The Afikomen Messianic Meaning

So what does the Afikomen have to do with the Messiah?  Plenty.  Let’s take a look.

First of all, Passover is the Biblical holiday celebrated by Jewish people around the world each spring which commemorates their deliverance from Egyptian bondage by the hand of God.  The narrative can be found in the first half of the book of Exodus.

The meal the family gathers together to have each year, to remember this event, is called a “Seder.”  This Seder is a very special time with even the most non-religious Jewish people attending it each year.

For this article, we wanted to ‘zero-in’ on a specific custom that most “outsiders” to the Jewish community have no idea that occurs each year at the Passover dinner.  It is called hiding ‘the Afikomen.’  And we also wanted to see if this ultimately points us to the Messiah.

You see, the Passover Seder has a very specific order that the father leads them through each year.  During the seder, they will assign four cups of wine to each of the four parts of the Passover story.  Two cups come before the meal and two cups after the meal.

However, something interesting happens between the first and second cup.  There is a pouch on the table that contains 3-layers of matzah (unleavened bread.)   It is called a “Matzah-Tosh.”  During this time the father removes the middle layer of unleavened bread from the pouch.  He shows it to everyone and then proceeds to break it in half.  Half gets put back into the original pouch. 

The other half is wrapped in a white cloth and then gets (are you ready for this)….  hidden / buried!  However, none of the children at the table can see where the father hid it.   That makes this time extra special for the children. 

This hidden piece is called the “Afikomen.”  The word afikoman is from the Greek epikomen or epikomion, meaning “that which comes after.”  And that is precisely what happens.  It is not eaten now – it is hidden until after the main meal. 

The Afikomen was not part of the original Passover described in the book of Exodus. It is often asked when it was introduced to the service; a very good question to which there is no definitive answer.  The Hagaddah (the booklet used during the Seder) does not explain it.  And how did the Afikomen get a Greek name anyway?  Let’s talk about that later….

As the Seder continues, eventually the delicious Passover meal is served.  Then it comes time to clear the table.  Dessert comes last.  But the Afikomen is supposed to be eaten for dessert.  But where is it? It was buried/hidden.  So the children are called upon to find the Afikomen!  A big (and fun) search ensues till one happy child finds it. 

It is returned to the father and sometimes a gift is given as a reward to the finder.  The Afikomen is then broken into smaller pieces and each family member eats it.    This will be the last food of the evening.  Why?

The Mishnah (ancient Jewish writings) instructs that the Passover lamb must be the last food eaten the night of the Seder.  So because there are no more lambs served at the seder – the afikoman is now a substitute for the Passover sacrifice (Pesahim 119b.)

You see, since the destruction of the Temple in the year 70CE, the Afikomen has now become to be a symbolic “reminder” of the Passover lambs we used to eat, but no longer do.   

In other words, the Afikomen, is eaten for “dessert” after the Seder meal in commemoration of the paschal (Passover) sacrificial lamb.  Since that sacrifice was supposed to be the last thing eaten at Passover, the Afikomen has now taken its place.

This Afikomen custom has been happening for millennia in Jewish homes.  So what does it mean? 

As Messianic Jews, we delight in this ceremony.  Why?  Because this is a beautiful picture of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus’ name in Hebrew!) 

We know that the Messiah’s sinless body was ‘broken’ in death, wrapped in a cloth and hidden (as in burial), then brought back alive again; resurrected by the power of God.  And He is still found by children (like us) who actively look for Him!

As the Afikomen is eaten by Jewish families as a remembrance of the Pascal lamb.  So too, believers in the Messiah, also eat unleavened bread as a ‘remembrance’ of our Passover Lamb.  In history this has been called “communion” but the roots are very Jewish!  Remember that the Jewish apostle John (Yochanan), when he pointed to Yeshua, declared ‘’Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’’ (John1:29)

When Yeshua (Jesus) celebrated Passover with His disciples in the upper room, He broke the unleavened bread and distributed it to His Jewish disciples saying, ‘’Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’’ (1 Corinthians 11:24)

When Yeshua (Jesus) celebrated His last Passover meal with His Jewish disciples, He gave them matzah as the symbol of His body.  Today, matzah is unleavened, striped and pierced.  That is very interesting as the prophet Isaiah describes the Messiah in the same way:

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5).

And remember that we mentioned above how would get back to the question of how this Afikomen got a Greek name.  Jew’s don’t normally speak Greek, do they?   Well, the first century Jewish community did speak Greek.  They even made a translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek called the Septuagint.  So is it possible that the early believers in Yeshua (who knew Hebrew and Greek) included this Afikomen as a way to show their faith in the Messiah?  We simply do not know.  But it is interesting to ponder. 

What about the meaning of the three-layered pouch where the Afikomen came from?  No one has a definitive answer.  Some say it represents the Priests, the Levites and the rest of the Israelites.   Other say it reminds us of the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  But why would the middle one – the Levites be broken.  Or why Isaac?

However, Messianic Jews again rejoice at this.  Why?  Because we believe there is only ONE God, (like the there is only one pouch), YET this ONE God has three distinct areas/persons – Father (Abba), Son (Messiah) and Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh). 

So the one Matzah-Tosh – with the three layers and the middle matzah being broken, buried and brought back – is a beautiful picture of the Messiah of Israel.  He left heaven and came to earth.  He was indeed broken, buried and brought back! And… The Afikomen (Messiah Yeshua) is still alive!  He was the God of Israel visiting us in human form! (Which has happened before, see Genesis 18:22, Genesis 32:30, Exodus 24:11, Judges 13:22 to name a few…)

So if you happen to speak to any Jewish person who has ever been to a Passover Seder, ask them about this curious tradition of hiding the ‘Afikomen.’  Then mention what Messianic Jews think of this tradition and see what they say. 

To understand why it is so important to accept the Messiah – click here.

Back to articles

Is Palestine in your Bible?

Sometimes when you turn to the back of your bible it will have a maps section.  And some will even say this, ‘’Palestine in the time of Christ.’’  If yours does, then know this, the publishers of this Bible are not being accurate.

Let me explain, what if we had a map that said ”The United States in the time of Christopher Columbus”.  Most people today would call that silly.  Why?  Because most people know that you are mixing time periods in a way that is not accurate. The United States did not exist at the time of Columbus.

Or how about a similar map which said this: ”O’Hare Airport in the time of George Washington.”  Again, this would be foolishness today for the same reason.  Yet, when it comes to maps, publishers have gotten away with this sort of foolishness for decades.  There was no ‘Palestine’ when Jesus walked the earth.   He walked in the land of Israel!  Those alive at the time of Jesus would never, ever have called it the ‘land of Palestine.’

Even an angel from heaven called it Israel. 

‘’After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, ‘’Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel” (Matthew 2:19-20)

Do you see that?  God’s very own angel sent from heaven did not call it the land ‘Palestine’ as our maps have said, but instead called it the land of Israel.

And what does Jesus call the land?  Israel, of course. 

‘’Ye shall not have gone over the **cities of Israel**, till the Son of man shall have come.’’ (Matthew 10:23)

Now the term ‘Palestine’ is indeed used in the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible,) but when it is used, it ONLY refers specifically to the relatively small coastal area of Israel occupied by the Philistines.   

So where did the name ‘Palestine’ come from?  In the 2nd century, the Roman army crushed a revolt lead by a false Jewish Messiah named Simon Bar Kokhba (132 CE).  They were so fed up with the Jews revolting against Rome that they decided to add insult to injury. 

It was during this time that the Roman Emperor Hadrian renamed Judea into ‘Palaestina’ in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel and remind the Jewish people of their ancient adversaries – the Philistines.   It was another way of the Romans attempting to demoralize the Jewish occupants of the land.

So this name ‘Palestine’, as a designation for the entire land of Israel, only dates from the second century AFTER the time of Jesus.  And even then it was only done to spite the Jewish people. 

Also, did you ever notice….

* There has never been a ‘’Palestinian State.’’

* There has never been a ‘’Palestinian People’’ until Yassar Arafat created them in 1964.

* There are no national ‘’Palestinian Holidays’’ (other than those which celebrate days against Israel.)

Why? Because ‘Palestine’ never formally existed in history.

So the next time you see in your Bible maps ‘Palestine in the time of Christ’ know that someone is not being historically accurate. 

They are also separating Jesus from His Hebrew/Jewish roots.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

The Aaronic Benediction

Do you want to know the oldest physical copy of any portion of the Bible is?  Even older than the Dead Sea Scrolls?  It is what we call the ‘’Aaronic Benediction’’ found in the book of Numbers chapter 6.

During excavations in Jerusalem (1979) – archeologist Gabriel Barkay found two amulets dating from about 600 years before Jesus.  They were found in burial caves just across from Mt. Zion in Jerusalem.  When scientists eventually unrolled the tiny silver sheet, it contained these words:

May Yahweh bless you and keep you;
May Yahweh cause his face to
Shine upon you and grant you

These are the words of the blessing that God told Moses to give to Aaron and his sons. As the High Priest, they were instructed to pray a prayer, the only such prayer in the entire Hebrew Bible, in which God instructed him to pray these exact words over His people.

Today, centuries later, these exact words are still pronounced in the Jewish service daily in the land of Israel by the descendants of Aaron.  They are called the Kohanim (Hebrew for Priests.)  This blessing said daily is, in fact, the only remaining functional link between the present day synagogue and the ancient temple in Jerusalem.

It is like God was telling the priesthood to say these words to His people as a reminder of His presence with them. 

The LORD bless you and keep you,
Y’varech’cha  Adonai  v’yeesh’m’reicha.

The word for bless in Hebrew is barakh, which literally means to kneel down. It is related to berek, which is knee in Hebrew.  Think of this picture – the God of the Universe bending His knee (figuratively speaking) to touch His children with love.  Incidentally – isn’t this exactly what Yeshua did at the Passover dinner when He bent His knee to wash the disciples feet as an act of love.

This first sentence also includes the idea of God watching over, protecting, and keeping His children safe from harm. The root Hebrew word for “keep” is shamar, which literally means to hedge about.  We are hedged in by God, protected.  Read Psalm 91 to see how God hedges us in.

The LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

This line of the blessing has to do with experiencing God’s favor.  Did you ever see a video of a loved one thought to be away (like in the military) – and all of a sudden they show up at the door or at the airport.  Do you see how the families face ‘lights up’ when they see this person so close.  God desires us to know that His face can figuratively ‘light up’ towards us when He sees us in proper relationship to Him.

The LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. This final line of the Aaronic Blessing continues the theme of the ‘’face’’ of God and has the idea of His people receiving His full attention.  It is like a father who puts down the newspaper and turns his face to give the child his full attention when the child has an important thing to discuss.  And the result is the child feels peace (shalom) knowing that their father is there for them.

We may not have all the answers, but we can have peace knowing that God has turned His face towards us to listen to our cry and He will ‘take it from here’ like a father would for his child.

At first, the Kohen Gadol (Ko-HEN Gah-DOLE), or High Priest, was the only one who could pronounce the Priestly Blessing over God’s people.  Tradition says he was required to do it barefoot (based on Ex. 3:5), fasting, and holding his cleansed hands in a specific gesture (based on Lev. 9:22).  Now his descendants pronounce it daily in Israel.

While pronouncing the blessing, the priest would spread his fingers apart, placing his thumbs together to represent the Hebrew letter shin.  Shin stands for El Shaddai, God Almighty. According to Jewish tradition, the divine presence would shine through the fingers of the High Priest as he blessed the people.

It is no wonder that these powerful words were worn around the neck of an ancient Israelite. 

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Israel’s sin and God’s faithfulness

God is faithful to Israel

In the Bible, the history of humanity is one of failure, with some notable exceptions due to God’s grace. That is true of the history of the Gentiles. It is also true of the history of Israel. In choosing their own direction, all peoples have failed to fulfill God’s purpose.

The Biblical history of Israel, the most blessed of peoples, demonstrates what is true of all mankind. During her history, Israel rejected God’s Redeemer (Moses), His provision (manna), His land (Canaan), His Kingship, His Covenant, and His messengers (the prophets). (Ex. 5:21, 16:3; Num. 11:5-6, 13:31-14:10; 1 Sam. 8:7-8; Neh. 9:34-35; Dan. 9:6)  Yet despite all this, the Lord remained faithful.
The children of Israel turned away from the Lord to live for their own purposes. (cf. Is. 53:6)  They wanted leeks and onions rather than the Promised Land. (Num. 11:4-6)  In reviewing their history, God said through Jeremiah that Israel had not heeded His prophets, but continued to do evil. (Jer. 7:25-26)

In the wilderness, Aaron yielded to the people and made for them an idol of gold. God told Moses that He would punish the people and make a great nation of Moses. (Ex. 32:7-10) Yet Moses was not seeking a name or inheritance for himself at Israel’s expense.  Moses, like God himself, loved Israel.  So he pleaded with God to change His mind. (Ex. 32:12-13) The Lord listened to the entreaty of Moses, and spared Israel.  Even though His people had forsaken Him, God remained faithful.

Later, Israel sinned by rejecting the Lord as King.  Samuel, the servant of the Lord, rebuked the people, but at the same time he assured them of God’s eternal faithfulness: “Do not fear.  You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. . . .  For the Lord will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the Lord has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.” (1 Sam. 12:20, 22)

But Israel continued in infidelity.  After God had sent the northern kingdom of Israel into captivity, He said, “And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also.” (Jer. 3:8) Nevertheless, God still loved His people and remained true to His promise.  “‘Return, O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness. . . .  If you will return, O Israel,’ declares the Lord, ‘Then you should return to Me.  And if you will put away your detested things from My presence, and will not waver, and you will swear, “As the Lord lives,” in truth, in justice, and in righteousness; then the Gentiles will bless themselves in Him, and in Him they will glory.'” (Jer. 3:22, 4:1-2)

Throughout the book of Hosea, the Lord compares Israel to an unfaithful wife who must be judged and sent away. Yet He says, “How can I give you up, O Ephraim?  How can I surrender you, O Israel?  How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim?  My heart is turned over within Me, all my compassions are kindled. . . .  I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from them.   I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily.” (Hos. 11:8, 14:4-5; cf. Dt. 29:23)

God declared that there would be distress and exile because of the infidelity of Jacob’s children, but went on to promise restoration.  “‘And fear not, O Jacob My Servant,’ declares the Lord, ‘And do not be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity.  And Jacob shall return, and shall be quiet and at ease, and no one shall make him afraid.  For I am with you,’ declares the Lord, ‘to save you.  For I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you, only I will not destroy you completely.  But I will chasten you justly, and will by no means leave you unpunished.'” (Jer. 30:10-11) The judgment is what God’s people deserved; the redemption and restoration are the fruit of His love and grace.

In unfaithfulness, Israel refused to be separate from the goyim (Gentiles), so God drove them into exile among the goyim. Because of God’s faithfulness, He promised to bring them back to their own land. 
“For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Mal. 3:6) As long as God does not change, the sons of Jacob will endure.
“For neither Israel nor Judah has been widowed by his God, the Lord of hosts, although their land is full of guilt before the Holy One of Israel.” (Jer. 51:5) In the midst of Moses’ prophecy of Israel’s future unfaithfulness, God’s judgment upon it, and her eventual restoration, the Lord promised Israel, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” (Dt. 31:6, 8)

Psalm 106 reviews Israel’s history of sin and unfaithfulness.  It describes the anger of the Lord toward His people, and His judgments upon them.  But then it concludes: “Nevertheless He looked upon their distress, when He heard their cry; and He remembered His covenant for their sake, and relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness.  He also made them objects of compassion in the presence of all their captives.
“Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the Gentiles, to give thanks to Thy holy name, and glory in Thy holy name, and glory in Thy praise.  Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting even to everlasting.  And let all the people say, ‘Amen.’  Praise the Lord.” (Ps. 106:44-48) 

The sin of Israel was great; but nevertheless God, in judgment, remembered mercy.      

Reprinted with permission from

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

How should Jews treat Gentiles?

how should jews treat gentiles

Shortly after redeeming the Israelites from Egypt, God commanded them, “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 22:21) He stated: “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 19:34) “There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.” (Num. 15:16)

All the children of Abraham are to look upon strangers with kindness, for they themselves were once strangers. Abraham lived as a “stranger and a sojourner” even in the land of Canaan, which God had promised to give him. After his wife Sarah died, “Abraham rose from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, ‘I am a stranger and a sojourner among you; give me a possession of a grave among you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.’ ” (Gen. 23:2-4)

 Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not, in their lifetimes, inherit the land God had promised to them and their descendants. (Gen. 17:8; 17:19, 21; 28:4, 13-15; Dt. 7:3) “They were only a few men in number, very few, and strangers in it. And they wandered about from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people.” (Ps. 105:12-13)

Before all Israel entered the land of Canaan, God said, “The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are aliens and sojourners with Me.” (Lev. 25:23) The writer of Psalm 119 prayed, “I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Thy commandments from me. . . . Thy statutes are my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.” (Ps. 119:19, 54)

In this age, the children of Abraham are pilgrims and strangers. Therefore, they must take care not to abuse any strangers within their midst.  The letter to the Hebrews urges, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Heb. 13:2)

All the children of Abraham are to show kindness to strangers, because they know what it is to be a stranger, even in the land of their inheritance.

Reprinted with permission from

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

The Land of Israel is NOT Palestine

the land of israel is not palestine

It is Biblically incorrect to speak of the land of Israel as “Palestine.”

There are seven places in the Bible where the Hebrew word “p’leshet” is used; Ex.15:14, Ps.60:8, Ps.87:4, Ps.108:9, Is.14:29 & 31, and Joel 3:4.

Sometimes it is translated as “Palestine,” other times it is translated as “Philistia.”

Regardless of which English word is used, the reference is to the land of the Philistines. Essentially, the references speak of God’s judgments on the Philistines.

“Palestine” is not a Biblical synonym for the land of Israel. It is simply a designation for a small coastal strip in Canaan, from south of Jaffa to south of Gaza. (cf. Jer.47:1-7; Ezek.25:15-17; Am.1:6-8; Zeph.2:4-7)

The name “Palestine” was applied by the Romans to Judea after they had crushed the Bar Kokhba Rebellion. It was intended as a punishment signifying that the Jews would never again live there.

Some 18 centuries later, in the greatest miracle of all that time, the Roman decree was nullified when a language, a people, and a land were brought forth from the dead. The house of Jacob began to again possess their possessions.

God demonstrated that His power, His faithfulness, and His Word are greater than the weapons and the decrees of men.

Even as Isaiah had prophesied, “Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He will lift up a standard for the nations, and will assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Is.11:11-12)

The return of a remnant from Babylonian captivity was the first return. In it, the dispersed of Judah were not regathered “from the four corners of the earth.” The second regathering has taken place in this century. It is not yet complete, but it is evident to all.

Biblically, the land was called Canaan, the land of the Canaanites. God destroyed the Canaanites because of their iniquity, and gave the land to Israel, the people He created, for an inheritance forever.

Though it is the common usage of many, God never calls the land of Israel “Palestine.” It is interesting that almost none of the Bibles that have maps have maps entitled “Israel”. They have maps of “Canaan” and maps of “The Holy Land,” but they do not have maps of “Israel.” They have maps of “The divided kingdoms of Judea and Israel,” but no maps of “Israel.” They have maps of the “Land of the Twelve Tribes,” and maps of “The Empire of David,” and “The Empire of Solomon,” but they do not have maps of “Israel.”

They have maps of “Palestine in the time of the Maccabees” and “Palestine in the Time of Christ.” That is absurd. There was no “Palestine” in the time of the Maccabees or in the time of Christ. “Palestine” did not come into existence as a designation for the land of Israel until the second century.

It is like publishing a map entitled “The British Empire in the time of Christ,” or “Downtown San Francisco in the time of the Maccabees.”
Such designations show, whether intentionally or not, an anti-Biblical, anti- Judaic bias. So do the maps labeled, “Palestine Today.” The geographical annihilation of Israel stands in open hostility to the Word of God. It is an evasion and denial of an important Biblical truth.

Since the re-establishment of the State of Israel, those who believe the Church is the “New Israel” have a dilemma. Having the “old Israel” raised from the dead makes the “New Israel” very uneasy about the theological position it has carved out for itself. That is why some who hold this position actually hope that Israel will be destroyed. They are unwilling to turn from their false theology. That is why they embrace “Palestine,” but reject Israel; and call for an end to “the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”

To use God’s designation of the land as “Israel” would make the call far less appealing. After all, how many people could be stirred up about ending “the Israeli occupation of Israel”?

Those who want to follow and glorify the Lord would do better to use His designation for the land of “Israel”. As far as God is concerned, there is no question about to whom the land belongs. It is His land, and He gave it to the Jewish people for an everlasting possession.

He has given other lands to other peoples. “And He made from one every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitations.” (Acts 17:26)

It is God who determines what land belongs to what people. The God of Israel has spoken very clearly about the land of Israel.

Reprinted with permission from

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Who is a Jew?

This is a topic that has been debated behind closed doors in the Jewish community for millennia. 

The definition accepted by the Jewish community today is anyone who has at least a Jewish mother or has converted to Judaism is Jewish.  We would have to disagree with that – to a point.


First, the scriptures teach that the Jewish people are a nation.  A scattered nation but, nevertheless, a nation.  A nation that has physically descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  So a person with two Jewish parents will always be a Jew no matter what they believe. 

So even an atheist, with two Jewish parents, is still Jewish.  Nothing can ever change the fact that this person is a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Nothing.

Second, what about a person who has only ONE Jewish parent? 

As stated above, the modern Jewish community looks to the mother for nationality if only one parent is Jewish.  But do the scriptures teach this?  No.

A clear example is found in Leviticus 24.10-12:

”Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and a fight broke out in the camp between him and an Israelite.”

Notice that Moses makes a clear distinction between these two men.  The latter is called ”an Israelite” (ie. a Jew) and the former (with a Jewish mother and an Egyptian father) is said to have went out ”among the Israelites”.  Notice they were both living in the same camp, but only one is called ”an Israelite.”  It is the one with the Jewish father.

Third, what about someone with a Jewish mother only? 

Again, we need to see how scripture treats this….  And historically we have a first century example with Paul and Timothy.

”Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek.” (Acts 16:1)

Notice how Paul treats this when taking along Timothy for his outreach trip.  He has Timothy circumcised. 

”Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.” (Acts 16:3)

Notice in the first century, this young man, Timothy, had a Jewish mother, YET Paul was sure the people who he went to talk with would accuse Timothy of being “not Jewish” even though he had a Jewish mother. And of course being uncircumcised did not help either.

So it appears that a person who has a Jewish mother has *the choice* whether or not to identify with the Jewish people.  It is up to them.  Timothy chose to identify with the Jewish people and so Paul circumcised him.  Paul obviously thought his would be helpful when speaking to the Jewish community who would no doubt inquire as to Timothy’s external status. 

Notice that when Paul takes the gentile Titus along, he would not circumcise him for he had no Jewish parents and that would be sending the ”wrong message” – for hearing/sharing the good news of the Messiah has nothing to do with being circumcised or not.

”Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek.” (Galatians 2:3)

Yet it does have everything to do with who will hear you.  Paul wanted Timothy and him to be heard when sharing the good news of Messiah so he had Timothy circumcised.  Yet, Titus was not Jewish and therefore it was completely unnecessary to circumcised him. 

Fourth, are converts to Judaism Jews? 

Modern Judaism says, yes. 

However the Bible says no. 

Any gentile (non-Jew) who decides to follow Judaism – well that makes him/her a ”proselyte”.

Remember, a Jew is a physical decendanthood.  Judaism is open for anyone to follow, but that does not make them Jewish.

Historical case in point – Matthew 23:15 where a convert to Judaism is called a ”proselyte.”

”Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte.” So notice Jesus called these gentiles who “convert” to Judaism “proselytes.”

Also Acts 13:43 says the same thing:

”Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas:” 

Again, notice in the first century,  the Biblical author uses two different terms from his time period.  ”Jews” and ”proselytes.”

So what is the point of all this?  There are two extremes. 

1) Many times we hear over zealous Christians come up to us and say they are ”Jewish!” by virtue of their faith in Jesus. 

While we applaud them finding the Messiah, that did not make them Jewish.  It makes them grafted into the nation of Israel. ”….fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,” (Ephesians 2:15)  They share in the exact same blessings of Israel as they have now been grafted in. (Romans 11:11)  But they are not ”Jewish.”

And the other extreme is when Christians say 2) ”there are no more Jews and Gentiles!” 

And they will always quote Galatians which says, ”There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female” (Galatians 3:28) 

Notice that they never push hard on the end part of that verse which says there are no more males or females.  So I guess we can all use the same bathroom if we are believers in Messiah! 


We should just build one large unisex bathroom in new church construction since there are no more men and women according to Galatians.

But they misread Paul.  Here is what Paul means.  A believing man or woman has a standing before God that is exactly the same – both have salvation!

In Messiah, our gender identity remains, and so does our ethnic (national) identity. Jews and Gentiles remain as they were born (despite the foolishness of Gentiles trying to be Jewish and Jewish believers being wrongly told that they are now Gentiles), but our right to stand in the presence of our Heavenly Father is equal, regardless of male or female gender because of Yeshua.  That is what Paul was trying to say.


And the real issue ultimately is not who is a Jew externally, but is your heart circumcised.

“Circumcise yourselves to the LORD And remove the foreskins of your heart, Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem.. ” (Jeremiah 4.4)


Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Moses: Precursor to Messiah

Did you know that before Moses died, he told Israel that one day, someone just like he (Moses) would arrive and that the nation had better listen to this prophet.

Here is what Moses told Israel in Deuteronomy chapter 18

’The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.’ (Deut 18:15)

And a few verses down, God also tells Israel the same thing:

’The Lord said to me: ‘What they say is good.  I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.  I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.’ (Deut 18:18)

God states very clearly that whomever does not listen to this prophet – he will have to answer to God Himself as to why he rejected His words.

By the way – a prophet is simply God’s way of directly speaking to people other than by His written word.  In this case – someone who will be similar to Moses.

Was it perhaps Joshua?  Some Rabbis believe that, but according to the Hebrew Bible it could not have been Joshua.  ‘’Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face’’ (Deut 34.10)  This verse was written after Moses died and Joshua had already been Israel’s leader at that point.  So the writer of the last few verses of Deuteronomy tells us that – as of now – no one like Moses has arrived yet.  Joshua?  Nope, not him.

So who was this person Israel was to expect like Moses?  It is clear in the first century that people were still waiting for this person to show up.  Look what they asked about John (Yochanan): 

‘’And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the Prophet?’ And he answered, ‘No.’ (John 1:21) 

Did you see that?  They just used the exact same term the was used in Deuteronomy – simply: are you ‘’THE Prophet’ not ‘A’ prophet.  This has to mean they were still looking for this one to come during the first century.

So why do we think it is actually Yeshua / Jesus whom Moses and God spoke of….

Well here are over 40 ways that Moses was like the Messiah of Israel – Yeshua (Jesus.)

1) Baby Moses was born when gentiles ruled over Israel. (Ex 1:8-10)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Luke 3:1)

2) Baby Moses was attempted to be killed by an evil ruler. (Ex. 1:22)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 2:16)

3) Baby Moses was hidden to keep him alive. (Ex. 2:2)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 2:13)

4) Baby Moses was put into a very unusual basket as a baby. (Ex. 2:3)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Luke 2:7)

6) Moses grew in favor with those around him.
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Luke 2:52)

7) Moses was brought up by a man not his natural father.
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Luke 3:23)

8) Moses had compassion on the sufferings of his people. (Ex. 2:11)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 14:14)

9) Moses was kind to women at a well. (Ex. 2:16-17)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 4:7)

10) Moses was in ‘exile’ in a foreign land until the evil ruler died (Ex 2:23)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 2:13)

11) Moses was a ‘shepherd’ of God’s people. (Psalm 77:20)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 10:11)

12) Moses began ministry with a supernatural event. (Ex. 3:2-4)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 2:7)

13) Moses was sent because the people of God were in need. (Ex. 3:7)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 9:36)

14) Moses was ‘sent’ to deliver his people from slavery. (Ex. 3:8)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 8:34)

15) Moses was called very humble (meek). (Numbers 12:3)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 11:29)

16) Moses performed many public miracles. (Ex. 4)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Mark 6:2)

17) Moses wanted to liberate God’s people to serve God (Ex. 9:1)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 8:36)

18) Moses delivered Israel through blood sacrifice. (Ex 12:13)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Hebrews 9:26)

19) Moses told Israel to remember God’s deliverance w/ a meal. (Ex 12:25)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Luke 22:19)

20) Moses gave Israel ‘living water’ to drink. (Numbers 21:16)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 7:38)

21) Moses way of life was ‘healing’. (Ex 15:26)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Luke 9:11)

22) Moses had people murmuring against him. (Ex 15:24)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 20:11)

23) Moses gave God’s people heavenly ‘bread’ to eat. (Ex 16:15)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 6:51)

24) Moses gave God’s people ‘daily’ bread. (Ex 16:20-21)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 14:21)

25) Moses had people who wanted to stone him. (Ex 17:4)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 10:31)

26) Moses went up on a mountain and told people of God’s law. (Ex 19:3)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 5:1)

27) Moses was spoken to in a thick cloud. (Ex 19:9)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 17:5)

28) Moses sprinkled the blood of the covenant on God’s people. (Ex 24:8)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Hebrews 9:14)

29) Moses wanted people to obey God’s law from their heart. (Deut 6:6)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 5:8)

30) Moses interceded for Israel. (Ex 32:11-14)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 23:37)

31) Moses spoke with God face to face. (Ex 33:11)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 10:28)

32) Moses fasted 40 days and 40 nights. (Ex 34:28).
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 4:2)

33) Moses’ face shone with the glory of God. (Ex 34:29)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 17:2)

34) Moses told Israel to keep a lamp lit continually. (Lev. 24:2)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 5:16)

35) Moses fed the multitudes. (Ex 16:16)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 14:21)

36) Moses was faithful (Numbers 12:7)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Hebrews 3:6)

37) Moses asked God to pardon the iniquity of His people. (Num 14:19)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Luke 23:34)

38) Moses was heard by God. (Numbers 14:20)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 11:42)

39) Moses said the children would enter the promised land. (Num 14:31)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 14:30)

40) Moses gave Israel ‘a helper’ to remember all the Lord’s commands. (Num 15:38)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 14:16)

41) Moses told Israel that the signs and wonders would prove he was from God. (Num 16:28)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 10:25)

42) Moses made a fiery serpent and all who looked upon it were healed. (Num 21:9)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (John 3:14)

43) Moses chose 12 men for special work. (Deut 1:23)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 10:2)

44) Moses said that from the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses truth could be established. (Deut 19:15)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 18:16)

45) Moses’ own relatives criticized him. (Num 12:1)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Mark 3:21)

46) Moses split waters. (Ex 14:21)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus who did better! (John 6:19)

47) Moses was initially rejected as Israel’s judge. (Ex 2:14)
So also it was with Messiah Jesus! (Matthew 21:42)

We believe the evidence is clear.  Yeshua / Jesus was the One God and Moses told Israel to one day look for.  The prophet has arrived.  Have you accepted Him yet?

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

The Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant

When Israel came out of Egypt, one of the first things God instructed Moses to build was the Tabernacle.  This would be the place where God’s presence was with them in a special way.  And the heart of the Tabernacle was the Holy of Holies.  Inside that place was the ‘Ark of the Covenant.’

The Ark of the Covenant was a kind of chest, measuring two cubits and a half in length, a cubit and a half in breadth, and a cubit and a half in height. Made of incorruptible acacia wood.  It was overlaid within and without with the purest gold, and a golden crown or rim ran around it. At the four corners, very likely towards the upper part, four golden rings had been cast; through them passed two bars of setim wood overlaid with gold, to carry the Ark. These two bars were to remain always in the rings, even when the Ark had been placed in the temple of Solomon. The cover of the Ark, termed the “propitiatory” (the corresponding Hebrew means both “cover” and “that which makes propitious”), was likewise of the purest gold.

The ark was an item that pointed Israel to her Messiah. 

** The ark was made out of both wood and gold.  So, in a sense, was the Messiah made out of both wood and gold.  Wood is made from the dust of the earth.  So was the Messiah.  He was human.  Gold is a symbol of Deity.  So was the Messiah.  He is Deity incarnate.

** The ark held the Law of God inside.  The Ten Commandments were inside the ark.  So too, inside the Messiah, was the Law of God.  He never broke a single command His entire life.

** The ark held Aaron’s dead staff which came back to life.  So was the Messiah.  He was dead and came back to life.

** The ark held a pot of manna – the bread used to sustain Israel.  So was the Messiah.  He literally fed thousands (Matthew 14) and also spiritually is called the Bread of Life. (John 6).  Our spirit feeds off of Him daily.

** The ark had a place for mercy – the Mercy Seat.  Sacrificial animal blood was sprinkled on this seat annually and when done properly, Israel received forgiveness from her sins.  So too with the Messiah.  His blood (much better) is the place where we receive mercy and forgiveness for our sins.  The substitute has paid the penalty.  We are forgiven.  Hallelujah. 

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

A Passover Conversation Across Time

Passover across time



We sometimes wonder how our contemporary Jewish Brethren would fare up against those Israelites brought out of Egypt about 3,400 years ago.   

We can only imagine a dialogue between those two groups.  What would happen if they met up in some kind of imaginary time warp between the two ages.  Perhaps a fictional meeting between these two groups would go something like this….

Modern Jewish community:  ”Our Rabbis said you people walked across the Red Sea on a sandbar and Moses knew when it would be low tide.”

 Modern Israelies

Exodus Jewish people: ”Sandbar? Low tide? Is that what they’re teaching you about us now?  Well if that were true, then God did an even greater miracle for us.  All of our Egyptian taskmasters drowned in water only six inches deep.”

ancient israel

Modern: ”Are you trying to tell us that God really did part the Red Sea for you? Did you really did kill a lamb and put its blood on your door post?  Didn’t you guys ever hear about the anti-cruelty society?”

Exodus: ”We followed the exact directions of Moses who heard directly from God. Those special lambs died so that we might live.  Their blood protected us from judgment. We were protected that way. If we had not followed God’s way, we would be dead now too.”

Modern: ”Blood…. Doorpost… Yuck….  Listen, you guys are getting way to fanatical about this Passover stuff.  Sit down now and have a nice bowl of matzo ball soup.  Don’t you know that many of those Egyptians probably came from dysfunctional families. They couldn’t help themselves. You know those Gentiles.  My Rabbi says that…..”

Exodus: ”Wait a sundial minute!  We were there. We saw the plagues. Moses was our mediator before a Holy God.  If we had spoken to God directly we would most definitely have been slain by His Holy presence.”

Modern: ”Mediator, schmediator….. What, do you really have labor strikes in Egypt too?  They’re the only ones who need a mediator.  We are Jews and Jews don’t go need a mediator to go before God.”

Exodus:  ”And what are we? chicken soup?  We are Jews too, and we needed a mediator. In fact, Moses even told us himself that God would send another mediator, a prophet just like Moses, to a future generation.  He promised that to you in a chapter of the Bible you now call Deuteronomy 18.”

Modern: ”Well you can believe what you want. We Jews today are a tolerant and open-minded people.  There are many paths to God.  Astrology, yoga, cosmic oneness with the universe. Haven’t you heard about Jubu’s (Jewish Buddhists)? Don’t be so narrow-minded.”

Exodus: ”We follow Moses! You can be so open-minded that your brains are going to fall out one day.”

Well with that, we will close our little eavesdropping session on my Jewish brothers across time.   We wanted to give you an idea of how to pray for the Jewish people today – most of whom are not religious.  Most do not believe their Bible.   

Most are not even aware of the Holiness of God and their need for a mediator.  

As we are in this Passover season, we are thankful for the mediator Moses who God gave to the Jewish people back then.  But we are even more thankful for our mediator today, Yeshua (Jesus), who stands before a Holy God in heaven to plead our case.  

He is our  Passover Lamb who protects us from the execution of God’s righteous judgment on our sins. That is what the lamb did.  He took our placed and died for us.  Hallelujah.

Yeshua Passover Lamb

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin