This week the Torah reading (in Israel) is from the portion called Behaalotecha (“When You Set Up”). It is from Numbers 8:1-12:16, and the reading portion from the prophets is from Zechariah 2:14-4:7, and we read in our congregation from the New Covenant from Hebrews 4:14-16, and Revelation 1:9-20.

As you can see, much of the long reading this next Shabbat is dealing with the lampstand that was built for the Tabernacle, and later also placed in the Temple in Jerusalem. Later yet, after the destruction of the Temple by the Roman General Titus, who later became Caesar, the Titus Arch was built in Rome. The menorah (lampstand) is prominent in this arch, which Titus built to commemorate his victory over Jerusalem.

parashat-behaalotecha

Titus Arch in Rome commemorating the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and the menorah that is brought to Rome and marched through the streets of Rome, as a sign of the fall of Jerusalem and Judea.

Here is what the text of Numbers says about the service of the menorah (the lampstand of the Temple):

“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Speak to Aaron, and say to him, “When you arrange the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand.”’ And Aaron did so; he arranged the lamps to face toward the front of the lampstand, as the Lord commanded Moses. Now this workmanship of the lampstand was hammered gold; from its shaft to its flowers it was hammered work. According to the pattern which the Lord had shown Moses, so he made the lampstand.’” – Numbers 8:1–5 [NKJV]

Here are some of the interesting points in this reading. Our portion of the week starts with this text, but it ends with the complaints of Miriam and Aaron, the brother and sister of Moses. The complaint was that Moses was the only leader and they were feeling that it is not right for Moses to be the only one that God is speaking with directly.

Aaron and Miriam felt that they too have a relationship with God and that they too ought to be included in the so called “supreme leadership of Israel”, and hear from God directly. We know the end of this important story and that is that Miriam became infected with leprosy. She repented and Moses asked God to heal his sister and Aaron.

But, let me get back to the menorah. It is not an accident that in the book of Revelation the Angel of the Lord is revealing to John that the seven churches of Asia Minor were like a seven-candle menorah, that is, like the menorah in the Temple.

The menorah was made from pure gold. It was made from one piece of gold that was hammered into a specific design, with a stem in the middle, and three branches of different diameter and length on each side (please see Exodus 37).

The wording of the text in Exodus 37 and in Numbers 8 is interesting: “When you arrange the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand.” In other words, the lampstand will be giving light in a way that it can be seen in front of the lampstand. This is not a lampstand that is for decoration in the Tabernacle and in the Temple, it is a lampstand that is designed to actively give light.

I think that the Angel of the Lord in Revelation is using the seven-candle lampstand of the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem as a parable. These seven churches of Revelation were not exempt from some very serious problems. Each was a little different from the other.

However, with their problems and their serious issues, they were still a part of the lampstand that was designed to give light up front. They were still the body of people for whom the Messiah died and resurrected from the dead. They were still giving light even though they had problems.

The fact is, that even to the church of the Laodiceans, that was one of the more seriously problematic, the Lord says: “I will vomit you out of My mouth.” In fact, in Revelation 3:19-21, the Lord invites the church in Laodicea:

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 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. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” – Revelation 3:19-21

Yes, like individuals, communities (churches) can also have problems, even serious ones, but even with the problems they are a part of the Lord’s lampstand. Who else can be the light of the world? This command to be the light of the world was given in the Old Covenant by the Lord to Israel.

“Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’” – Isaiah 49:6 (see also Isaiah 42:1-6) [NKJV]

The big question is this: do we see ourselves as a part of something much bigger than ourselves? Something that is not perfect (not every candle is the same size as the other)? And maybe there are some serious problems that each has, but we have something in common.

We are made of the Lord’s pure gold, yes, hammered, suffering, and sometimes even naked with our shame. But the Lord God of Israel is still standing at our door, knocking, knocking, knocking, and waiting for us to open the door of our heart, so that He can come inside and dine with us. The reward of fellowship with the Lord is so great in this text: “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

Do you want to join the Lord on His throne and have fellowship with the Son and with the Father? You have to work hard and open the door of your heart not only to be saved, but to be a part of a golden menorah that is transparent and gives light to the world, promotes unity, seeks the truth, and joins with Israel to be the light of the world…

Please seek the Lord on these readings from the Torah: Numbers 8, Exodus 37, Isaiah 42:1-6, 49:6, and Revelation chapter 1-3.

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A prophetic act next to a big, very old olive tree in the Golan Heights. A Chinese pastor connecting and demonstrating the physical grafting in of the non-Jew with the Jew, like in the olive tree parable of the apostle Paul in Romans chapter 11.

Israel is in a political spin again! We had election two months ago, and now in two months we are repeating the election because our Prime Minister couldn’t, or maybe didn’t want to, build a government in the format that didn’t please him and his party. So, we are back in the election spin and pending.

Israel needs your prayers and the United States needs our prayers, and the world as a whole is in deep need of our prayers. There is not a spot on God’s good earth that does not have some very serious challenges, and there is not a spot in the world where God’s people, the disciples of Yeshua, are not having some serious challenges.

Let us all lift up our eyes to the Lord, for only from Him our redemption and salvation can come. Let us pray that He will return soon to take up His bride.

Please pray for Israel, and pray for us in Netivyah and the Roeh Israel Congregation.

Please pray for our dear sister Emma in China. Her husband a strong man, went to sleep and didn’t wake up. He died in his sleep, which is a wonderful way to go and meet with the Creator of the World, but for his family it is not simple, and we join our dear sister Emma in her grief for the death of her husband.

Keep Ruby and Eli, and others who need healing from cancer, in your prayers.

Keep Netivyah in your prayers. We have been blessed by brothers from around the world who love God, love Yeshua, and love Israel, and the funds for a new van are almost there, but almost is not enough. And we ask people who have not contributed for the van to make a little bigger effort and help Netivyah get the van.

Transportation of people and supplies for the HaMotzi food distribution program and for the youth and the elderly is essential. This is not a van for private use, and the old van was not for private use. It served the community and the food distribution program for more than 15 years.

Please make an effort to join Netivyah’s 40th Anniversary Tour and seminar in November 2019. It will be unusual and rich in content and full of good surprises for the participants. This tour will be a celebration, not a political event. It will be an inspiration and not an entertainment show.

Yes, there will be some entertainment, and there will be some special events, and I hope some political figures, but all together it will be special. It will be about the union and the grafting of our brothers from around the world with the seed of Abraham and the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

I ask all of you to mobilize your prayers to pray for the Aliyah and the return of the Anussim both spiritually, outside of the adulterated brands of Christianity, back to the pure waters of God’s Word, and also physical Aliyah to the land of our forefathers, the land of Zion, Jerusalem.

Please don’t forget to pray for my family and especially for Marcia my dear wife, and Danah and Noaam and all those on this prayer list – that God will be glorified in their lives and in their healing. Keep Barry, our son, and his family in your prayers.

Please keep the widow and family of Dr. Altamiro in your prayers. Dr. Altamiro was a dear brother from our sister congregation in Brazil, and he left daughters and a wife behind.

Also keep Elena Litvak, Efim’s widow, in your prayers.

A dear brother and a leader of the Jewish disciples of Yeshua in the United States, Robert (Bob) Weiner, needs us all to lift his name before the Lord God of Israel for healing and strength to go through heart surgery.

Please remember our dear brother Jacob Damkani in your prayers.

Dr. Song has received a good medical report to his medical tests. We praise the Lord for these good results. However, our dear brothers and sister in Korea are having some administrative issues that need resolution.

This, without a doubt, is causing much stress on Dr. Song and his family, and on our other dear brothers in Korea. Please keep in prayer KIBI, and the new entities that will will rise up, to serve God and be a blessing and a light to Israel.

Pray for Courtney for healing and strength. Keep Um Abu-Eid in your prayers.

Please continue praying for baby Lion from the Huch family in DFW. Little Lion is doing better, but still far from being out of the woods.

Please pray a special prayer for Ann West, a dear sister who has been praying for the salvation of Israel for many years. She is now needs our prayers!

Please continue to pray for our Jewish brother Hillel from Helsinki, and Keijo and Salme in Nokia, and for Tim Tucker, Anne-Mirjami, Satu-Maria and Anna-Majia, Sinni Tuuli, Erki and Sirpa Murto, Evelina, and Eva H.

Pray for Patty, Andrea, and Tineke – and our brothers and sisters in the Netherlands that need healing from God.

Continue to pray for Julia and Victor. Pray for our dear sister Paula in Switzerland who needs a divine breakthrough.

Please keep praying for a dear sister named Zhou WenriIan living in China. Please intercede for Pastor Isaac in Chennai. Pastor Isaac needs healing for his kidneys.

I am also asking you to pray for a dear sister Ema! She has a big burden for a big school that she has built in China.

Margareta told me recently that she feels the effects of your prayers for her. Please keep Margareta in your prayers. She called me yesterday and said that she has now received a clean bill of health by her doctors. This is a real miracle and we will keep her in our prayers.

Please lift in your prayers the following brothers and sisters who need the Lord’s gracious touch of healing: George, Gary, Melanie, and Aaron Hook and Nancy. Also, our congregation members, Sarit, David S., Gabriela, Ahuva, Leah, Ilana, Hannah, young Gabriela, Zvi D. and Elisheva, and Jonathan B. and his wife Aviva. Our dear sisters Laurel, Orna, Sima, and Aviva. A special prayer is needed for one of my godsons, David B.A. and his family.

These brothers and sisters from around the world need your prayer and your intercession and healing: Paulo and Noami, Marcelo’s parents, Curita Sensei, the Abe family, Toru, Takeo Sensei, Daisuke Sensei, Tomoko San, and Yumi and her father and family.

This prayer list is very special because we are not only praying for the physically sick brothers and sisters. We are praying for healthy brothers and sisters who are a blessing in God’s Kingdom, but they need that extra “what do you call it” to succeed and become a bigger blessing for the Lord and His Kingdom.

In Hong Kong, we pray and ask you to join us and pray for Louisa and Tony. Keep our dear brother Goh and his family in your prayers.

In Korea pray for Sister Christy. Please keep Brother Michael Knezevich in your prayers. Please add to your prayers Ismael Alves who lives in Portugal, and Asher Gabriel in Kenya.

I want to urge you all to pray for our brothers and sisters in Japan. Japan Christians are now in a period of big challenges and opportunities at the same time. They need our support in prayer, and they need the Lord to give them a breakthrough to reach the Japanese people and take them from idolatry to the knowledge of the one God and His Son who was sent to save the world.

I wish all of you, who stand with Israel and who pray for Jerusalem, the best of the Lord’s blessings and the fulfillment of all His promises to His faithful children. Those who hear God and do His will are the ones who are called wise! Those who only hear His word and don’t do it are called foolish! Let us all strive to be wise and never foolish! The best is yet to come!

The Lord God of Israel and the grace of Yeshua our Messiah, King, Teacher, Rabbi, and Lord be with you all!