: MAIN
: STATEMENT OF FAITH
: ABOUT OIM
: OIM NEWS
: TORAHSCOPE
: TORAH READINGS
: HUE & CRY
: FAQ (TNN)
: DAILY POSTS (FB)
: HEBREW/GREEK FONTS

: PRODUCTS
    : Books
    : Commentaries
    : eBooks
: SUPPORT

: CONTACT US
: COPYRIGHT POLICY

: TNN ONLINE
: YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Click here for TNN Press Books available for Amazon Kindle!

Become a fan of Outreach Israel Ministries on Facebook!

The Gospel According to Torah 

 


OIM is a Messianic educational ministry, which has been commissioned to reach, teach, encourage, and disciple those within the Commonwealth of Israel to return wholly to Him in spirit, soul, and body in the work of advancing His Kingdom until the Messianic restoration of all things.


 
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust

in signing up to list, make sure that support@outreachisrael.net and info@tnnonline.net are not on your blocked list!

Newsfeed Ticker Archives

 

DON'T LET YOUR SPAM BLOCKER GET YOU....CHECK HERE FOR REGULAR UPDATES!
FRI
DEC 19
TorahScope: Mikkeitz
THURS
DEC 18
47 TNN Press Titles Now Available as eBooks!
WED
DEC 17
2014 Year-End Support Offering


Wednesday Night Bible Study


TUES
DEC 16
December 2014 TNN Online Editor's Update
MON
DEC 15
Messianic Winter Holiday Helper
 
FRI
DEC 12
TorahScope: V'yeishev
THURS
DEC 11
47 TNN Press Titles Now Available as eBooks!
WED
DEC 10
Wednesday Night Bible Study
TUES
DEC 09
The Impact of the Maccabees on First Century Judaism (PDF)


MON
DEC 08
Messianic Winter Holiday Helper
 
December 2014 OIM News

DECEMBER 2014
 OIM NEWS

OIM Channel on iTunes

OIM CHANNEL ON iTunes

 

If you have been blessed by Outreach Israel Ministries and TNN Online during 2014, you can help us with a special year-end offering. Your support is a great blessing to us, as you will be making an effort to let us know that you appreciate our efforts of service. Help us enter into 2015 strong and with confidence to continue!

Click here to donate


DECEMBER 2014


It is hard to believe, but twenty years ago this month, during the sixth month of our marriage, Margaret and I traveled to Israel for the first time on a tour organized by the Messianic Jewish ministry led by Zola Levitt of Dallas. After all, we reasoned back then, if we as evangelical Christians were going on a tour of Israel, then a Messianic Jew should share his knowledge of the Promised Land where the Jewish Messiah and Patriarchs of Israel had lived! Providentially, Zola was unable to lead the group because of an unexpected heart ailment that prevented him from traveling at that particular time. Rather than enjoying Zola’s larger-than-life personality during our tour, he placed his more placid videographer in charge of overseeing and guiding the group. Initially, we were disappointed with the change in leadership just prior to embarking on our transatlantic flight. But in retrospect, we were absolutely blessed—because the absence of the exuberant ministry leader, required the impromptu leader to depend on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for guidance throughout the tour. It was not until we returned home that we realized what a special gift such a Spirit-led tour would be for us personally. Several months earlier, we had been led to believe that Isaiah 43 was a Scripture for us, and we were both sincerely seeking the Lord for His will for our new life together. Thankfully, the future course of our spiritual journey, as one in the Messiah, was revealed through a variety of Spirit-inspired communications.

Vivid memories remain of God speaking through some of the thirty sojourning Christians, who for the most part, did not previously know any of their fellow travelers prior to the tour. But the Spirit of God also impressed us at times at various historical and Biblical sites, where we were supernaturally overwhelmed with His presence. One morning in particular (15 December, 1994), before the scheduled tour began, that day, Margaret and I secured a taxi for a pre-dawn visit to watch the sunrise from atop the highest point on Mount Tabor. With the Sea of Galilee on the northeast horizon, we overlooked the plain of Jezreel or Megiddo to the southwest, and reconsidered the message of Deborah’s inspirational words found in Judges 4. With Nazareth to the northwest we contemplated the Messiah’s upbringing in His hometown, and the place where He was almost thrown off a cliff by His fellow citizens. We then went back in history, and forward in time, and imagined the past and future battles at Armageddon—with appropriate prayers that dedicated our lives to Him—as we welcomed the rising of the sun over this blessed land promised to the heirs of Abraham.

As the morning continued, we rejoined our tour group as it headed down the Jordan River valley toward Jericho, where we stopped to be baptized in the chilly living waters. It was there that our disposable camera (before the days of digital cameras) recorded a glimpse of the Holy Spirit, evidenced in a wispy white light that surrounded Margaret as she emerged from the river. Oddly, neither the frame before nor the frame after captured any of the translucent light that engulfed Margaret. Needless to say, we believe that the Lord gave us a visible sign that He had heard our prayers and was going to bless us in the years to come!

Later that afternoon, we were surveying the Dead Sea from up above at the ancient fortress of Masada. Before descending, we were directed to a small synagogue located in the northern wall, which had some small openings where one could peer down over a valley of cragged rocks and eroded terrain. What appeared from a distance to be a valley of dried bones, was confirmed when we noticed a small plaque that noted how fragments from Ezekiel 37 had been found at this spot during the original excavation. Upon turning to my Bible, I found myself reading this Scripture passage out loud through one of the windows that opened to the north, without any concern for the growing crowd tuned into my intensifying oration. Of course, we had no idea at that time, how much of our future ministry would revolve around producing educational materials to help others in the long prophesied Messianic restoration of Israel, mentioned not only in this chapter, but also in Acts 3:19-21. Consequently, we took note, because I was not in the habit of drawing attention to myself. But clearly, there was no doubt in our minds that the Holy Spirit had definitely prompted me to boldly declare this Scripture to everything within earshot!

From there our tour group “went up” from the Jordan Valley and settled into our final lodging place at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel overlooking Jerusalem and Bethlehem, near the historical site where Jacob’s beloved Rachel was laid to rest. From there I was able to take early morning jogs down to the Old City and catch the roosters crowing as dawn was breaking, before praying at the Western Wall. There was something palpably magnetic about Jerusalem! We both discerned the presence of the Holy Spirit’s illumination about what we were learning at the various sites from our Jewish Israeli tour guide, who was a Believer in Yeshua, and also in our times of personal reflection, prayer, and conversations. One memorable highlight before we returned home came on the Temple Mount plaza, after we decided to not enter the mosques because of the discernible presence of evil. Instead, we discovered a reddish colored flat stone where we believed, “by faith,” the  Holy of Holies of the ancient Temple was once located. Without hugging or noticeably praying, because those activities were not permitted by the Muslim authorities, we simply lifted our hands to the Lord and dedicated ourselves to His service!

Needless to say, our time spent in the Promised Land dramatically altered our thinking about how we were to pursue our relationship with the Lord, for the remainder of our lives. Inevitably, our understanding about the direct relationship between our belief in the blood sacrifice of the Savior, and how it was foreshadowed by the Passover deliverance from Egypt, was reinforced. Additionally, we were further exposed to the foundational building blocks of the faith system founded by Abraham and carried forth by Isaac, Jacob, and his twelve sons, which led to the formation of Ancient Israel. As our tour was coming to a conclusion, we both received the strong impression that we were supposed to in some way participate in the feasts of the Lord when we returned home to the United States.

However, when one receives a directive from the Holy Spirit that is different from what one has been taught and has experienced in evangelical Christianity, there is not always an immediate departure from the more familiar routine. Nevertheless, the Lord was faithful to gently lead us to a Messianic Jewish congregation where we eventually celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles. At that point, we definitely discerned His pleasure. Within a few weeks, we began to attend Erev Shabbat and Shabbat services, as we continued to visit a church on Sunday which we had considered joining. We became the classic double- or triple-dippers, simply hungering for more and more of God and His ways. Soon we realized that the Holy Spirit was feeding our desire for spiritual nourishment at the Messianic synagogue, and we simply discontinued attending the church. After a few months, we began to take Hebrew language lessons, and joined the new members class. At that point in 1995, we have never looked back and never regretted the spiritual journey the Holy One has had our family travel.

Nevertheless, over the years, we had to contend with some perplexed comments and even muted derision from our family, friends, and former acquaintances, who could not comprehend why we would leave the relative comfort of our Christian settings. Do you still believe in Jesus? Are you trying to become Jewish? These were just a few of the questions we had to answer on a regular basis, as we became more compliant with the Messianic lifestyle, which in our minds was simply doing what Yeshua and the Apostles did when they walked on the planet many years ago. However, as non-Jewish Believers, there were a number of dilemmas we had to overcome, as we sought to grow in our understanding and mature in our Messianic walk of faith.

How do evangelical Believers transition from a Spirit-led Christian walk to a Messianic and Torah obedient lifestyle? Where does one turn for instruction on proper protocol at the synagogue gatherings, given all of the opinions present in the Jewish religious community? What is properly done on the weekly Shabbat or during the feasts of the Lord? What about a kosher diet? Our legitimate questions and concerns to not offend our Messianic Jewish brethren were seemingly endless.

This was especially challenging during the mid-1990s, because the great majority of Messianic Jewish rabbis and leaders were appropriately concentrating their efforts on Jewish evangelism and making their fellowships and congregations comfortable for any Jewish non-Believers who might enter the assemblies. For a number of years reading from primarily Jewish sources, we discovered that there were very few written resources which were instructions for the increasing number of non-Jews like our family, who were supernaturally being drawn into these Messianic settings. As a result of this challenge, and constantly fielding questions that needed loving, balanced, and scholarly answers—we used our experiential knowledge and desire to help others, and began to write articles in the late 1990s which were used to eventually become books. Consequently, we were commissioned to launch Outreach Israel Ministries on November 1, 2002, with TNN Online merged into our efforts in 2003.

For over twelve years, we have faithfully produced written materials that have addressed a wide range of topics to assist Messianic people, who the Spirit of God has drawn into the Messianic community of faith. At this point in time, we have forty-seven titles that are available in paperback and eBook for Amazon Kindle. A few years ago we asked people to contribute to the Theological Defense Trust, so we would have the financial support to continue the work we have been called to fulfill in the Messianic community of faith. Additionally, because of the great number of inquiries to freely receive our written materials from those incarcerated in the U.S. penal system, we formed the Free Book Prison Ministry to fund that effort.

This month’s lead article is written by J.K. McKee, and is entitled, The Forgotten Past.” In December, both the Jewish community and Messianic community will be commemorating the Feast of Dedication or Chanukah, but too many often consider Chanukah to be a holiday all about lighting the menorah and eating fried foods. This article goes into comparing how the Maccabean crisis of the Second Century B.C.E. is an overlooked part of Biblical-period history, which greatly affects Second Temple Judaism of the First Century C.E. and some of the challenges experienced by the early Messianic Believers. This is not unlike how the centennial of The Great War is being presently remembered in Europe, but how few Americans realize the significance of World War I for the later conflict of World War II.

Enclosed you will find a form and return envelope for an end of the year gift to help with the ongoing needs of Outreach Israel Ministries and TNN Online. Your intercessory prayers and generous financial support are greatly appreciated!

May the Lord bless you and keep you during this special season!

Chag Sameach!

Mark Huey

 
Become a fan of Outreach Israel Ministries on Facebook!
Our Facebook like group has updates and posts
that are not sent out to the normal e-mail list.
 

FACEBOOK POSTS ARCHIVES


posted 18 December, 2014 to Facebook

A huge issue surrounding the holiday of Christmas involves the ideology of triumphantalism: Jesus or Yeshua is superior to all things, thusly questionable traditions like the Christmas tree and potential paganism mean nothing in light of Him.

There is a huge issue with this: this kind of practice is completely absent from the Scriptures. The Bible does indeed include many references to God being superior, and the power of God being subversive to paganism or human philosophy (cf. Colossians 1:15-20). But, one does not see specific rites from another religion adapted and reinterpreted with new, and apparently Biblical, meanings.

The Song of Moses of Exodus 15, is an excellent example of the kind of subversion that demonstrates God's superiority and primacy. While depicting God's judgment over the Egyptians, the Song of the Sea or shirat ha'yam also had a message to the Canaanites. Terms used in Canaanite religion for gods representing the forces of nature, are in fact nothing, and are in fact controlled by the True Creator God, the God of Israel.

The article "The Song of the Sea and God's Mission for His People" goes into further detail:

<http://tnnonline.net/torah/Song_of_Moses_and_Gods_Mission_for_His_People_SPRING.pdf>



posted 16 December, 2014 to Facebook

There will doubtlessly be many posts and memes about Christmas, both positive and negative, circulating around the broad Messianic community during the next week or so. The need to not just be Biblical, but also be fair and reasonable, is quite important.

The following is the entry for "Christmas," from the Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Some of the assertions made are a bit "revealing," to say the least:

"From the OE {Old English} Cristes Mœsse. Not knowing the date of Christ's birth, the early Church sought one by combining calendrical speculations with the exegesis of biblical numbers. Several dates were suggested, including Mar. 25, Apr. 2, May 20, Nov. 8, Dec. 25, and Jan. 6. The earliest evidence, the Depositio martyrum, has the Feast of the Nativity being celebrated on Dec. 25 by the year 336 in Rome. Within a century this date was almost universally accepted.

"Dec. 25 marked, in the Julian calendar, the winter solstice (the beginning of the victory of light over darkness after the year's longest night) and, after 274, the feast of the birthday of Sol Invictus (the 'invincible sun'), patron deity of the emperor. The association between Jesus and the sun occurred early and naturally; Jesus rose on Sunday (the 'Lord's Day'). As early as Clement of Alexandria (d. 216) Jesus was being identified with the 'Sun of Righteousness' (Vulg. Sol Iustitiae) of Mal. 4:2 (MT 3:20) (Exhort. 11). A related early tradition identified Mar. 25, the 'Sunday' of creation week, as the date of Christ's conception (nine months before Dec. 25!). It was only natural that after Constantine had abandoned the patronage of Sol Invictus in 324, Sol Iustatiae, the light of the world, should supersede him."

Ronald V. Huggins, "Christmas," in EDB, 240.



posted 05 December, 2014 to Facebook

In several weeks, both the Jewish and Messianic Jewish communities will be commemorating Chanukah or the Feast of Dedication. Chanukah is far more than just lighting the menorah or eating fried foods; it is about remembering the Maccabean crisis of the Second Century B.C.E., principally contained in the Books of 1&2 Maccabees in the Apocrypha, also parts of 3 Maccabees and 4 Maccabees, as well as the record of Josephus.

I am presently finishing the lead article for the December 2014 OIM News today, "The Forgotten Past." Not knowing about the Maccabean crisis, and how it influenced the Second Temple world of Yeshua and the Apostles--is like not knowing about World War I and how it led to World War II.



posted 04 December, 2014 to Facebook

It was always my plan back in 2003, when Torah In the Balance, Volume I was released, to write a Volume II. I actually sat down in 2005 to start Volume II, and got as far as ch. 5, then I stopped. Part of this was my having just started seminary classes, but some of it was due to the status of various issues "out there" in the Messianic world of ideas.

Finally for these past two weeks, I read through Volume I, making a few tweaks here and there, and I read through Volume II, up to the last chapter, which is still to be completed. I am very happy that the end is in sight, and look forward to Torah In the Balance I and II being ready sometime in the First Quarter of 2015!



posted 02 December, 2014 to Facebook

One of the mainstay verses of apologetics, or defending the faith, is 1 Peter 3:15: "but sanctify Messiah as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence." How much of what passes for apologetics really follows this impetus?

There is a need, for certain, to be able to defend a theological position--and do so well. "Taking down" an opponent, as it were, is not the objective; the objective is persuading an opponent, or at least getting an opponent to rethink his or her position. Much of this can only come about by explaining how you came to believe what you believe, the reasoning processes you undertook, the journey you followed--and then let God's Spirit do the rest.



posted 01 December, 2014 to Facebook

Everyone in the Messianic community believes that the Hebrew language has a beauty and uniqueness associated with it--from which we can all be blessed and edified. This is easily witnessed in the theological liturgy and prayers employed, as well as the many Hebrew songs--ancient and modern--seen in the broad Messianic movement.

Yet, it is still sometimes not recognized how Biblical Hebrew is a limited language, of human origin, with Semitic relatives like Ugaritic or Akkadian. Interpreting Hebrew is not always easy because it can be imprecise. While we surely encourage today's Messianic Believers to take Hebrew and study Hebrew, this needs to be conducted in a realistic manner.



posted 26 November, 2014 to Facebook

In the late 1960s, the modern Messianic movement arose in the time following the Israeli recapture of the Old City of Jerusalem, concurrent with a huge amount of spiritual shifting in Western evangelical Christianity. Messianic Judaism has done extraordinary things in seeing Jewish people brought to saving faith in Yeshua--who do not have to give up on their Jewishness!

By the 1990s, however, the Messianic movement began to attract a huge number of of non-Jewish Believers, who were being supernaturally drawn to their Hebraic Roots and to a Torah observant lifestyle. Aside from some of the complications present, getting non-Jewish Believers to appreciate their faith heritage in the Tanach (OT) and Judaism, is a tangible reality that is not going away.

Not all have recognized the dual mission of today's Messianic movement. Many have, but are struggling through many spiritual and theological issues. We have a limited window of time to consolidate ourselves, and make a difference--before the world gets very, very "interesting"...



Click here for weekly TorahScope teachings


  SEARCH THIS SITE

Google
WWW outreachisrael.net

BACK TO TOP

:  NEW:
   2014 Book
   and Resource
   Catalogue

2014 Book and Resource Catalogue

ORDER NOW:
   NEW PAPERBACK
   AND EBOOK
   Messianic
   Kosher Helper

Messianic Kosher Helper

ORDER NOW:
   NEW PAPERBACK
   AND EBOOK
   Messianic
   Torah Helper

Messianic Torah Helper

ORDER NOW:
   NEW PAPERBACK
   AND EBOOK
   James for the
   Practical Messianic

James for the Practical Messianic

 

 

 


Information on this website is © 2002-2015 Outreach Israel Ministries
and may not be reproduced without permission.


Last Updated 18 December, 2014