The Feast Of Weeks

Shavuot/Pentecost

The 5th -7th of Sivan, 5779

June 8-10, 2019

There is a period of seven weeks/fifty days after the Feast of First Fruits, the Counting of the Omer that lead to Shavuot (weeks). There are three stories centered around this Feast of Weeks; the giving of the Torah/Law at Mount Sinai with Moses as the mediator, the story of Ruth, with Boaz as a kinsman redeemer, and the giving of the Holy Spirit to believers in Yeshua in the book of Acts.

Moses The Mediator

Just after the first Passover when the Israelites were rescued from Egypt (Exodus), they did not realize that the adventure was just getting off to a start. They had come through the parted Reed Sea and watched their enemies drown, they gathered Manna from heaven for food, they drank bitter water turned sweet by a piece of wood and later, water from a rock and they defeated the Amakekites in a fierce battle as Moses raised his hands to the Lord. Still they became impatient as Moses went up Mount Sinai to receive the Law for the people.

God was extremely displeased at the shenanigans taking place down the hill as the people crafted for themselves a golden calf to represent the god who brought them out of Egypt. If not for the intercessory pleading of Moses, He would have completely destroyed all of them except Moses.

Moses came down the mountain only to find utter chaos with his brother Aaron, whom he left in charge, making excuses, "it just popped out of the fire." He was so angry that he broke the tablets that God had given him. The people were given a choice to repent and follow Yahweh and those 3000 who did not repent were killed. To us it sounds so harsh, but sin is this serious.

As Moses continued to mediate for this "stiff necked" people, he would be constantly reminded of his inadequacy for the task at hand. But God, was looking ahead, always seeing the bigger picture as His Way and plan are always far beyond out scope and imagination.

Boaz The Kinsman Redeemer

The story of Ruth is traditionally studied at Shavout because it takes place during this season which is also wheat harvesting season.  Elimelech and Naomi were from Bethlehem and went, taking their two sons, to live in the country of Moab. While there, Elimelech died leaving Naomi a widow and the two sons took Moabite women as wives, Ruth and Orpah.

Unfortunately the two sons also died, so Naomi decided to go home to Bethlehem. She told Ruth and Orpah to go home to their Moabite families to find new husbands. While Orpah did leave, Ruth pledged her devotion to Naomi and to Yahweh/God and went with her.

As poverty and hunger were a threat to the two widows, Naomi was reminded of a relative named Boaz. He was a wealthy man and Ruth was allowed to glean from his wheat fields to feed herself and Naomi. Boaz was so impressed by Ruth's devotion and faithfulness that he showed her favor and made sure she had plenty and was also protected from harm.

Naomi was concerned for the future because she had no children nor grandchildren. She encouraged Ruth to seek out Boaz to offer herself as a bride. In this way Boaz would be the kinsman redeemer, as the marriage established Ruth and Naomi into the family line of Judah as great and great great grandmothers to King David. This succession would eventually bring our Messiah Yeshua.

During the times of Ruth and Boaz, Israel was well ahead in keeping out of stride with Yahweh as the people did what was right "in their own eyes." (Judges 21:25) But God still had a plan.

 

Yeshua and the Ruach Ha Kodesh/Holy Spirit

Over the centuries the great need became more and more evident for a mediator, kinsman redeemer, king and high priest all rolled into One. What a great blessing that we know Him as Jesus Christ/Yeshua Ha Mashiach. The timing is significant as He was sacrificed as our perfect Passover lamb, was buried during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was raised on First Fruits, appeared to many, over 500, during the counting of the Omer, ascended to heaven after 40 days and instructed them to wait just a few more days.

They knew to be expectant on Shavout because it was known and celebrated as a time of harvest and expectation. When the day of Shavout/Pentecost arrived they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. ~Acts 2:1-5

Those who accepted his message were baptized and about three thousand were added to their number that day. ~Acts 2:41 

Did you catch that? 3000. Hope after all that time. 

And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. ~Acts 2:47

So we remember and we celebrate and we continue to pray for a great harvest of souls in these End Times.

A special Praise for Suzanne's awesome article, Who Is The Holy Spirit? Parts One and Two. I want you to know that she and I did not coordinate this. Praise Yah!!!!!

Chavah Messianic Radio

Curt Landry Ministries, Join Us For Shavout 5779

Photo by Paz Arando on Unsplash

Chapel Of Ease

How can they call on the One in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" ~Romans 10:14-15, Isaiah 52:7

This is my watercolor painting of the Chapel of Ease at St. Helena Island, South Carolina. In times before the automobile, there were many remote locations where people lived who could not regularly travel to the main parish church. The chapel of ease was the outstretched arm of the larger church, a beautiful picture of an outreach ministry to share the Good News. This building, constructed between 1742 and 1747 and destroyed by forest fire in 1886, may be in ruins, but hopefully the Gospel lives on in the lives of the descendants who attended here.

Enjoy this music:

How Beautiful Are The Feet

For more information on this historic place:

St. Helena Chapel Of Ease

 

Greater Than The Storm At Hand

The Lord Is In His Holy Temple

In the Lord I take refuge;

how can you say to my soul,

"Flee like a bird to your mountain,

for behold, the wicked bend the bow;

they have fitted their arrow to the string

to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;

if the foundations are destroyed,

what can the righteous do?"

The Lord is in His holy temple;

the Lord's throne is in heaven;

His eyes see, His eyelids test the children of man.

The Lord tests the righteous,

but His soul hates the one who loves violence.

Let Him rain coals on the wicked;

fire and sulfur and a scorching wind

shall be the portion of their cup.

For the Lord is righteous;

He loves righteous deeds;

the upright shall behold His face.

~Psalm 11

Make no mistake, the enemy never rests. He lives to create chaos and to silence God's people. At times it can be so intense that we can wonder if God can hear us crying out to Him. The uproar around us is so loud, yet there is His still small voice. He wants us to make the effort to listen, even amidst all of the madness. That is the rest, His rest.

It is okay to think, "what in the world is happening?" We do need to keep watch so that we can know how to pray, but how can we stay calm and focused? Jesus slept in a boat as a storm raged. His disciples panicked and cried in fear that they would drown. Jesus said, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" (Matthew 8:23-27) Easier said than done, right? We do need reminders that He is sovereign.

We should expect our faith to be tested from time to time and should not be surprised when wicked people are..... wicked. It seems like our participation is never enough, and it isn't and shouldn't be because it's God's work. He is the way maker. We show faith by our participation and even if we die trying, then we dine with Him at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

The enemy calls evil good and good evil, so if we are to hate evil we should be familiar with the Word's definition of good vs. evil. As opposed to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, wickedness consists of sexual immorality, (any sexual act outside a God ordained marriage between one man and one woman), open pride and arrogance in expressing it, worshiping other gods, seeking counsel from familiar spirits (fortune telling, horoscopes, tarot cards, astral projection, drugs, etc.), hatred, strife, jealousy, rage, murder (killing of innocent - abortion, revenge, etc.), slander, selfishness (putting personal feelings and desires first), drunkenness, carousing, holding strong opinions that are contrary to God's Word, promoting and teaching others that any or all of these activities are acceptable and good.

One simply cannot follow Christ and continually live this way. (Galatians 5:19-21) One must repent.

When wickedness is dealt with reasonably, quickly and thoroughly, physical fighting and wars can be avoided, but when it is ignored and tolerated, the enemy grows large and angry. Unfortunately, this seems to be the worldly situation we are close to now. So what do we do? Pray for our leaders and for our enemies. Stand firm in truth and in love. (Ephesians 4:15) Continue practicing the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness (being courageous, strong, humble, and confident in the Lord), and self control, (Galatians 5:22-26), persevere (James 1:12), protect (1 Corinthians 13).

Remember heroes of the faith such as Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Ruth, Samuel, David, Daniel, Esther, Mary & Joseph, Jesus, Peter, Paul, John, Priscilla & Aquila. Also look at historical figures such as Polycarp, John Huss, Joan of Arc, William Tyndale, Tzar Nicholas of Russia and family, Corrie Ten Boom, C. S. Lewis, Catherine Booth, Thomas Jefferson, Fanny Crosby, Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Paul Revere, Harriet Tubman, Leonardo Da Vinci, Rosa Parks, Asa Bibi, Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther, Sophie Scholl, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mercy Otis Warren, Isaac Newton, Amy Charmichael, Rifqa Bary, Galileo Galilei, David Livingstone, Gladys Aylward, Bilquis Sheikh, etc. Whether you agree or not with their sincerity of faith, they were used by God for His good purposes for what they are each most known and recognized for. I would encourage study and research, many of whom have biographies.

Recommended reading (books I've read): God's Generals- books by Robert Liardon, The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, Hiding in the Light by Rifqa Bary, Bonhoeffer - Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Mataxes

 

An encouraging word in the video below:

Hank and Brenda Kunneman - Prophetic Update

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

~1529~

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. ~Psalm 46:1

We think of Martin Luther as a great reformer, Bible translator, political leader, fiery preacher, and theologian. But he was also a musician, having been born in an area of Germany known for it's music. There in his little Thuringian village, young Martin grew up listening to his mother sing. He joined a boys choir that sang at weddings and funerals. He became proficient with the flute (recorder), and his volcanic emotions often erupted in song.

When the protestant reformation began, Luther determined to restore worship to the German Church. He worked with skilled musicians to create new music for Christians, to be sung in the vernacular. He helped revive congregational singing and wrote a number of hymns.

Often he "borrowed" popular secular melodies for his hymns, though occasionally a tune brought criticism and he was "compelled to let the devil have it back again" because it was too closely associated with bars and taverns.

In the forward of a book, Luther once wrote: "Next to the word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world. It controls our thoughts, minds, and spirits.... A person who... does not regard music as a marvelous creation of God ... does not deserve to be called a human being; he should be permitted to hear nothing but the braying of asses and the grunting of hogs."

Luther's most famous hymn is "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott," --- "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." Based on Psalm 46, it reflects Luther's awareness of our intense struggle with Satan. In difficulty and danger, Luther would often resort to this song, saying to his associate, "Come, Philipp, let us sing the 46th Psalm."

This is a difficult hymn to translate because the original German is so vivid. At least 80 English versions are available. The most popular in America was done by Frederic Henry Hodge, but an older version appeared in the Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Book of 1868:

A mighty fortress is our God, A trusty Shield and Weapon;

He helps us free from every need, That hath us now o'ertaken.

The British version of "A Mighty Fortress" is Thomas Carlyle's translation:

A safe stronghold our God is still, A trusty shield and weapon;

He'll help us clear from all the ill, That hath us now o'ertaken.

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Martin Luther

A mighty fortress is our God. A bulwark never failing;

Our helper He amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing.

For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe

His craft and power are great And armed with cruel hate

On earth is not His equal.

Did we in our own strength confide Our striving would be losing,

Were not the right man on our side, The Man of God's own choosing.

Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He

Lord Saboath His name, From age to age the same,

And He must win the battle.

And though this world with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us,

We will not fear for God hath willed, His truth to triumph through us.

The prince of darkness grim, We tremble not for him

His rage we can endure, For lo, his doom is sure;

One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, No thanks to them, abideth;

The Spirit and the gifts are ours Through Him who with us sideth.

Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also,

The body they may kill; God's truth abideth still;

His kingdom is forever.

Special thanks to Robert J Morgan for another wonderful excerpt from Then Sings My Soul: 250 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories. Also enjoy the following links:

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God - Matt Boswell

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNeP7bGagqg

The "high church" version is always uplifting: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68XlFK4UIiU

As we get closer to Christ's return, we should consider all of the possibilities of players and scenarios, regardless of our personal End Times theology. Preparation means to beware, to avoid being deceived by an ever persistent enemy. Keep watch, Beloved ones, and do not fear. It's a long video, but worth the watch:  Revelation: The Bride, the Beast & Babylon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDKG_WFLUi4

Jesus, The Passover Lamb – Part Four

 

Passover - Nisan 14, 5779, (April 20-21, 2019)

 

Unleavened Bread - April 20-26

 

First Fruits - April 21

First Fruits

You are to observe the Feast of Harvest, the first fruits of your labors that you sow in the field... ~Exodus 23:16

For I also passed on to you first of all what I also received - that Messiah died for our sins (Passover) according to the Scriptures, that He was buried (Unleavened Bread), that He was raised on the third day (First Fruits), according to the Scriptures... ~1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, Who keeps giving us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! ~1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Building A House: Journal Part 5

So, there is not much as far as house construction going on right now. Workers are catching up due to much rain and we are not on their priority list. But, we have projects that we can work on in the mean time. My drainage ditch has expanded into a garden.

If we are honest. it can get wearisome doing good, especially when we don't see progress. Lord, did I pray for patience or humility or something? lol How long is due season? And what kind of harvest are we talking about here?

The key? Do NOT Give Up! Let me say that again, DO NOT GIVE UP!!! Don't worry, I'm not. I just have to say/write it out loud sometimes for encouragement. If we sow good, we will reap good, no matter how long it takes.

This principle works whether you're building a house, planting a garden, sitting in traffic, or waiting and praying for your lost loved ones to get saved. Shalom Shalom!!!

Here is my husband's project, an office, with an eventual half moon cutout on the door, for the most serious of paperwork. It beats the woods. 

Jesus, The Passover Lamb – Part Three

 

 

 

Passover  - Nisan 14, 5779 (April 20-21, 2019)

 

Unleavened Bread - April 20-26

 

First Fruits - April 21

The Seder

Sometimes it seems forgotten that the Last Supper of Jesus before He went to the cross was a Passover Seder. It was and still is an annual event celebrated by the Jews in commemoration of Moses leading the Children of Israel, as God commanded, delivering them out of slavery in Egypt. (Exodus12) As we will discover, this deliverance is a forshadowing of what Yeshua would eventually do to deliver all of humanity from the bondage of sin.

Traditionally a Seder is held in a home with family and friends which involves eating a symbolic meal while telling the story. Reclining on the floor is the proper way to conduct this lesson, although most people celebrating today use chairs and a table. The Ceremony begins with the lighting of candles by the lady of the household as she recites a blessing. Blessings continue as the meal progresses.

Next, a bowl of water is passed around with a towel for washing hands, symbolic of the temple washing. Jesus chose to wash the feet of His guests to teach them about servanthood. If I then, Your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. ~John 13:14

The Haggadah

There is a script that is followed for a Seder called a Haggadah. It literally means "the telling." Many write their own Haggadah, but they are generally the same with some variation and last usually between two and five hours. Messianic believers in Yeshua, of course, include Him in theirs.

 

The Four Cups – First, the Cup of Sanctification

There are four cups of wine/grape juice consumed during the Seder. The first is called the Cup of Sanctification which represents being set apart from the world (holy). I Am the Lord; I will bring you out from the burdens of the Egyptians,... ~Exodus 6:6a   Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. ~1 John 2:15

The Karpas And the Four Questions

Parsley (karpas) is dipped in saltwater and eaten with matzah. Parsley symbolized Springtime as the earth becomes green with life. Saltwater is tears, as we know are part of life. You have taken account of my wanderings. Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? ~Psalm 56:8

Four questions are asked, usually by a child, as the Haggadah is a lesson to contemplate: why do we eat only matzah (unleavened bread)?, why do we eat only bitter herbs (karpas and maror)?, why do we dip them twice?, why do we eat reclining?

The Afikomen

As the ceremony progresses, the answers are unraveled. Remember in Part One, we discussed matzah, striped and pierced, and that leaven represents sin. Three pieces of matzah sit on the table called the bread of affliction. The middle piece, called the afikomen (the coming One), is removed, broken in half, wrapped in linen and hidden away (buried) to be found later on (resurrected).

The Maror, Matzah and Kharoset

Maror, horseradish, is the other bitter herb which represents the bitterness of slavery. It symbolizes the morter for the bricks the Israelites had to make for the Egyptians. It is eaten with matzah, then the karpas is dipped again in saltwater and eaten. Next maror is eaten with a sweet apple mixture called kharoset and matzah. It is a reminder that even in the bitterest of circumstances, there is sweet hope in God.

Reclining represents the quick exodus from Egypt. They were in a bit of a hurry and had no time nor room to bring furniture, but they were safe and the Lord gave them rest. Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. ~Matthew 11:28

The Ten Plagues

The story of the Exodus is briefly recounted, including the ten plagues. As each of the plagues, blood, frogs, lice, ....etc. are listed, each person dips a finger in the wine and puts a drop for each one on their plate.

The Lamb

As long as the Jews had a tabernacle and a temple they would sacrifice a lamb and eat it for Passover. They no longer have a temple and so no longer eat lamb for Passover but have a symbolic shank bone on the table as part of the teaching. Eventually some of them came to know, as we do now, the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God, who died on our behalf, but sadly many still await Him.

The Second Cup, Deliverance/Judgment

Next the Cup of Deliverance/Judgment is consumed. Not only did God deliver the Israelites, He brought judgment on the Egyptians and their gods. I will rescue you from their bondage,...~Exodus 6:6b

The Afikomen Is Found

During a break from storytelling, a regular meal is eaten and the children hunt for the hidden half of the matzah, the Afikomen. During Yeshua's time at the Lord's Supper, He identified Himself with this piece of matzah, "This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." ~Luke 22:19

The Third Cup, Redemption

This is the cup that is consumed during a traditional Lord's Supper. "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. " ~Luke 22:20

Elijah

There is always an extra place setting for Elijah. One of the children is sent to open the door to welcome him, as he was expected to prepare the Way of the Lord... ~Isaiah 40:3  John the Baptist was identified by Jesus as having the spirit of Elijah and announcing the first coming (Matthew 11:14, Luke 1:17)

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" ~John 1:29

The Fourth Cup, Praise

The fourth and last cup of the Passover is consumed to conclude the celebration. It is Praise. The Name of the Lord is blessed with Psalm 136. This represents the Second Coming of Yeshua. All shout, "Next Year In Jerusalem!"

Here is where to find a relatively short Haggadah below:

https://messianicjewish.net/the-messianic-passover-haggadah-1228.html

Jesus, The Passover Lamb – Part Two

The Lamb

Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month (Nisan), each man is to take a lamb for his family one lamb for the household.......Your lamb is to be without blemish, a year old male. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You must watch over it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assemble of the congregation of Israel is to slaughter it at twilight. ~Exodus 12:3, 5,6

Understand, the family would take the lamb into the home for four days. When my daughter was young we lived on the campus of a children's home where we had access to goats. Sometimes a mother goat will reject one of her babies if she determines that it is either unhealthy or she doesn't have enough milk to feed it. Over the years we took in several reject kid goats for my daughter to bottle feed and care for. As one can imagine it does not take long for a family to become attached to such a creature. They are so cute.

When Yeshua came to earth as Emmanuel, God with us, He spent time with the people, teaching them, healing them, loving them. It was terribly difficult for the disciples to imagine that He would have to die for any kind of purpose. They loved Him and had given up everything to follow Him.

After Lazarus was raised from the dead, there was a celebratory dinner held where a special anointing of Jesus took place, by Mary of Bethany as she cleaned His head and feet with expensive oil and tears using her hair. This happened about 5 days before Passover. (John 12:1-11)

 

 

The tenth day of Nisan was the day the sacrificial lambs would be brought by the priests into Jerusalem from Bethlehem through the Sheep Gate. As this event took place, the people would be singing Psalms 113 through 118, called the Hallel, where the word Hallelujah comes from. Hoshiana!!! Lord save us!!! Lord grant us success! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.....With boughs (palm branches) in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the alter. ~Psalm 118:25-27

At this same time, Yeshua came from Bethany, entering through the East Gate on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9, as prophesied). Many of the people, as they recognized Who He Was, stood waving the palm branches for Him and singing the Psalms to Him. Can we now understand the outrage of the unbelieving priests?

Passover - April 20-21, 2019 - Nisan 14, 5779

 

Unleavened Bread - April 20-26

 

First Fruits - April 21

The four day trial after Jesus' arrest would become the inspection by the priests of The Lamb, who would be found to be without blemish.  Seven (the number of perfection and compleness) witnesses would declare His innocence: Judas Iscariot (Matthew 27:4), Pontius Pilate  (Luke 23:4), Herod Antipas (Luke 23:15), Pilates Wife (Matthew 27:19), the Dying Thief, (Luke 27:41), the Roman Centurion (Luke 23:47), and the Roman Guards (Matthew 27:54).

Jesus, The Passover Lamb – Part One

 

 

Passover - April 20-21 2019

(Nisan 14, 5779,

day begins at sundown)

 

 

Unleavened Bread - April 20-26

 

 

First Fruits - April 21

Preparation, Spring Cleaning

One of my great passions is finding Jesus in the Old Testament and pointing out how gracious and loving our God is by showing us pictures of His perfect plan ahead of schedule. The purpose of this is to show us that nothing takes Him by surprise. He not only created, but knows the beginning, the end and everything between.

Passover is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a seven day period commanded by Yahweh to the Israelites shortly after they had been delivered from Egypt, in which any bread made and consumed during that time would be free from leaven which would be completely removed from the household. On the fourteenth day of the first month (Nisan) at twilight is the Lord's Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. ~Leviticus 23:5-6

 

Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Yeshua, saying to Him, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?" ~Matthew 26:17

It has become tradition that several weeks before Passover, Jewish families begin a massive Spring cleaning to get the leaven out of the house. After this is accomplished, the Father takes a small amount of leaven and hides it in the house for the children to hunt for and find. A candle is used for light (these days, a flashlight) and a feather is used to sweep the leaven onto a wooden spoon. The spoon and leaven is then wrapped in a linen cloth, taken outside and then burned in a fire.

The candle represents the Word of God. Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. ~Psalm 119:105

The feather is the Holy Spirit. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge. ~Psalm 91:4

The leaven is sin put onto the wooden spoon, the cross, wrapped in linen (Mark 15:46) and taken outside the camp (Hebrews 13:13) to be destroyed by the fire of Hell which was meant for us, which He also conquered. If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God. ~Deuteronomy 21:22-23

For He made Him who knew no sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. ~2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus Cleans House

Yeshua was cleansing the Temple as He turned over the tables of the money changers just before Passover. These wicked people were hindering the people from worship of Yahweh by using their greedy authority to reject the sacrifices brought by the people and cause them to have to purchase another. (Matthew 21)

As believers and followers of Him we are ...living stones being built up as a spiritual house, a Holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. ~1 Peter 2:5   Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the spirit of Gog dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. ~1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Notice the Matzah (unleavened bread) ...it is striped and pierced. Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you are truly unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. ~1 Corinthians 5:7-8

 

This teaching has been adapted from Pastor Mark Biltz' teaching, Passover to Pentecost.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWY2QNxF-0Y

Abolishment of Slavery: An Ongoing Mission

Then for the love of filthy Gold,

Strait they bore me to the sea;

Cramm'd me down a Slave Ship's hold,

Where were hundreds stow'd like me

~The Sorrows of Yamba, The Negro Woman's Lamentation (London 1797)

The practice of slavery, today called human trafficking, goes back to ancient times, affecting many different races and people groups. At times it has been quelled by abolition movements only to rear its ugly head again after times of complacency. Evil does not rest, and neither should we. The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy; ~John 10:10a

There is a list of the Seven Deadly Sins: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. When we see these elements it is not difficult to see that the fruit of this recipe is the desire to oppress the weak for personal gain. This is what God wants to protect us from when He says to follow His Way and not the ways of the world and the consequences when we do not listen.

God designed the perfect protection plan for the vulnerable: a married father and mother fully dependent on Him for guidance and sustenance. The breakdown of this structure makes the job of the Devil much easier which it is why the family is such a target. The more the family structure is corrupted within a society, the more oppression there is.

 

According to the US State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children. Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world, because unlike drugs, humans can be sold for profit again and again. Cases include trafficking of children of all ages (including babies) for sex, pornography, forced begging and theft, domestic servitude, debt bondage, labor, and black market organ harvesting. There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.

Unsuspecting children are often lured in and abducted by deceptive people playing trust gaining roles such as friends, boyfriends, parents of friends, corrupt counselors, etc. Some are even raped and sold by family members. Teenagers are usually seduced by false promises of  love, security and material wealth and later forced into submission with violent threats to family members. Their naivety, feelings of helplessness, and dependency for survival keep them in bondage and servitude to their captors.

Many are held in brothels and transported between truck stops, sporting events, and entertainment venues, but surprisingly, others can be found working in a variety of different roles, including restaurants, nail salons, hotels, etc. Some say that there are many prostitutes who do this work by choice, but I don't believe they began that way and if given a believable choice, they would want something better. If you or someone you know or suspect is in this kind of bondage, there are some helpful links provided below.

Jesus said, "I have come, that they may have life, and have it to the full." ~John 10:10

 

How to Help and Give Hope

Pray for the victims and the persecutors (many of them were once victims). Pray for the people and organizations who are on the front lines of this battle. Educate yourself on what trafficking is and how it affects our world. Research organizations in your area to be involved with: volunteering, donating, etc. And make sure they are grounded in God's Word for guidance and counseling.

There are many testimonies on YouTube from former victims of human trafficking. Listen to some of them. Their stories are similar.

http://The Flesh Trade: Jasmine - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBUaN1AzjL4

Operation Liberate investigates and identifies victims and then connects with various law enforcement agencies to shut down trafficking rings and facilitate rescues. http://www.operationliberate.com

Path 2 Hope: Reaching out to people in the sex industry and other broken people to offer hope and direction towards a better life. http://www.path2hope.org

Veterans For Child Rescue was founded specifically to help bring an end to child trafficking. Our primary methods are to widely expose the threat through multiple mass media platforms and to directly combat the problem by running joint sting operations against traffickers with law enforcement and allied non governmental organizations. http://www.vets4childrescue.org

City of Refuge seeks to lead individuals and families on a journey to self sufficiency for generations to come by focusing on health, wellness, housing, vocational training and youth development. http://www.refuge-city.org

Rahabs Rope Giving hope and opportunity to women and children at risk in India to bring them out of the sex trade and training them how to live outside of the industry. http://www.rahabsrope.com

 

 

 

Protect Your Family

Pray for their protection, that God would look over them in ways that you cannot.

Keep your marriage healthy. If you are a single parent, make protection a priority over who you allow into your household even for a visit.

Educate them in ways they can understand about inappropriate activity that could endanger them inside and outside the home.

Know your children's friends, family members, caretakers, teachers, church leaders, coaches, etc. Regular contact and conversation is necessary.

Situational Awareness: When out in public, always be aware of your surroundings, who might be watching or paying inappropriate attention.

Supervise all internet interaction and television programs and research reading materials, movies and music. Plugged In is a helpful link from Focus On The Family.  http://www.pluggedin.com

Support Legislation on local and national levels that protects life and families and properly prosecutes crimes including trafficking and pornography.