Tag Archives: jewish

mmmm Day of the LORD mmmm

mmmm Celebrating Christmas with Yumcha Dim Sum mmmm

Yumcha is my favourite food in the whole world!

Also known as Dim Sum: it originates from Cantonese-speaking China & Hong Kong.

This year I celebrated Christmas by sharing Yumcha with friends in Sydney.

Without prompting, my Dad organised another Yumcha Christmas Party with family.

I wish this Yumcha celebration would never end!

In contrast, did you know that our world will come to an end?

Last month, a visitor to my fellowship asked me an eschatological [1] question.

He volunteered his email to receive my answer and so he could ask more questions.

There is global fascination with the Second Coming of Christ and the “End Times”:

  • When will Jesus return?
  • When will the “Day of Judgement” occur?
  • What will the LORD God [2] do on “Judgement Day”?

Judgement Day is known as the “Day of the LORD” in the Bible.

For thousands of years many have speculated when the day of the LORD will occur.

Many have tried to calculate the date unsuccessfully with spectacular failure.

Some even speculate that Jesus will return directly to Jerusalem in the End Times [3].

Is this one reason behind the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by USA [4]?

Australia has also recognised Jerusalem 2 days ago (15 December 2018) [5].

If Jerusalem is in allied hands, will this hasten Jesus’ return & Judgement Day?

For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

1 Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 2

No human political decision can speed up Judgement Day.

The New Testament verse reminds us that this date cannot be calculated.

The day of the LORD will arrive when we least expect it (like a thief in the night).

What else does the Bible say about the day of the LORD?

Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it.

Isaiah chapter 13 verse 9

That day is the day of the LORD God of hosts, a day of vengeance, to avenge himself on his foes.

Jeremiah chapter 46 verse 10 part A

For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near; it will be a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations.

Ezekiel chapter 30 verse 3

Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.

Joel chapter 1 verse 15

Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! Why would you have the day of the LORD? It is darkness, and not light…

Amos chapter 5 verse 18

For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.

Obadiah chapter 1 verse 15

And on the day of the LORD‘s sacrifice— [Lord God declares] “I will punish the officials and the king’s sons and all who array themselves in foreign attire…

Zephaniah chapter 1 verse 8

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.

Malachi chapter 4 verse 5

The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.

Acts chapter 2 verse 20

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

2 Peter chapter 3 verse 10

From these eschatological verses [6] we can see the colourful imagery of the day of the LORD:

  • A day in the future when God will destroy the earth and sinners
  • A day in the not-too-distant-future when God will punish his enemies in all nations
  • A day in the near-future when our past deeds will return to haunt us
  • A day coming soon when God will judge the people of Israel and the whole world

But the Bible also promises salvation to those who trust in Jesus

This is the great hope we celebrate at Christmas:

God loved the world by sending his son Jesus [7] to save sinners in all nations.

Our Father God has graciously given the gift of forgiveness for the whole world.

So Jesus’ followers need not fear the Day of the LORD

But we are to be ready for this day: seek forgiveness for your sins now

One question remains:

Is Jerusalem important to Christians today?

Historically the Jewish people made an annual pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem.

The temple symbolised the LORD God dwelling with His people.

The Jewish temple was destroyed by the Romans soon after Jesus’ death & resurrection.

This temple was never rebuilt (in fact there is now a mosque in its place).

So Christians do not need to make an annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Jesus’ followers can worship Father God anywhere on Earth.

Through Jesus we can speak to God in prayer at any time and any place.

Jesus is where we go to meet God (instead of the earthly Jerusalem).

God now dwells inside his followers: we are the new temple!

The joy of Christmas is knowing that we’re on the journey to our real home.

Our real home is with Jesus in the New Jerusalem – the heavenly city [8].

The earthly Jerusalem is currently divided and a flashpoint for conflict [9].

The REAL Jerusalem is in Heaven with Father God where there is eternal peace.

Questions to consider this Christmas:

Are you prepared for Judgement Day?

Have you sought forgiveness for your sins?

Have you discovered the Joy of Salvation available exclusively from Jesus?

For followers: does your family & friends know about the New Jerusalem?

Footnotes:

[1] Eschatology is the study of the “End Times” prophesied in the Bible: this includes the Second Coming of Christ and the Day of Judgement (also known as the Day of the LORD).

[2] In modern translations of the Bible: LORD (in capital letters) refers to the Hebrew name of God: Yahweh/Jehovah. In English, the name of God may be referred to as “The Lord God Almighty”.

[3] The author of this blog does not uphold the Premillenial view of Eschatology. After reading various news articles, the best descriptions of Premillenialism are listed here:
CNN News (14 May 2018): https://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/08/opinions/jerusalem-israel-evangelicals-end-times-butler-bass-opinion/index.html
BBC News (5 January 2018): https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42402350

[4] Last Christmas in my Micah blog (see below with original news article links), I blogged about USA controversially recognising Jerusalem causing immediate global protests. Jerusalem remains an important city to the Israeli/Jewish people today. However Jerusalem is currently a divided city with the Eastern portion belonging to the Palestinian territories (as officially recognised by the United Nations). The Palestinians also claim that Jerusalem is the capital of their territory. So the status of Jerusalem is currently disputed.

[5] On 15 December 2018, Australia recognised both West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem as the future capital of Palestine. News articles:
BBC News (15 December 2018): https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-46576716
SBS News (15 December 2018): https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australia-recognises-west-jerusalem-as-israeli-capital-but-embassy-move-on-hold

[6] This is not an exhaustive list. Other “Day of the LORD” references include: Isaiah chapter 13 verse 6; Isaiah chapter 58 verse 13; Ezekiel chapter 13 verse 5; Joel chapter 2 verses 1, 11, 31; Joel chapter 3 verse 14; Amos chapter 5 verse 20; Zephaniah chapter 1 verse 7, 1 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 5; 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 2.

[7] John chapter 3 verse 16

[8] Revelation chapters 21-22 (final chapters in the last book of the Bible)

[9] Useful articles to read about the current divided status of Jerusalem:
Gospel Coalition (16 May 2018): https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-jerusalem/
Reuters News (21 January 2018): https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-israel-pence-jerusalem-idUSKBN1FA0JL

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm joshua 1 mmmm

Mmmm yummy Chinese Rice Noodles with Chicken, Fish Tofu & Fresh Coriander Mmmm

Sydney has the best Chinese Food in Australia!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College, I’m eating mouthfuls of Old Testament this semester.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ 10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 ‘Go through the camp and tell the people, “Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.”’

Joshua 1:9-11

Here we have the amazing encouragement of God’s presence with his people.

Joshua succeeded Moses in leading the Israelites after the exodus from Egypt.

The previous generation were too afraid to claim the land that God promised them.

The new generation of Israelites now had a choice:

  • Would they trust God and follow Joshua across the river Jordan into the new land?
  • Or would they give in to their fears and continue wandering in the desert?

God sent Joshua to save the Israelites.

God sent a greater saviour Jesus to bring everyone home and give us rest.

This home is not the physical nation state of Israel and the disputed territories of Palestine.

This home is heaven where we can finally rest from all our worries.

  • Is that what you hope for at the end of your earthly life?
  • Or are you too afraid to trust in Jesus?
  • Are you worried about your own security and whether you have enough money?

God offers a life where we do not have to be terrified.

Do you want to have reassurance that God is with you in this life and the next?

It’s an amazing relief knowing that God cares for you and is walking beside you every step of the way.

mmmm Bible mmmm

mmmm deuteronomy 6 mmmm

Mmmm Enjoyed delicious Aussie Seafood at Sydney’s Palm Beach on the weekend Mmmm

Sydney has amazing seafood that is so fresh!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College, I’m eating mouthfuls of Old Testament this semester.

Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.

 Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Recently, I was talking to my Jewish workmate about the Shema or verse 4 above.

It struck me how impersonal his relationship with God was.

It’s possible for Jews to follow all the Laws in the Torah (1st 5 books in the Bible)
and not really know who God is.

They can robotically observe all the Laws without having any real love towards God.

These Laws are an inconvenience as Jews get on with their ordinary lives.

These Laws are open to abuse as Jews try to find loopholes to avoid obeying them completely.

Jews probably view God as some anonymous “cosmic policeman”
who spoils their fun and enjoyment of life.

As Christians, we have a completely different view of the Torah.

Jesus summed up the whole Law with verse 5 above and
“Love your neighbour as yourself”.

Because we have a real relationship with Jesus, these Laws reflect God’s holiness
rather than repetitive rules and regulations.

Our sole purpose is to Love God as our Father with all our whole being
he is number 1 in our lives.

We view these Laws as a general guide in our lives, not as an inconvenience.

Jesus has freed us from the punishment and consequences of the Law.

Unlike Jews who are culturally bound by the Torah,
Christians do not robotically observe the Law.

Instead our lives are characterised by Love and wanting to please God because he first loved us.

Jesus has superseded the Law and the New Testament has replaced
all of the Food, Ceremonial & Sacrificial Laws and Rituals.

Yet the Ten Commandments reflect our love for God.

We do not have to worry if we accidentally break one of them.

Instead our relationship with Jesus means that we are forgiven.

Christians are known for their love for God, families, friends, neighbours and strangers.

Do you have a close loving relationship with God as your Dad and Jesus as your brother?

If you are a Christian, can people around you see your love for God and others?

mmmm Bible mmmm

mmmm numbers 9 mmmm

Mmmm Enjoyed delicious Japanese Sushi & Sashimi today Mmmm

Sydney has amazing Asian food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College, I’m eating mouthfuls of Old Testament this semester.

And the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying,“Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its rules you shall keep it.” So Moses told the people of Israel that they should keep the Passover. And they kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did.

Numbers 9:1-5

Just before Easter, a Jewish workmate went around our office
telling everyone that it was Passover.

He shared his unleavened bread (bread without yeast) and made us all taste it.

Jews celebrate Passover by remembering how God saved their firstborn sons and animals prior to the Exodus from Egypt.

This is also the Last Supper that Jesus celebrated with his disciples prior to his death on a cross.

I talked with my Jewish mate about the Old Testament and showed him this Blog on my SmartPhone so he could read the Gospel message in the previous post.

My Jewish mate is not Orthodox and does not observe the Sabbath,
but he does observe cultural celebrations like Passover and Yom Kippur.

He is not particularly religious but identifies himself as culturally Jewish.

This reminds me of many Aussies who are nominally Christian –
they only go to church at Easter and Christmas.

They think that this minimal attendance will get them into heaven.

As long as they lead a “good” life – they’ll be right mate.

God does not want us to just pay “lip service” and observe cultural events.

He wants us to have a real relationship and spend every day with Him.

A real relationship is characterised by daily conversations, not just twice a year encounters.

How often do you talk and listen to God?

mmmm Bible mmmm