The Real Christmas in Appropriate Hebrew Context

What if the common impression of a holiday misses a greater understanding of a biblical sequence of events? What if the impression, albeit well intentioned, is just plain off track!

What if a description of a real sequence of events actually expands our understanding of events to expose a more significant picture of biblical intent and truth? What would be your response?

Christmas as a holiday is becoming overwhelmed by commercialization. This forces those with a religious focus to work harder to sustain the real meaning of Christmas. But what if we say a Hebrew/Jewish context can bring out the fullness of this holiday and at the same time reorient the biblical story … that many Gentiles think of as the birthday of the Savior. And if you are Jewish … have you missed this vital information?

BTW … we aren’t bashing Christmas here … read on, we think you’ll be amazed and perhaps grasp a greater respect for the true heart of common tradition.

First, to our Jewish readers we wish to say that the first mention of the Jewish Messiah is found in the first book of the Hebrew Bible. Most English translations present this verse in Genesis 3:15. This verse is referring to Messiah in terms of a “seed of a woman.” Isaiah later is telling us that the Savior would come by a birth from an ‘alma’ or as the English translation puts it, a virgin. What most of us … Jew and Gentile alike … don’t realize is that the word virgin comes through a Greek translation of the Isaiah text … a translation into the Greek made by Hebrew speaking Jewish persons. Jewish scholarship, not Gentile influence gives us the meaning in context. After all, Isaiah says the birth will be a sign … something significant … what could be more significant than a virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14). Unique beyond comparison. To it’s credit this should be the only focus of Christmas unto salvation. But let us continue further.

So the pronouncement by angels to shepherds out in the field … that the virgin would give birth … is not a Gentile notion, but an expectation that was put forth in both Genesis and Isaiah.

But hold that thought because the fact that shepherds were tending flocks in the field tells us that Messiah was not likely born in December … not in Israel during the colder months. This opens a possiblility. We won’t be dogmatic about this, but simply suggest that if the time was in the fall of the year, a logical sequence of biblical holy days, feasts and festivals can have a start at the Feast of Tabernacles. This would place the birth of Messiah at late September or early October, when shepherds would still be in the field.

But there is something else, markedly significant, that you may wish to study further. The biblical prophetical sequence that follows the holy days can both start and end with the Feast of Tabernacles. We will return to this point in a minute.

Further, if Messiah was born on the first day of the feast, then on the eighth and concluding day, this little Jewish male would have been circumcised. Interesting isn’t it … This is an eight day Bible declared Feast. What other biblically prescribed feast is so long? None, unless you count Chanukah, but we’ll get to that, too. The Feast of Tabernacles then aligns with a birth event associated with Jewish male infants. This is a fit that makes sense.

Further, because the book of Daniel provides a riddle, that once solved, points to the exact time of Messiah’s arrival … birth … and thus it was possible for Jewish persons who knew Daniel’s writings to be anticipating this arrival. And the Greek Scriptures, in fact, provide witness to this anticipation through the man Simeon … who waited at the Temple hoping to see Messiah (before he as an old man was soon to die). And this is fitting because the Temple stood, clean, and rededicated in waiting for Messiah.

Luk 2:25    And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. And this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him.

Why is the status of the temple important? See, we told you Chanukah would come into this. If in fact the historical events that brought us the Feast of Dedication (a.k.a. Hanukkah or Chanukah) fit the timeline after Feast of Tabernacles and before Passover, then this strategically aligns with the adult presence of Messiah who visited the temple AT the Feast of Dedication. While neither the revolt of the Macabees nor Chanukah are recorded int he Hebrew Bible (a.k.a. Tanach), the reality of this comes in the Greek text written by the Jew Yochanan … See John 20:10. The state of desecration brought on by Antiochus could not remain to the day of Messiah. And so the Macabees did what was required to honor Messiah. Jesus visited the Jewish Temple in it’s glory.

Joh 10:22    And the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem, and it was winter.

The sequence of fall to winter aligns the Feast of Tabernacles and Hanukah … and next in the yearly cycle is Passover. We will leave a detailed discussion of Passover in PARALLEL with what is called Easter, or as some prefer … Resurrection Day. Yeshua, Jesus, grew to an adult and presented a ministry of signs through miracles, as an authentication of His identity, and wisdom in parables that makes sense to every reader today … As much sense as in the first telling years ago.

Move past the spring feasts and arrive at late summer and we see a parallel between biblical holy days that are yet to be fulfilled by Messiah’s actions. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur parallel events described by Daniel and in the Book of Revelation. In brief, the day of atonement, Yom Kippur completes a cycle and ends this age we live in at present. But that ends to a new beginning and that is where we arrive back at the Feast of Tabernacles.

During Messiah’s first presence in this feast, we lived with Him and He with us … In the flesh.

At the feast to come, we will again be in His presence in the next era. A new era that is a step to the Eternal Order promised in the Bible.

Christmas is about the birth of the Messiah and His promise of eternal life is to all who believe … as Scripture puts it … To the Jew first and also the Greek (meaning all Gentiles).

This year put Christmas in it’s proper context. And note that Chanukah is in the Bible, but in the Brit Chadeshah, the New Covenant … which if you look for a reference to a new covenant … you can find that in Jeremiah 31:31.

You see, the scriptures are inter woven and self referencing … To thos who do not believe it is foolishness … To those who see the weave there is wisdom.

Be wise … enjoy Christmas in it’s real context and be blessed.

Merry Messiahmas to you and yours!

Dr. Peterson, Director
WindowView.org

20130131-205523.jpg

WE ARE WATCHING … ARE YOU?

Recently we have featured headlines that have been posted at Watch.ORG.
We encourage you to visit that web page. This is not an endorsement nor an advertisement for any services … This is however one place to glean information that the local news will routinely miss. In biblical terms … THESE are the headlines you need to see …
———————
From their footer at watch.org:

“Another enormously significant week on many fronts in Israel and the Middle East … What the UN Palestinian vote revealed …. Protecting the contiguity of Israel: The E-1 Area and the link between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim …. Iran aims biological weapons at Tel Aviv …. A doomsday weapon that could devastate Iran …. Will the military power in Egypt over power the Muslim Brotherhood? …. The prophetic burdensome stone and America ….”

HEADLINE: Obama planning direct talks with Iran; US will strike in 4-5 months if they don’t bear fruit, Israeli TV report says

Channel 10 News says US president keeping Israel out of the loop, holds Netanyahu personally responsible for leaks from UN reports

Another nation on a collision course with the God of Israel: Turkish president slams Israeli settlement activity,
says Jerusalem ‘playing with fire’

HEADLINE: Turkish President Abdullah Gul

In Ankara, Abbas reiterates threat to turn to International Criminal Court if latest plans to build in the West Bank go through

HEADLINE: Netanyahu blasts international community for double standard

Accuses world of ‘deafening silence’ in the face of Palestinian calls for the destruction of Israel

Speaking at a Hanukkah ceremony with the foreign press, Netanyahu contrasted Europe’s condemnations of Israel for approving construction plans in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, with its lack of response to Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal’s weekend speech in Gaza, in which he said the Palestinians would “not give up an inch of Palestine,” and that “Jihad and armed resistance is the only way.”

HEADLINE: U S to give Israel thousands of ‘bunker-buster’ bombs

The Pentagon has appealed to Congress in a bid to increase the United States’ military aid to Israel by $647 million, Ynet learned Tuesday.

According to a Bloomberg report, in wake of Operation Pillar of Defense, the Pentagon wants to arm the IDF with a tail kit system used to convert free-fall bombs into satellite-guided ordnance, as well as with missiles that can be mounted on F-15 and F-16 fighter jets and are capable of penetrating underground or fortified targets.

HEADLINE: Qatar Bankrolls Ascendant Muslim Brothers as U.A.E. Jails Them

Qatar is courting Islamist groups across the Middle East, sometimes the same ones that make its neighbors nervous.

Since Mohamed Mursi became the first Muslim Brotherhood member to lead an Arab state, Qatar has promised Egypt at least $20 billion in aid and investment. Other nations in the Persian Gulf, which holds almost half the world’s oil, see the Brotherhood as a threat. Saudi Arabia has shunned it for at least two decades, and the United Arab Emirates has jailed dozens of people this year on suspicion of links to the group.

Qatar’s pro-Islamist line is backed by cash, from gas reserves that have made its 2 million people the world’s richest. Its support is helping the religious parties that emerged as the biggest winners from last year’s wave of Arab revolts. At the same time, it’s causing unease among Gulf monarchies that are resistant to political change and under U.S. pressure to show a united front against Iran.

“The Qataris have identified the Muslim Brotherhood as a vehicle” to expand their influence, said Ghanem Nuseibeh, London-based founder of political risk analyst Cornerstone Global Associates. “That has certainly created tension between Qatar and other Arab governments,” which mostly view the group with “intrinsic distrust.”

——————

And as we post, news of North Korea’s missile launch, for obvious militaristic aspirations hits the front page. One can only wonder what perverse intentions will lead to their use of force. The world is their enemy … a fitting commentary on materialism’s grip on a narrow isolated mindset.if they only knew why there is life … and who is the life giver … There would be peace globally!

If you have studied the Bible, objectively, all the news above fits a pattern. More than nations rattling sabers and playing tough … each of these elements folds together into scenarios we would expect to see if the Bible is true. And it is for more than this reason … since on all other accounts the biblical projections have been met with fulfillments. And so what of this news … we say look, think, discern where humanity is headed and be aware. You have a choice … This is the reason for WindowView

Director,
WindowView.org

Middle East … Until Iran Strikes or is Struck

Keep A Watch on Watch.org
———————–
HEADLINE: Hanukkah festivities begin with candle lighting

Jews around the world ushered in the eight-day Hanukkah festival Saturday evening, lighting the first candles of ceremonial lamps that symbolize triumph over oppression.

In Israel, families gathered after sundown for the lighting, eating traditional snacks of potato pancakes and doughnuts and exchanging gifts.

HEADLINE: Netanyahu slams Abbas for reconciliation efforts with Hamas

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal delivers a speech during a rally to mark
the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist movement,
in Gaza City on Saturday, Dec. 8

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced ostensible peace partner Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday for his participation in an ongoing reconciliation effort with Hamas, saying that the latter group has ”no intention of compromising with us; they want to destroy the state.”

“Yesterday we were re-exposed to our enemies’ true face,” Netanyahu said at the opening of his weekly Cabinet meeting, referring to the widely publicized calls for the destruction of Israel by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal at a Saturday rally in Gaza.

“It’s interesting that Abbas has issued no condemnation of the remarks about the destruction of Israel, just as previously he did not condemn the missiles that were fired at Israel [before and during Operation Pillar of Defense]. To my regret, he strives for unity with the same Hamas that is supported by Iran.”

“We want peace but will not repeat the same mistake of a one-sided withdrawal,” Netanyahu said, alluding to the removal of Israeli forces and the dismantling of all settlements in Gaza in 2005. He said the Israeli government wants “real peace with our neighbors” but was “under no illusions” and won’t, this time, “stick our heads in the sand.”

HEADLINE: More Egypt protests called after Morsi concession

Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood and anti-Morsi slogans
outside the presidential palace, under a banner with a that reads
‘the people want to bring down the regime,’ in Cairo, Egypt
on Saturday, December 8, 2012.

Egyptian president has called off a decree granting himself near-absolute powers, but still plans on going ahead with a December 15 constitutional referendum

Egypt’s liberal opposition called for more protests Sunday, seeking to keep up the momentum of its street campaign after the president made a partial concession overnight but refused its main demand he rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15.

President Mohammed Morsi met one of the opposition’s demands, annulling his Nov. 22 decrees that gave him near unrestricted powers. But he insisted on going ahead with the referendum on a constitution hurriedly adopted by his Islamist allies during an all-night session late last month.

HEADLINE: If all else fails, US will hit Iran in 2013,
say former top advisers to Obama and Bush

At Washington Institute gala, Dennis Ross, Elliott Abrams and outgoing US ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey insist the president will strike next year if diplomacy doesn’t succeed

If the standoff over the Iranian nuclear program is not resolved diplomatically in the coming year, it will be resolved militarily by the end of 2013, two top US foreign policy officials told The Times of Israel on Thursday.

“I think there’s the stomach in this administration, and this president, that if diplomacy fails [to deter Iran from developing nuclear weapons] — to use force,” according to Dennis Ross, a former Mideast envoy during the Clinton administration, and until November 2011 President Obama’s top advisor and planner on Iran in the National Security Council.

James Jeffrey, a former deputy national security advisor and, for the past two years, the US ambassador to Iraq, agreed with Ross’ assessment.

“I think [Obama’s] first choice will be a negotiated settlement. Failing that, I think that we’re going to strike,” Jeffrey said.

———————–

The headlines roll through the watch.org web page and if you visit on any day, you can click links to read the full story. This blog post is just to take not of contrasts to be seen in these end days.

Director, WindowView.org

Isaiah Wrote About Damascus

AND TODAY WE SEE IT:

The burden against Damascus. “Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap. The cities of A-rōer are forsaken; They will be for flocks Which lie down, and no one will make them afraid. The fortress also will cease from Ēphra-im, The kingdom from Damascus, And the remnant of Syria; They will be as the glory of the children of Israel,” Says the Lord of hosts. “In that day it shall come to pass That the glory of Jacob will wane, And the fatness of his flesh grow lean. It shall be as when the harvester gathers the grain, And reaps the heads with his arm; It shall be as he who gathers heads of grain In the Valley of Repha-im. Yet gleaning grapes will be left in it, Like the shaking of an olive tree, Two or three olives at the top of the uppermost bough, Four or five in its most fruitful branches,” Says the Lord God of Israel. In that day a man will look to his Maker, And his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, The work of his hands; He will not respect what his fingers have made, Nor the wooden images nor the incense altars. In that day his strong cities will be as a forsaken bough And an uppermost branch, Which they left because of the children of Israel; And there will be desolation. (Isaiah 17:1-9 NKJV)

Read all of Isaiah 17 … But simply put, Damascus is in ruins, politically, physically, spiritually today.

GAZA Conflict Eye Witness: “We Were There”

Rockets Out of Gaza

A friend to WindowView shared photos in a series of emails during the recent (November 2012) conflict between Gaza rebels and Israel. Persons who have a – on the Scriptures do make a stand for Israel in times such as these. Jennifer Allen is well versed in the core detail of which the Bible speaks. Her photos say something about events today, but she … as are many of us … we are aware there is more to come.

A Look Toward Gaza

First rockets are launched and then a response. But in the larger picture, who is the target? Is it merely Israel or the IDF?

IDF Deployed Because of Rockets from Gaza

The larger biblical scenario is described in the Hebrew Books of Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, along with complementing Scriptures in the Book of Revelation. It’s not just Israel, but the G_d of Israel that the rockets are really pointed at … as if they could destroy the Lord of Hosts.

What the recent events remind us is that “the nations” will turn against Israel. This is written in the Bible. The recent vote in the UN and events in Egypt and Iran all fall into the themes of what the Bible says will come to pass.

Being there, taking photos, and providing a helping hand to those who live in the Land is a mission shared by many persons who don’t have names posted in the nightly news. These are persons who have journeyed to Israel to help serve a volunteers, to visit the Land, and to pray as intercessors for Israel in a time of growing darkness.

What is astounding is that these activities go unnoticed for the most part. Yet they happen because the story is already known … as to what will happen in the Middle East. The Book of Isaiah describes recent events in Syria by foretelling the destruction in the cities, and in Egypt where the people turn on themselves (Isaiah 19).

We say, take a look at the information the Bible has contained for thousands of years to describe this very time we live in today. Look OR be lost to the truth written there. If the Bible can anticipate these events, what of the rest of the story.

Those who stand with Israel are standing with their eyes on the G_d of Israel and for the Promise He gave us through Yeshua. Believe it or not, the story is there for everyone, absolutely everyone, to read, study, and understand. We didn’t write it, we just found it relevant and are inspired by the Promise.

Short Range Rocket Strike Lands in Israel

Director, WindowView.org