EMET MINISTRIES’ VISION STATEMENT
Ministering the truth of the gospel to the Jewish people and the truth of the Jewish people and Israel to the church
READ THIS WEEK'S PARSHA ON THE 'THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK' PAGE
THIS WEEK'S PARSHA: 'Parsha Mikeitz'
IMPORTANT DATES TO DIARIZE
EMET MINISTRIES’ PRETORIA SHABBAT SERVICE
The next Emet Ministries' Shabbat service in Pretoria will take place in the Minor Auditorium at Hatfield Christian Church on Friday night 9 January, at 7pm.
Join us after the service for tea, coffee and great fellowship. Invite family and friends as well as Jewish people you know.
All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you.
EMET MINISTRIES’ TEACHING SEMINAR
The next Emet Ministries' Saturday morning teaching:
Teaching date: 10 JANUARY 2015
Venue: FOYER HALL, HATFIELD CHRISTIAN CHURCH, PRETORIA
Time: 10h00 - 12h00
Teaching title: 'PARSHA' OF THE WEEK
Invite your family and friends; invite Jewish people. All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you there.
EMET MINISTRIES’ PRAYER MEETING FOR THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND ISRAEL
The next Emet Ministries' Prayer Meeting for the Jewish people and Israel will take place on Monday night, 12 January, in the Foyer Hall at Hatfield Christian Church, Pretoria at 7pm.
Please join us as we fervently intercede for the Jewish people and Israel.
All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you there.
EMET MINISTRIES’ JOHANNESBURG SHABBAT SERVICE
The next Emet Ministries' Shabbat service will take place on Friday night 16 January, at JOURNEY CHURCH, 15 Twain Street, Buccleuch, Johannesburg at 7pm
Join us after the service for tea, coffee and great fellowship
Invite your family and friends; invite Jewish people.
All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you there.
To be announced
TO THE JEW FIRST
YESHUA OR SANTA – YOU CHOOSE
Revelations 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
We are in the Christmas season. It’s a time of joy, shopping, Christmas lights, Christmas parties, gifts and little children sitting on the laps of various Santa Clauses in a variety of shopping malls.
Trying to negotiate your way through the throngs of people in the various shopping malls at this time is almost unpleasant...as people, like an army of ants, go from shop to shop looking for that perfect Christmas gift.
So is this what Christmas is all about; Santa Clause and gifts? It almost seems so.
Actually Christmas is really about the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua! It is a time to celebrate His birth (although He was not actually born on the 25th of December), and it’s a time to celebrate His life and the victory He attained over sin and death.
However, the Christmas season has become so commercialized with so much emphasis being put on gifts and parties, that when one walks into a mall one usually sees beautiful decorations – lights, Christmas trees and figures of Santa Clause. However, one sees very little that depicts Yeshua.
So let’s compare Santa Clause to Yeshua:
• Santa lives at the North Pole. Yeshua is everywhere.
• Santa rides in a sleigh. Yeshua rides on the wind and walks on the water.
• Santa comes but once a year. Yeshua is an ever present help.
• Santa fills your stockings with goodies. Yeshua supplies all your needs.
• Santa comes down your chimney uninvited. Yeshua stands at your door and knocks…and, if you invite Him to, then enters your heart.
• You have to stand in line to see Santa. Yeshua is as close as the mention of His name.
• Santa lets you sit on his lap. Yeshua lets you rest in His arms.
• Santa doesn't know your name. Yeshua knew your name before you were born. Not only does He know your name, He knows your history and future.
• Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly. Yeshua has a heart full of love.
• All Santa can offer is “Ho Ho Ho”. Yeshua offers Health, Help and Hope.
• Santa says “You better not cry”. Yeshua says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you”.
• Santa's little helpers make toys. Yeshua makes new life, mends wounded hearts and repairs broken homes.
• Santa may make you chuckle but Yeshua gives you joy that is your strength.
• While Santa puts gifts under your tree, Yeshua became our gift and died on a tree.
It's obvious there is no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about. Yeshua is the reason for the season.
One final comparison! Both Santa and Yeshua give us gifts.
Santa gives us toys, clothes, cell phones, hi-fi systems, maybe even a car – which will all get old, possibly break, and eventually be discarded.
Yeshua gives us a gift that lasts forever – SALVATION and ETERNAL LIFE. This is the best gift you will ever receive and you don’t have to be ‘good’ to receive it. IT IS UNCONDITIONAL.
G-d, because of His love and compassion for you, because He wants you to have the forgiveness of sin and eternal life, because He wants to have an intimate, personal relationship with you has, through His Son Yeshua, been faithful to forgive your sins through the work of the cross. He is also faithful to grant you eternal life in heaven, through the death and resurrection of Yeshua.
Yeshua took the sin of mankind upon Himself; He died on the cross for mankind thus becoming the ultimate sacrifice. After giving up His life on the cross, Yeshua took away the keys of Hades and of death from Satan thus guaranteeing all who believe in His death and resurrection, and who invite Him to become Lord of their lives, eternal life in heaven.
The bible tells us in Luke 2:7 that when Joseph and Mary arrived in Jerusalem in desperate need for a place where Mary could give birth to her Child, “there was no room for them in the inn.”
Sadly, today, more than 2000 years later, millions of people still have “no room” for Yeshua. Although they participate enthusiastically in the festivities of the Christmas season, they keep Yeshua out of their lives; the “no room” sign is there.
How about you? Is there room in your life for Yeshua? What better time than during this season to receive Yeshua as your Messiah, your Saviour.
And, if you are a Born Again follower of Yeshua but you realise that He is not at the centre of your life, what better time than during this season to rededicate your life or Him.
Christmas is not about gifts and Santa Clause; Christmas is about the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords – Yeshua. Christmas is about THE gift; the gift of salvation and eternal life in heaven. Put Christ back in Christmas; after all, without Him there would be no Christmas.
Finally, I know that some Christians see Christmas as a pagan festival – which it actually is; however Christmas can be used as an opportunity to get Yeshua and His glorious gift of salvation to people whose current focus is on worldly gifts and Santa Clause.
Instead of being super-spiritual and critical, let us use this season as an opportunity take the good news of salvation to a world in dire need of Yeshua.
Thank you Yeshua for Your love for me.
Thank you for giving up Your life on the cross for me and for taking my sins upon Yourself.
I confess that I have sinned.
I repent of my sins and I turn from everything I know to be wrong.
I invite You to come into my heart and live in me.
By Your grace I will serve You all the remaining years of my life.
During the four hundred ‘silent years’ between the Old and New Testaments, events occurred which could threaten to destroy the Jewish people and Israel. However, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was not about to let His people and the Messianic line be destroyed…
On the evening of the 16th of December, corresponding to the 24th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, Jews all over the world will begin celebrating the Festival of Lights (also known as the Feast of Dedication), known in Hebrew as ‘Hanukkah’ which is the Hebrew term for dedication. ‘Hanukkah’ is celebrated to commemorate the victory of the Jews over the Hellenist Syrians in 165 BCE.
Following their victory, the Maccabees, sons of the Priestly Hasmonean family which led the Jews in their revolt against the Syrian overlords, entered the Holy Temple in Jerusalem defiled by the Syrian invaders, cleansed it and dedicated it anew to the service of G-d. Then, in memory of their victory, the Maccabees celebrated the first ‘Hanukkah’.
The ‘Talmud’, which is the Jewish oral law, relates how the Judean heroes, led by Judah Maccabee, were making ready to rededicate the Temple and were unable to find enough undefiled oil to light the lamps. However, in one of the Temple chambers, they finally came upon a small jar of oil which, under normal circumstances, would have lasted only one evening. Miraculously, this small amount of oil kept the Temple lights burning not for one night, but for eight nights until new oil, fit for use in the temple, could be obtained. This is the miracle commemorated by the kindling of the ‘Hanukkah’ lights.
In Jewish history, Judah Maccabee is acclaimed as one of the greatest warriors in Jewish history alongside Joshua, Gideon and David. The name Maccabee is an acronym for the Torah verse ‘Mi kamokha ba'elim Adonai’, “Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods?” (Exodus 15:11).
The ‘Megillath’ (which is the portion read during ‘Hanukkah’) declares that the Maccabee family fasted, sat in ashes and prayed to G-d for mercy; it then goes on to say “then a good plan came to their mind.”
‘Hanukkah’ is celebrated for eight days. On the first night of ‘Hanukkah’ one candle is lit, on the second night two candles are lit until the eighth night when all eight candles are lit. Traditionally, the ‘Hanukkiah’ (Candelabra), is placed in windows of Jewish homes for all to see and enjoy.
‘Hanukkah’ is a very joyous festival, and it is traditionally a time when families get together, songs are sung, ‘sufganiyot’ (a type of donut) and potato ‘latkes’ - also known as ‘livivot’ (potato pancakes) is eaten and children receive ‘Hanukkah gelt’ (money).
Another Tradition is playing a’ Hanukkah’ game with a spinning top known as a ‘dreidel’.
The ‘dreidel’ is one of the best known symbols of ‘Hanukkah’; it is a four-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side.
The letters on the ‘dreidel’, ‘Nun’, ‘Gimel’, ‘Hey’ and ‘Shin’, stand for the ‘Nes Gadol Haya Sham’, which means ‘A Great Miracle Happened There.’
In Israel, the modern-day land of Judea in which the story of ‘Hanukkah’ took place, the letters on the ‘dreidel’ are ‘Nun’, ‘Gimel’, ‘Hey’ and ‘Peh’, which stand for ‘A Great Miracle Happened Here.’
The word ‘dreidel’ comes from a Yiddish word meaning to turn. The Hebrew word for ‘dreidel’ is ‘sivivon’.
According to some historians, Jews first played with a ‘dreidel’ during the rule of the Greek King Antiochus'. In Judea, Antiochus had outlawed Jewish worship, so the Jews would play a game with the ‘dreidel’ as a ruse to conceal that they were secretly studying ‘Torah’.
There is a lesson to be learnt from ‘Hanukkah’.
• ‘Hanukkah’ is known as the ‘Festival of Lights’.
• A great Jewish hero emerged out of that time – Judah the Maccabee.
• G-d performed an amazing miracle at that time.
So, here is the lesson: G-d has called you to be a ‘Judah’ for Him by you allowing Him to perform miracles through you, so that you can be a ‘light unto the world’.
And here I would like to make mention to another ‘Light of the World’, Yeshua.
In John 8:12, Yeshua calls Himself the ‘Light of the World’, and in Matthew 5:14, Yeshua call His followers the ‘light of the world’.
The ‘hanukkiah’ which is placed in the windows of Jewish homes, by the light they give, show people that this is a home in which Jewish people live.
The ‘hanukkiah’ of Yeshua which is within every Believer, by the light you give, will show people that you are a ‘home’ in which Yeshua lives.
To all who read this, both Jews and gentiles, through kindness, concern and caring, be a light for Almighty G-d by showing His light of love to the world.
We take this opportunity to wish Jewish people all over the world a very happy ‘Hanukkah’.