as we turn to the New Testament, we begin here with a most challenging section, for who can adequately talk about Jesus Christ our great and awesome Lord and Saviour? As we recall some of the key truths we have learnt so far about Jesus (as well as others that I did not have the time to go into detail here but you can read up on your own), I wonder if our list matches that of our Lord’s when He explained to the disciples who were on the way to Emmaus what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself. Let us begin ...

Jesus is God.

Jesus is the Word (Logos) made flesh. He is the Rhema through whom God spoke Time and Creation into being and is also the fullest revelation of God to Man (Heb 1:1-3).

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End (Rev 1:8, 21:6, 22:13). He existed before time and will bring all Creation into eternal Shalom in Him.

Jesus is the true Light foreshadowed in the First Day of Creation that drives out all darkness.

Although Jesus is God, He is also fully human. He is the true Son of Man promised to Adam and Eve immediately after the Fall to crush the head of Satan.

Jesus is the true Noah bringing us everlasting comfort and rest, the true Ark that lifts us out of the flood of God’s final judgment foreshadowed in the Second Day of Creation.

Jesus is the true Dry Ground that rescues us out of the sea of sin and death foreshadowed in the Third Day of Creation.

Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Jesus is the true Isaac, the Son of Promise.

Jesus is the true Jacob, the first among the elect or chosen of God.

Jesus is the promised Messiah spoken of in the prophetic names of the 10 generations from Adam to Noah and the 12 Tribes of Israel.

Jesus is the suffering Lamb of God (Messiah ben Joseph) and victorious Lion of Judah (Messiah ben Judah).

Jesus is both King and Priest foreshadowed by King Melchizedek of ancient Jerusalem.

Jesus is the true Moses, leading us out of bondage and slavery to sin.

Jesus is the blood of the true Firstborn sacrificed so that God’s judgment will pass over us.

Jesus is the Greater Light foreshadowed in the Fourth Day of Creation.

Jesus is the fulfilment of the Law, meeting its requirements on our behalf and enabling us to live by its standard of love through the help of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is the true Tabernacle of God with Man, opening a new Way through the torn veil of His body into the Truth and Life of the very Holy presence of God (Heb 10:19-20). He is the true Sacrifice on the altar, the true Waters of cleansing, the true Bread of life, Lamp of truth, Incense of intercession, and Mercy Seat.

Jesus is the true perfect High Priest and all-sufficient Sacrifice taking away our sins once and for all time.

Jesus is our true Sabbath Day rest foreshadowed in the Seventh Day of Creation when He returns during the Millennium.

Jesus is the fulfilment of the seven Feasts of God - the true Passover Lamb who lived a sinless (unleavened) life, the firstfruits among the elect, the Giver of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, our Hope of redemption when He returns at the Last Trumpet, our Perfect High Priest and Sacrifice on the Day of Atonement, and our final and eternal Tabernacle.

Jesus is our true Eighth Day Sabbath giving us eternal rest in His presence.

Jesus is our true Hanukiah, giving light to the world at His conception.

Jesus is our true Sabbatical Year of rest and Jubilee Year of freedom from our debt of sin.

Jesus is the true Manna from heaven and Water of Life from the Rock of our salvation during our wilderness journey here on earth.

Jesus is the true Red Heifer sacrifice, sold for the price of a female slave and crucified outside the camp by Roman soldiers to cleanse us.

Jesus is the Bronze Snake that was lifted up for our salvation.

Jesus is the true Prophet referred to by Moses, making Jesus our Prophet, Priest and King.

Jesus is the true Joshua who leads us into the Promised Land of eternal rest.

Jesus is our true Kinsman-Redeemer by becoming a man so that he can redeem us as a near kin/relative, paying the full price by dying on the Cross.

Jesus is the prophesied Son of David who fulfills God’s covenant with Israel’s greatest king to establish David’s throne forever.

Jesus is the one whom the Prophets spoke of - the Messiah who would come as a Suffering Servant and King of Kings, the Righteous Branch that would remove sin in one day, the Root of Jesse, Immanuel (“God with us”), a Stumbling Stone to Israel and Judah but a Cornerstone of Zion, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace, Light to the Gentiles, Redeemer, Son of Man, Rock cut out not by human hands that struck the feet of iron and clay and became a mountain over the whole earth, the Good Shepherd that would be smittened and rejected … the list goes on and on and on.

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Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!

As we wrap up our journey through the Old Testament Prophets, I want us to reflect on this highly misunderstood and misused gift - especially in this day and age of lies and deception - the gift of prophecy.

Paul tells us that prophecy is a spiritual gift that we should especially “eagerly desire.” The Greek word for prophecy (Propheteuo) used here more accurately means to “speak forth by divine inspiration” - in other words, to proclaim God’s Rhema in His Kairos. Many think prophecy is about predicting the future. While the word can carry this meaning and some prophecies do contain a predictive element, the spiritual gift of prophecy is mainly a gift of proclamation (“forth-telling”), not prediction (“fore-telling”).

Earlier, we learnt that the purpose of the Issachar B7D Fellowship was to repair, rebuild and rescue.

Here, we are further called to release God’s Word to His people - to prophesy to those whom the Lord calls by proclaiming His Rhema in His Kairos, which is NOW. It is not about predicting the future - when Christ will return - but speaking forth about the present - understanding the signs of the times and in so doing knowing what God wants us to do. As Paul put it here, the purpose of prophecy is to “strengthen” (our resolve to act), “encourage” (us to keep going when we face obstacles and trials), and “comfort” (us when we suffer because of our obedience to Jesus). It is to “edify the church.” God’s Rhema is meant to stir us into action as one Body of Christ, to preserve the faith of our brothers and sisters until Jesus returns.

We can expect ridicule and persecution - even from within the Church. Jesus said, “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also … “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn 15:20, 16:33). We have already been warned. May God give us the conviction, the character, and the courage to take up the Cross of Christ and follow Him.

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