Significance of the Sabbath

By:

Steve Daskal & Joe Butta

 Ex 20:8-11

8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

God commanded that the Hebrew people keep the Sabbath, the seventh day of each week, as a day of holy rest and prayer.  This may seem matter-of-fact today, but the Hebrews may have been the first people to establish a regular Sabbath.  This is different than work cycles that were common in the ancient world.  This was not meant to be a day to leave your crops or your artisan’s shop and go into the market to buy and sell.  This was a day of prayer, rest, and time with family.

We tend to take Sabbath for granted, perhaps because there are 52 of them in most years, and thus we get a bit jaded, or forgetful, or perhaps even we think we’re too busy to remember the Sabbath.  But it is the ONLY one of God’s holy days the observance of which — remembering it and keeping it holy — makes the Ten Commandments.  As for Jewish people today about 80% are largely secularized if not totally non-observant of the Law of Moses. This is also true for most Christians.

How did God direct the Sabbath to be kept?  His direction began to be established while the Hebrews were in the desert, just after having crossed the Red Sea, and even before they reached Mount Sinai where Moses was to be given the Law.  In the first part of Exodus 16, we read that the LORD, that is Yahveh, I AM, gave the Israelites manna to gather daily and eat daily, except on the sixth day when he allotted a double portion.  Normally, manna would turn bad if kept more than a day, but “sixth day” manna would last for two days.  This was to enable the Sabbath to be kept.  Note that this was God’s provision — one had to trust Him literally day by day for one’s very food in the desolate wilderness of Sinai.  The manna was miraculously able to also provide against thirst despite the dryness of the environment.  It also tasted like wafers with honey… not bad stuff to live on!  Aaron retained some manna by God’s order, and this became the “showbread” associated with the Tabernacle and the (First) Temple.  But we digress…  the key here is that God commanded that the Israelites not even gather food on the Sabbath, but gather enough the day before to last two days.  To this day, Orthodox Jews do not shop on the Sabbath (which begins Friday at sunset and ends Saturday at dusk), nor do they cook — they eat and drink only that which was prepared prior to the Sabbath.

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Khanukah – The Feast of (Re-)Dedication

By

Steve Daskal & Joe Butta

Christian Messianic Analysis & Apologetics

Maybe you’ve heard of Khanukah.  Khanukah is commonly known as “the festival of lights,” but what it REALLY means is “The Dedication.” Khanukah is a holiday Jewish people celebrate every year. Here is a little more about this fun holiday.

Jewish people all around the world have celebrated Khanukah for over 2100 years. Unlike Yom Kippur, the “Shlosh Regalim,” or Purim, Khanukah is not a holiday Jews are commanded to celebrate in the Old Testament. In fact Khanukah itself isn’t even mentioned in the Old Testament, though the events leading up to it were prophesied by Daniel (11:19-45). The holiday was only mentioned once in the New Testament (John 10:22).  Khanukah celebrates a miraculous event that happened over 200 years after the last book of the Old Testament was written and about 160 years before Jesus was born.  In a very real sense, if Khanukah had never happened, Christmas would have been impossible. But most Jewish people don’t realize that Jesus is the Messiah, the Prince of the House of David, of the Root of Jesse, promised to them by God throughout the Old Testament.

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Why Having a Relationship with Jesus Matters

By

Joe Butta and Steve Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis & Apologetics

Since childhood I was raised in a traditional faith.  I received instruction from parents, priests and nuns.  Being young there was no way to understand faith, God and truth other than how I was raised and taught. This usually required preparing for and then performing certain religious rituals like going to confession, attending Mass and taking communion, in order to avoid a mortal sin. Guilt and doubt always hung in the back of my mind. I feared I was never quite good enough — I could never be like the priests, nuns and saints. This meant spending significant time in purgatory was a real possibility. Although I cussed, slept with women when I was not married, watched dirty movies from time to time, got into occasional fights and got drunk, I never thought I was hell- bound, because I participated in my religion.

After one failed marriage I remarried outside of my denomination.  My parish priest could not even attend the ceremony because he told me he could get into trouble. Although my denomination did not consider this a marriage I certainly felt married to the woman I married! Thanks to my secular education, I thought that most everyone would get to heaven because although no one is perfect most of us are not that bad. My wife and I continued to attend church, continued to consider ourselves “good Christians,” but felt something was missing.  We were too busy to give much thought to what was missing.

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Filed under Faith, Joseph A. Butta, Jr., Judeo-Christianity, Messiah, Salvation, Steven E. Daskal

SUKKOS (The Feast of Tabernacles) — Chastisement, Purification, and a New Start

By

Steve Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis & Apologetics

Leviticus 23: 33-43

33  The LORD said to Moses,

34  “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month [15 Tishrei in the Hebrew lunar calendar] the Lord’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work.                                                                                                              37  (“‘These are the Lord’s appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to the LORD by fire — the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. These offerings are in addition to those for the Lord’s Sabbaths and in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the LORD.)                                                                                                                                                    39  “‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest.                                                                                                                                  40  On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.                                                          41  Celebrate this as a festival to the LORD for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.'”

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Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur: Is This Any Way to Celebrate New Year?

By Steve Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

How do you celebrate the New Year?  Do you celebrate it on January 1st, Euro-American style?  Do you celebrate Lunar New Year when it falls around February, or do you celebrate both?

Jewish people generally recognize New Years twice.  This might get confusing.  First of all, most Jewish people in the West celebrate New Years on January 1st like Gentiles, even though on the Hebrew calendar, that’s just another day.  Then, most Jews recognize Rosh Hashanah, literally “Head of the Year,” as being the first day of the month of Tishrei, which usually falls in September or October of the modern Western or Gregorian calendar.  It is the 7th month of the year, like the Gregorian September.  The date wanders around because the Jews still use a lunar calendar as they did in Moses’ time (like many East Asian cultures and like the Muslims).  The 1st month of the Hebrew year is Nisan, the month dominated by Pesakh/Passover, the 1st month of the growing year in the Holy Land and the 1st month of the Biblical religious calendar.  You might say that is a third “new year!”

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Created For God, Created to Work In Relationship With God

By:

Steven  Daskal & Joe Butta

Christian Messianic Analysis & Apologetics

 

          26   Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

          29   And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.   — Genesis 1:26-31 (NKJV)

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IS THE GOD OF THE BIBLE OK WITH ABORTION

By:

Joe Butta and Steve Daskal

In today’s emotionally charged social atmosphere, all controversial issues become politicized. Secular Humanists see abortion as a woman’s rights issue whereby the pregnant woman alone should decide what is right for her body and her life.  The life growing inside of her is subordinate to what she believes is best for her situation. Since the Supreme Court ruled in the 1970’s on the constitutionality of abortion in the Roe vs Wade case secular humanists assert that what they long believed was “right” had become legal. Recently, certain states are relaxing restrictions on late term abortions and one governor has spoken about allowing babies who survive an abortion to perish outside the womb [infanticide]. The purpose of this post is not to debate but to illustrate what the God of the Bible conveys concerning life in the womb and babies.  According to the God of the Bible any departure from a person’s love for Him, obedience to His will, not our own, is considered sin. It is sin in our lives that the God of the Bible seeks to remedy. For anyone who considers themselves Christian or a Tanakh believing Jew it becomes an issue of consistency with biblical truth. With these views established we turn to the scripture.

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