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Where has Summer Gone?
October 2016 eNews
Dear <<First Name>>

Our last eNews in May we called "The Miracle of Spring". We are now in OctobShabbat Candleser so, where did summer go? I do not know but we did enjoyed the long days and the warmer weather and easily slipped into a routine as one day flowed into the next. Note that there are no Moedim (Appointed Times) of God to celebrate in summer between April with Shavuot (Pentecost) until October with Rosh Hashanah (Day of Blowing the Shofar). Only the weekly Sabbath marked the passing of time with the Parashah readings (if one follows the Biblical year).

We have been continuing studying these Torah readings with our Wednesday group and our monthly group in Northallerton as these are foundational to the understanding of the rest of the Bible. Our other two groups who have been going for longer and have gone through the Torah at least twice, decided  that they  would like to look at two Brit Hadashah (New Testament) books. Firstly, Galatians as this Epistle of Sha'ul (Paul) is his most misunderstood and preached on letter, especially on how it relates to the Torah (Books of Moses). We have written a short article given below,  'Galatians & Torah' highlighting where we believe most people in the broader church have not understood Sha'ul and his Hebraic mindset. We then went through Ya'akov's Epistle commonly referred to as James in English translations of the Bible. As the brother of Yeshua and leader of the early Messianic Movement (Eccessia) in Jerusalem, he supported Sha'ul in Acts 15. He teaches on how to apply the Torah in one's life in very practical way.

In April Penny and Megan went off to look at puppies as Megan was very keen to gGemmaet a dog. This was triggered by Ian mentioning a TV program he'd watched that showed that dogs were very good in ministry, as they tended to have a calming effect on people. Needless to say they saw a pup which Megan immediately decided to have but had to wait until it was six weeks old before it could come to its new home. Gemma is a Scottie/Westie mix and called a wottie! As you can see above, the white of the Westie is breaking through the black of the Scottie. She is now part of the ministry and effecively fulls the space left by Megan who is now  working in Cumbria as a social worker.

We are very proud of our daughter obtaining her BA(Hon) in Social Work from UCLAN in July and can only give thanks to the Lord for how she has persevered and achieved her goal.
The Graduation Proud parents
As we  both looked  back over the last few months we saw how the plants we had planted from seeds developed and grew into fruit and vegetables we were able to pick and eat. Each is uniquely made and develop at different rates as well as producing its fruit at different times. Some take longer to ripen than others and have a magnificent scent, taste and beauty while other are not as beautiful but their taste and flavour is outstanding. As we grew our fruit and vegetables we had to water and give extra feed to our tomato plants. We also needed to weed the garden beds and make sure that no snails or worms managed to eat the plants.
Is this not how we are, some of us take longer to mature than others and need extra nourishment.  All of us need to have the weeds, snails and worms that try to stop us from growing and maturing removed from our lives. While some of us have different gifts and talents, do we use them to the best of our ability to glorify His name and to make unbelievers in Yeshua, jealous. So as the autumn turns to winter here in the United Kingdom maybe it is the time for us to look at ourselves and ask the L-rd to show us what weeds need to be removed in our lives so that we can use the gifts He has blessed us with to make others jealous of our love of the L-rd.
Our Sukkah
Having just celebrated Sukkot, Feast of Tabernacles (photo) the above reference to fruit makes me think of the Four Species called the Luluv that is waved in all directions over the seven days of the Feast. The Fours Species are the Etrog (like a lemon), date palm, myrtle and the willow which the rabbis equate to the four types of people (Jews) found in the world. The Etrog which is good to eat and has a good fragrance is like a person who has a good knowledge of Torah (tastes good) and produces good works (good fragrance) and is like Messiah. The date palm is like a person who knows Torah (dates good to eat) but has no good deeds (mitzvot) while the myrtle is like a person with no knowledge of Torah but produces a fragrance of good deeds. A willow then is a person with neither knowledge of Torah nor good deeds like most people in the world.
So we are called to have the fragrance of Messiah which makes others jealous of what we have in Yeshua.

A member of one of our groups has been taking us each week through understanding the Hebrew Aleph Beit.  In our last newsletter we looked at the Gimel and we now include the next letter Dalet in this newsletter. We are discovering such a richness hidden in each Hebrew letter.
Shalom in Yeshua Our Messiah
Ian & Penny McDonald

Skype: ianmcdonald3

As we are a faith based ministry if you would like to contribute financially so that we can take the message about our Messiah to all peoples Jew and Gentile to form the One New Man Donate here or AlephOmega Lloyds Bank 30-93-20, Account Number 19354868

The Most Misunderstood Epistle of Paul

Who in the Christian world has not heard the statement, “We are not under Law but under Grace” where this is meant to mean that the Law, the Torah (the five Books of Moses) is obsolete and finished. (For a discussion on the Torah please refer to the article 'The Torah and Its place in Scripture'.) This statement is largely based on the understanding arising from the epistles to the Galatians and especially Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” This denial of Torah is reinforced in Galatians (Gal 3:23, Gal 4:4-5, Gal 4:21, Gal 5:18) with the term 'under law'. Most of Christianity has the belief that Jesus/Yeshua did away with the Law (Torah) and replaced it by grace alone. So yes, we are saved by faith not by works of the Law Sha'ul writes in Galatians 2:16. This gives rise to the 'Law versus Grace' debate as if one has to choose between The Law or the Grace of God, and not have both in operation simultaneously! The first perspective comes from a very Greek world-view which can be dualistic, whereas the second flows from a Hebraic, Eastern world-view which is more inclusive.

This is what can be referred to as the tyranny of the OR and the genius of the AND! An example of this is where a congregation can be either Evangelical OR Liturgical OR Charismatic OR Social, but the genius of the AND says they can be ALL of these at the same time! So can Law AND Grace be two sides of the same coin with both as applicable as the other!

As implied above there are two primary world-views, the Western world and the Eastern or Hebraic world-view. This is a possible reason why the Bible is given in two languages, Hebrew and Greek. The Western world has very much taken on a Greek-mindset where the individual is more important than the community. Where things are largely black or white, the tyranny of the OR again and rational thought dominates. The Hebrew-mindset is inclusive and open to ambiguity with the genius of the AND operating naturally. This has to be the mind-set of Sha'ul, a Hebrew of Hebrews otherwise called Paul as his Greek name.

Paul – Sha'ul, a Hebrew of Hebrews
The primary reasons the epistle to the Galatians is so misunderstand is that Paul, Sha'ul the author is not understood in his Hebraic background. Scholars and Bible teachers have viewed Paul as a Greek and not as Sha'ul, a Hebrew of Hebrews. Sha'ul was born a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin; a Hebrew of Hebrew; in regards to the Law (Torah), a Pharisee (Phil 3:5). He was brought up as Torah observant and remained Torah observant until his death as indicated in the Book of Acts especially Acts 26 and 28:23. Hence one cannot read Paul's letters with a Greek-mind set even if the letters were written in Greek. Sha'ul gives his credentials as an apostle of Yeshua, The Messiah to the uncircumcised heathen (2:7-10) in the beginning of Galatians.

A secondary reason is in the Greek language there is only one word nomos that covers the variety of meanings combined with the lack of any word in the Greek language that means legalism, legalistic, etc is the root reason for this misunderstanding by most Christians and Bible translators.

Confronting Hypocrisy
In this letter to the Galatians, Paul Sha'ul is dealing with those who had come down to Galatia from Jerusalem with another gospel (Galatians 1:6-10). He reacts to this heretical teaching extremely strongly in calling them accursed, anathema in the Greek. What gospel was this and why so strong a reaction? Sha'ul preached the Gospel of salvation through Yeshua and Him only, for both Jew and Gentile. But this false gospel was based on obedience to the Torah and being circumcised before one could be saved. No wonder Sha'ul got so upset. He even publicly tears a strip off the Apostle, Peter in Antioch (2:11) for separating himself from eating with the uncircumcised believers. By this behaviour Peter was siding with the Torah observant Jews who had came from Jerusalem and agreeing with them that the uncircumcised are required to become Torah observant Jews and be circumcised to be justified.
Thus replacing faith in Yeshua's death and resurrection with circumcision and so perverting the Gospel. This letter is not about the process of sanctification that follows on from being being saved in which the Torah plays a key part.

The Place of Circumcision
Sha'ul points out in Galatians 2:3 that Titus who was an uncircumcised Greek believer in Yeshua was not required by the Jerusalem leadership (James, Peter and John) to be circumcised. Whereas Timothy whose mother was Jewish, Sha'ul had circumcised in Acts 16:3.
Note that circumcision is the Covenant sign given to Abraham, not Moses in Genesis 17:10-11 This is My covenant that you must keep between Me and you and your seed after you: all your males must be circumcised. You must be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and this will become a sign of the covenant between Me and you.
A key understanding from Scripture is that all believers are to have circumcised hearts where the carnal nature has been crucified. We are being obedient to the Word of God as Yeshua prayed in John for his disciples and especially in 17:17 “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” What is the Word that was in the beginning but Yeshua the Living Torah!

The Root of Misunderstanding
Sha'ul's response in Galatians 2:15 - 16 states, “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (KJV)

These verses and those in Romans 6:14 are the most misunderstood verse of Sha'ul's when read with a Greek-mindset. He thought as a Jew but his words are give in the Greek. So the key Greek word nomos commonly translated law is used to cover a variety of meanings such as Torah, the traditions of the Pharisees, common law of the nations, the Law Code or as discussed below legalism, legalistic.

Works of the Law
Only by understanding Sha'ul's background can the correct meaning of this word be determined by the context. In particular the phrase ergon nomou used three times here and in 3:2, 5 and 10 as well as in Romans 3:20, 28, is commonly translated in English versions of the New Testament as “works of the law”. David Stern in his Jewish New Testament Commentary on these verses gives a very strong case that Sha'ul is using this term in a technical sense of 'legalistic observance of the Torah'. The problem with Greek is that there is no word group that corresponds to our 'legalism, legalist or legalistic.' Just as Yeshua came against the Pharisees for their legalistic application of the Torah, placing a heavy yoke on the people, Sha'ul is doing the same in this letter.
We can have one of two attitude to God's instructions; where one has to follow a set of rules and regulations versus one of wanting to be obedient because we love the Lord. Hence Yeshua makes the statement in Matthew 22:38-40 “This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” If we are not motivated by love we become a sounding gong (1 Cor 13:1) and become religious like some of the Pharisees who Yeshua spoke out against. Here we see no difference between what Yeshua preached and what Sha'ul wrote in relation to the Torah. Both were Torah observant Jews as Sha'ul proved in Acts 21:17-26.

Under the Law
Likewise, the term 'hupo nomon' translated as 'under law' appears five times in this letter (3:23 4:4-5, 21 5:18). It does not mean simply 'under Torah' in the sense of 'living within its framework' as David Stern points out in his commentary. But rather 'the mindset that results when the Torah is perverted into legalism'. Being 'under the law' hupo nomon is synonymous with being under the dominion of sin, not Torah.

The Law, Torah
Sadly the us of the word 'law' when translating the Greek word nomos into English especially when referring to the five Books of Moses, the Peutetech gives a wrong impression of what the word Torah actually means in the Hebrew. The Greek word for “law” is νόμος, nómos, derived from νέμω, némō, “to divide,” “distribute,” “apportion,” and generally meant anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, usage, law; in the New Testament a command, law. It can refer not only to the Torah, but man-made law, customs and traditions. So when reading the New Covenant in English one has to discern what is being referred to especially in Sha'ul's epistles.

The word Torah in the Hebrew is derived from the verb yarah to teach, instruct or direct. It has an archery application for 'teaching that hits the mark or target'. For example in Hebrew 'to miss, not hit the mark' is 'chata' which is translated sin. Now consider the Torah as the archery target with Leviticus, the bullseye and the other books as concentric circles around it. Why can I say this book is right at the centre of all Scripture. For one thing, this is the very first book a young Jewish boy will start to learn. The reasons why the book of Leviticus is the bullseye of Scripture are many and will be discussed in another article, but primary it is because it looks at holiness. The key scripture in the whole of Leviticus and alluded to in the New Covenant is “Be holy for I am holy.” (Lev 11:44-45)

In Conclusion
As David Pawson in Unlocking The Bible shows:
Justification is the way to God, Sanctification is walking with God and in His ways!

In Galatians 5:14 – 18, Sha'ul states: For the whole Torah is summed up in this one sentence: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” …. But if you are led by the Spirit, then you are not in subjection to the system that results from perverting the Torah into legalism (ou hupo nomou). (CJSB)


Understanding the Hebrew AlephBeit


Having covered the first three letters of the Hebrew alpabeth we continue with the fourth letter:


Dalet has a 'd' sound, the value (gematria) of 4 and pictorially represents an open door with a meaning 'to enter', 'pathway'. The Hebrew word דל dal can mean door or a pauper,who knocks on the door begging for alms.

Dalet is a Picture of Humanity in need of Yeshua:
The word for religion is דת dat, which means the “door of the cross” using the pictograph for ת as 'cross'. The Father (א Aleph) sent His Son (ב Beit) and by means of the Holy Spirit (ג Gimmel) who makes appeal to the poor and needy to receive the grace of the LORD God of Israel.
As Yeshua said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him."

Upcoming Events

1 Oct
7pm Sycamore, Skipton
Teaching by Ian on 'The Renewed Covenant'

2 Oct
4pm Chorley, Erev Rosh Hashanah celebration

7-8 Oct
Northallerton Shabbat

12 Oct
11am Chorley, Yom Kippur - Prayer & Fasting
6pm Fulwood - Break fast

16 Oct
2pm Blackburn
Building Sukkah and celebrating Erev Sukkot

22 Oct
11am Chorley
Sabbath celebration and teaching by Penny on Gospel of John
Redhill, Daughter Be Healed weekend - Ian

29 Oct
11am Chorley, Day of Prayer

4 - 5 November
Northallerton Shabbat

11 - 12 November
Northallerton, Three Steps to Healing

19 November
11am Chorley, Shabbat Torah celebration

25 November
Thornleigh, Arise My Son - ministry

2-3 December
Northallerton Shabbat

9-11 December
Cirencester, Daughter Be Healed

15 - 20 December
Rome, Prophetic Messianic Conference

23 December
Shabbat meal and prepare for Chanukah

2 - 5 January
Orlando, Messianic Rabbis' Conference


Prayer needs:

  • Please continue to prayer for our groups in Chorley, Preston, Lancaster and Northallerton to grow in understanding of Yeshua and His Hebraic background.
  • We would appreciate your prayers as we setup regular Shabbat meals in different homes for fellowship and teaching.
  • Pray for doors to be opened in local congregations for us to lead Passover meals and to teach on the Hebraic Roots of our faith.
  • We give thanks and praise to our Lord for your support and help for this ministry.

AlephOmega Ministries

If in addition to praying you would like to help us financially in this faith based ministry:
Lloyds Bank 30-93-20, Account Number 19354868

If you are already donating to this ministry please change to the above account as we are wanting to close our previous account to reduce bank charges. 
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