Draw me close to You, and never let me go. In 2018, help me find a way, to bring my life back to God’s will. After beautiful praise and worship, Watchman Alexander closed out Genesis with Vayechi, He Lived, Genesis 47:28 – 50:26. Jacob died at the age of 147, despite Genesis 6:3 saying men would not live past 120 years. Extra biblical books (Jasher), and source texts (Septuagint) help clarify. Then after praise reports of new jobs and prayer for health, Rabbi Jonathan recapped our three most enjoyed podcasts of 2017; (1) Looking Forward and Politics, (2) Perils and Messianic Judaism, and (3) Commandments and Exorcism. Finally, if you are looking to make new years resolutions, remember the three things we said that will help you not be part of the 33% who fail in January, or 90% who fail balance of year. And the slides are https://messiahechad.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/30-Dec-2017-Slides.pdf
Despite whatever happens in life, during praise and worship, or in our dealings with people, we can stop and shout HalleluYah, because our Holy and Worthy Lord God Almighty reigns! After getting an earful of feedback, Rabbi Jonathan was reenergized by that Almighty God we worship, and then summarized Parsha Toldot, Generations, Genesis 25:19 – 28:9. Isaac, son of Abraham, fathered Esau and Jacob, but through who did the Abrahamic Covenant and Blessings flow? Esau was too short term thinking, unrepentant, and addicted to sin to be blessed. Don’t be like Esau. Then after praise of academic excellence and payer for our families, Councilwoman Val Nicholson encouraged us to be involved in our community. Find your “tribe”, consider how you can serve, and know that you CAN make a difference. And the slides are http://messiahechad.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/18-Nov-2017-Slides.pdf
When did we forget that You have always been the King of the World? Instead of making You so small God, may we always remember that You set everything in motion. In the parsha, Watchman Alexander covered Chayei Sarah, from Genesis 23:1 – 25:18. One focus was the faith Rebekah had to leave her family and trust God’s plan for her life. Do you have faith like Rebekah? And after making the decision to follow God, do you look back? Praise reports included finding favor, and we prayed for mountains to be removed, then Rabbi Jonathan reflected on his time at the Messianic Leadership Roundtable with Jewish Voice. It is time to pass the baton, embrace non-jewish members, and discuss how our faith should lead our politics. Lastly, does God want us to be Liberal or Conservative? Listen to find out. And the slides are http://messiahechad.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/11-Nov-2017-Slides.pdf.
The praise and worship at Messiah Echad is so powerful. Indeed, we are made new because of Yeshua (Jesus). Thank You Lord for calling us over, and holding our heads up. Rabbi Jonathan was honored to open our torah portion cycle with Bereshit, In the Beginning, Genesis 1:1 – 6:8. We noted how God created light before the Sun, but the creation of the Sun, Moon, and Stars soon followed, to demark times and seasons. Yet a few decades and generations later, God regretted the creation. So like Noah, let us flea wickedness, and find favor. Praise reports included free a transmission, and we prayed for job stability, after which Watchman Alexander spoke about our responsibility. We should spend our days bringing people to God, and that earthly effort will earn us heavenly rewards. The Watchman’s website is http://www.watchmanalexander.com and the slides are http://messiahechad.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/14-Oct-2017-Slides.pdf.
The God we worship is worthy of all our praise, and He alone deserves the glory. Day and night, night and day, let the incense of our prayers arise to God. Pastor Duane summarized torah portion Re’eh, See, Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17. God further has set out blessings and curses; one if we obey the commandments, and the other if we turn aside from them. The enemy even, often, disguises the path to curses, but beware, and choose wisely. Then after praise reports of cancers disappearing, and prayer requests for more miracles, Rabbi Jonathan explained how the devil wants us to disobey biblical commands, and not bring our faith into secular institutions. Yet Project Hero invited our Rabbi (Jonathan) to serve as a Chaplain for healing veterans, and we pray his story encourages you to share your faith, everywhere. The slides are http://messiahechad.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/19-Aug-2017-Slides.pdf
Are you hurting and broken? Have you come to the end of yourself? Yeshua (Jesus) is calling for you to come to the altar, and leave behind your mistakes. In the torah portion, Brother Phillip covered Va’etchanan, I Pleaded, from Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11. Moses was not permitted to enter the promised land, but he was allowed to see it, and was chosen to deliver the S’hema, V’Ahavta, and Ten Commandments. Recite those commandments daily! Then after praise reports for savings at the dentist, and prayer for healings, Rabbi Jonathan spoke on spiritual warfare, and leveraged the trailer from The Rite (2011) https://youtu.be/yeYQ6DDI0_U. As per Ephesians 6:12, spiritual warfare is real. Have you trained, overcome fear, and removed enough hooks in your life, to defeat demonic forces? And the slides are http://messiahechad.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/05-Aug-2017-Slides.pdf
Falling in love with Jesus, was the best thing I have ever done. In His arms, I am never disconnected, and there is no place I would rather be. Beautiful worship, after which Pastor Harry covered Tazria, She Will Conceive, and Metzora, Leper, Leviticus 12:1 – 15:33. There were instructions on how to purify women, and details on how to address people with skin conditions. Interestingly, some skin afflictions were brought about by lashon hara or speaking ill against others. Then after praise reports and prayer requests, Rabbi Jonathan helped us determine if Messianic Jews are legalists. By leveraging John 8:1-11, we determined Messianic Jews are not, but after watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NL6GtAIReY, we learned who the real legalists are, plus how to deal with them. And the slides are http://messiahechad.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/29-Apr-2017-Slides.pdf
In the midst of deep sorrow, I see Your light is breaking through. The dark of night will not overtake me, I am pressing into You… I am not alone! Amen, and may each of our listeners, never feel alone. Brother Mitch covered parsha Mishpatim, Judgments, Exodus 21:1 – Exodus 24:18, and the big question was if torah is an archaic set of rules, or an eternal tree of life? It all comes down to Torah vs. Political Correctness. Next was praise reports, and prayer requests, after which Rabbi Jonathan allegorically challenged the negative connotations that some people connect to sweet, gentle Jesus. Is there another way, a positive way, to view Yeshua, even when He did not appear “gentle” or “sweet”? Deep things to consider, and we invite you to ponder them with us, next weekend, during Purim Shabbat. And the slides are http://messiahechad.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/25-Feb-2017-Slides.pdf
The direct slides link is http://messiahechad.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/06-Aug-2016-Slides.pdf and audio is http://messiahechad.org/blog/06-aug-2016-b6n/ . As we concluded praise and worship, Rabbi Jonathan and Worship Leader Danaë, felt a nudge to heal those who were hurting. So no matter what the pain, and even to those online, we pray Adonai provides healing, and gives you His Shalom (Peace). As for the parsha, Brother Chris summarized Matot, Tribes, and Masei, Journeys of, from Numbers 30:2 – 36:13. The focus was on the inheritance we strive to receive, which is a function of our obedience and interestingly, also our humility. Praise reports and prayer requests were great, after which Rabbi Jonathan brought a (non-political) message on animals. Whether you support Elephants, Donkeys, or Gulls, this is not the message to miss, as it will help you choose!
The audio recording is http://messiahechad.org/blog/25-jun-2016-h3m/ and the slides are http://messiahechad.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/25-Jun-2016-Slides.pdf . After an awesome praise and worship set, to include vocals from a guest worship singer, Pastor Duane summarized the torah portion Behaalotecha, In your making go up, Numbers 8:1 – 12:16. The key points were setting the Levites apart, observing the commandments, and not complaining as Miriam did… God does not like complaining. We then thanked God for our praise reports, and humbly submitted a few prayer requests. Lastly, Rabbi Jonathan spoke on the recent shooting at a gay club in Orlando, and Rabbi reminded us to embrace the person, yet shun the sin. Spoiler Alert… we do not take a stance on homosexuality. We take a stance on sin.