The word for "restitution" in this passage is the Greek word – "apokatastasis". This is the one and only place it is found in the New Testament. The word literally means to "restore again" or "to repair". The plan of God in sending His Son Yeshua (Jesus) was to restore that which had been broken and ruined. The Lord's saving work is a global repair job. Each one of us has come to Him already ruined by sin. But God's will and His promise is to restore and renew us through His Son.
New Testament genealogies of Yeshua Ha Mashiach (Jesus the Christ) all identify Him as the son of king David. It was universally understood from the Tenach (OT) that the messiah would be descended from David and that he would restore the Davidic monarchy to its ultimate and most universal expression, even that this king would reign and sit on the throne forever.
The prophet Elijah, through his dramatic demonstration of the LORD's authority and power, inspired repentance in the people of Israel, calling them to exercise His judgment on idolaters by slaying 450 prophets of Ba'al and 400 prophets of Asherah on Mount Carmel. Yet this spiritual victory was followed by a severe demonic reprisal through the woman Jezebel.
Over the years I've often gotten emails asking "Do you think revival will ever come to the United States?, When do you think it will come?" While re-reading Charles Finney's lectures on revival recently, I was reminded that a key aspect of world revival is revival within ourselves.
If you are not familiar with Jewish tradition, this is fascinating. There are two principle figures in the ancient Hebrew marriage. The "Khatan" is the Bridegroom and the "Almah" is the virgin who becomes the bride. Almah also means the veiled one, the one who keeps herself hidden…
This groundbreaking conversation took place at Caesarea Phillipi, which lies today in the modern day reserve of the Banias in the Golan Heights region of Israel. The city was established by Ptolemaic Greeks, a Hellenistic community where the worship of the god Pan was centered. Reviled by the Jews of Yeshua's time and considered by them the most idolatrous place in the entire Galilee, to this day it remains a place of nature worship and deep paganism…
If you keep a grain of wheat in your pocket, it will look exactly the same ten years from now. But place it in the right environment — some good ground, enough water — it will sprout into a living sheaf of grain!
As we close out the fall feasts here in Israel I’m meditating on the deeper significance of this season. I’m realizing how God’s ordering of the festivals contains a deeper meaning than one might see at first glance. It’s not just about apples and honey and building tabernacles. The Lord gave the Jewish people these feasts as a beautiful picture of His ultimate plan; repentance, faith, atonement, forgiveness and joy. He carefully ordered these feasts to call us to a profound internal reflection designed to lead us from sin and alienation to reconciliation, fellowship, freedom and great joy.
During the Feast of Sukkot, the Jewish people took part in a water drawing ceremony on the last day of the feast. They would go down to the Pool of Siloam, draw water and bring it to the Temple Mount. Then they would pour out the water and recite Isaiah 12, "and with joy you shall draw water out of the wells (springs) of salvation." In Hebrew, the word salvation and Yeshua (Jesus, in Hebrew), are the same.
Tonight begins the Biblical feast of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) throughout the world! Roughly 2500 years ago, there was a special Sukkot celebration in Jerusalem. The people of Israel were exiled and dispersed all across the Babylonian empire. Later, they were given the right to return and start construction on the 2nd temple of Israel. Nehemiah 8 speaks of the special celebration that happened at that time. We read how Ezra taught the people out of the book of the law and how they responded in weeping and repentance before the God of Israel.
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement is upon us. Beginning tomorrow evening, Yom Kippur marks the holiest of all holy days on the Hebrew calendar. It is the anniversary of the fall of man and it is the climax of the time of Teshuvah (repentance). Starting tomorrow night and into Saturday, all around the world, the religious will fast from food and water and read prayers in the synagogue, as will the majority of traditional Jews.
One of the more beautiful ceremonies of the Jewish faith is called "Tashlich". Tashlich means to cast away. Every year between Rosh haShana and Yom Kippur, Jewish people around the world journey to a nearby river or stream and cast in bread crumbs as they confess their sins. As the bread crumbs are swept downstream soon to be out of sight, so they believe God will sweep away their sins.
One of the major themes of Rosh Hashana is called Akedat Yitzchak, which means the Binding of Isaac. According to Jewish tradition, God told Abraham that the ram's horn – otherwise known as a shofar – should be blown on Rosh Hashana to remind people of the sacrifice that God provided Himself when Abraham was about to offer Isaac on Mount Moriah. It's abundantly clear that this event in the life of Abraham and Isaac foreshadowed God the Father's offering of His Son, providing Yeshua (Jesus) as a sacrifice for all men.
In today's society fast food is making billions. It's slogans are "have it your way" and "have it hot and and have it now". How easy it is for us to fall into this "fast food mentality". It has almost become who we are. But in God's kingdom there's no fast food. We can't always have it our way and now. When we are caught up in this fast food mentality, we lose the true meaning of patience. True patience is the ability to wait on the Lord through trials without complaining and worrying; it is to be tested and persevere through trial.
There is a fascinating true story about the Apostle John narrated by the early church "Father", Eusebius, well worth reading.
Proverbs says the "highway of the upright is to depart from evil". It's a highway — a way of life so to speak. And this proverb coincides with the central teaching of Yeshua (Jesus) — "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand." What does it mean to repent? The Greek Word is "metanoia" which simply means to change your mind about sin or to depart from evil.
In this prophetic passage the critical question is immediately followed by the powerfully convicting answer. Joel prophesies the Day of the Lord, and asks, "Who can endure it?" The next word "therefore", is followed by the prophet's urgent counsel: "Turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning!"
An ancient Hebrew commentator wrote of this verse, "In the words of our teachers of blessed memory and in the Midrash [ancient Hebrew commentaries of the O.T.], it is taught that the 'breaker' is Elijah and 'their King' is the branch of the son of David."
Recently, I've been studying the Jewish roots of many of Yeshua's (Jesus') parables, and I came across an interesting saying from a Jewish Rabbi that I believe has something to teach us.
David is called a “man after God’s own heart.” Considering that he lusted after his neighbor's wife, committed adultery with her, and had her husband murdered, the Lord's description of him is remarkable. How could a man who was convicted a murderer and an adulterer also be called one after God’s own heart?