Our new home for Beit Echad, the House of Unity in North West of England
What now?
July 2014 Newsletter 
Dear <<First Name>>
What now? 
We are halfway through 2014 between Shavuot (Pentecost) and Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets). We have been informed that the owners of the house we are renting in Chorley are wanting to sell it having bought a new build in Melbourne Australia. We will be given two months notice once a buyer is found. We are also expecting our first grandchild in September and our son is getting married as well.  Megan leaves for South Africa to spend time with her brother and sister before she gives birth next month. We are are booked to leave on the 1st September. Penny will stay on longer. She will go to Cape Town with Bronwyn and grandson to see her mother so to get a photograph of four generations! We already have the stroller with all the fittings and have just got her a car seat for the little one. Penny has been busy knitting and embroidering since we found out about the new addition to the family. We have even seen photos of him in the womb! 

The Middle East is a tinderbox ready to go up in flames with Muslim attacking Muslim.  Israel has had enough of daily rocket attacks and now missile attacks even on Jerusalem and are gearing up to go into Gaza. We have had a red moon appearing over America during Passover and another expected during Sukkot in September with the same in 2015 together with a total eclipse of the sun on 1 Nissan. Are we entering into end times and need to be preparing ourselves for the Lord's imminent return? An excellent video on the Blood Red Moons is on You Tube click here to watch it. It has also been reported that there could be a red heifer growing in the USA that could be the one used to prepare for the 3rd Temple. Who knows except the God of Israel! 

We had our first monthly home based 'Bring & Share' Shabbat Friday evening meal at our home on the 4 July.  As always it is lovely to sit around a table together sharing good food and fellowship with the Lord as our focus. We are doing the same in Lancaster as it is a wonderful way to come together in community which is what this ministry is all about. Then we hold another Shabbat next month in North Yorkshire with people who want to understand more about our Hebraic roots. They thoroughly enjoyed our last Shabbat and want to experience it again.

We hold our second Sabbath Celebration on the 26 July at the Chapel House starting at 2:30pm and pray for a good turn out. It is a lovely venue and give thanks for the Lord opening it up to us and pray a blessing on the pastor and his congregation. If anybody is interested in coming to the meeting could they please make contact so that we can give them the details of where we will be meeting or check events on our website. 

At our weekly Torah study evenings we look at the weekly Parashah Torah and HavTorah readings together with the applicable readings from the Gospels and Epistles. Anyone is more than welcome to join us on a Thursday in Chorley or a Monday evening in Lancaster

The first articles on the Book of Judges and an article continuing the Torah journey with the challenge "Two Laws or One Torah?" have been loaded onto our website. Ian has done articles on What Now? below and Are Christians required to keep Kosher? in the sidebar below.   Please give comment on the articles

We would encourage you to visit our present website: which continues to be developed.
Shalom in Yeshua
Ian & Penny McDonald

Skype: ianmcdonald3
24  The Oaks

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 30-96-85 a/c 43427668
What Now?

Forty days before Tuesday 15 July (Tammuz 17) we celebrated Shavuot/Pentecost.
On this day hopes for a ceasefire in the rain of rockets from Gaza were crushed as Hamas continued sending rockets from Gaza even with Israel's unilaterally  ceasefire. This could be a very significant time for Israel and the world. We are living in very prophetic times "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains" (Mat 24:7- 8).. Israel is God's time piece.

Going back to Moses
Forty days after Shavuot is the Fast of Tammuz 17 (15 July 2014) that is the beginning of a three week period building up to the 9th Av Tish'a B'Av on the 5 August. Moses received the Ten Commandments (10 Words) on Shavuot fifty days after crossing the Reed Sea, but he tarried on the Mount for 40 days with YHVH. This allowed the evil of Egypt to rise up in the Israelites that led to the building of the golden calf and Moses smashing the two tablets and the Levites standing with Moses by killing 3000 Israelites. This has sent a shock wave through time for tragedy to befall the Jewish people at this time of the year leading to severe loss during this three week period through the ages.

Do you believe in divine coincidence? On the 17th of Tammuz, the Jewish People remember tragic coincidence. On this day in both 586 BC and in AD 70, the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Babylonians and the Romans respectively.

The destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by Titus in 70 AD. Painting by Francesco Hayez.

And in yet another remarkable coincidence, the First and Second Temples were destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC and by the Romans in AD 70 three weeks later on the 9th of Av which has become an annual fast day called Tish'aB'Av.

In Judaism, the breach of Jerusalem's walls and the subsequent destruction of the Temple is considered no mere coincidence. These great tragedies were the result of rebellion and idolatry.

"And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them....  Many disasters and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’  And I will certainly hide my face in that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods." (Deuteronomy 31:16-18)

We are in a three-week period of teshuvah (repentance) called Bein ha-Metzarim (Between the Straits) or The Three Weeks that ends with the fast of Tish'aB'Av.

With this in view the next few weeks could be very significant for Israel and the world. The IDF has gone into Gaza to remove the control Hamas has had over Gaza to rain rockets down on Israel citizens. With the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in the Ukrain has taken media focus off Israel.
This togther with the world becoming more aware of Hamas glorifying death of its own people, Israel has an opportunity to do what it could not do in the 2012 infada with the tacid support of Eygpt and Saudi Arabia no less!
So there is no place for celebraion during this period, but as the Orthodox Jews limit celebrations at this time—not carrying out marriages and avoiding other expressions of joy, such as playing musical instruments and reciting songs of praise. Although this is a time of mourning, it is also a time of hope since Zechariah prophesied that the 17th of Tammuz would be transformed into a day of joy.

"The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah.  Therefore love truth and peace."  (Zechariah 8:19)

The 17th of Tammuz, therefore, is a minor fast that carries the hope of a major promise:

On this day and throughout The Three Weeks, the Jewish People look forward to the coming Third Temple and the Messianic Era when the Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace) will reign in Jerusalem.

Many in Israel are preparing for the building of the 3rd Temple. Two key elements required for this to happen is a so called peace in the Middle East and a Red Heifer that fits all the Torah reuirements given in Numbers 19 so the Temple Mount may be purified by using its ashes to amke 'water of purification'. Only nine Red Heifer have been recorded since Moses. The tenth Red Heifer is a complete picture of Yeshua as He has filfulled all these Torah requirements and more.

In Luke 21:24-28 Yeshua said "They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 25  "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26  people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27  And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28  Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.""

At present there are signs in the heavens that could be God warning us to be prepared for what is going to happen. It is called a Tretrad where there are four red moon that appear on the feasts of Passover and Sukkot (Feast of Trumpets) over 2014 and 2015 with a full solar eclipse on Nissan 1 next year as shown below and discussed on YouTube clip by BHN Ministries.


So this is a critical time tobe praying for Israel, the IDF and the whole Middle East. About 99.9% of God's Chosen Jewish People in Israel do not yet recognize that Yeshua (Jesus) has fulfilled the Messianic prophecies regarding the suffering Messiah (His first coming).  They also do not know, therefore, that He will be returning to rule in Jerusalem as King Messiah.

"I have placed My chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on My holy mountain."  (Psalm 2:6)

Until next time have a blessed time and keep looking up for the King.


Prayer needs:

* Pray for Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and especially the IDF for protection and guidence in this critical time.
* Pray for Israelis who do not know their Messiah, that the Lord would remove the scales over their eyes, and bless them and demonstrate the love of Messiah to them in any way you can. i.e. saying no to disinvestment in Israel.
* Please pray for more doors to open for us to teach and minister  in local church from the Hebraic perspective.

* Pray for Beit Echad and for the groups to grow both in numbers and in Messiah, and especially for the monthly Sabbath celebrations we are holding in Chorley. 
* Please pray for us as we face the uncertainty of where we will live if the house we rent gets sold.
* Penny and I give thanks to the Lord for supplying all our needs through the generous giving of those amongst you.
  If in addition to praying you would like to help us financially in this faith based ministry click here


Are Christians required to keep Kosher?

Before you continue reading I would suggest you read my blogs on 'The Torah Its Place in Scripture' and 'The Torah Its Place in our Lives' and especially 'Two Laws or One Torah'. This is a very controversial topic for those who have major misconceptions of Torah and in particular have misinterpreted the Jerusalem Council's decrees in Acts 15. These decrees were all about 'sacrificial sexual idolatry' causing a loss of salvation, not about food or table manners. Most Christians tend not even take notice or even attempt to unpack Acts 15:21 that gives the reason for these four minimum rulings as discussed in the article 'Two Laws or One Torah?

What animals are kosher and what are NOT and why?

What is Kosher?
The word kosher is a Yiddish word based on the Hebrew kasher meaning 'right, proper'. Kashrut is the Hebrew word related to food and its preparation that complies with the religious requirements of Judaism. Here the Rabbis have placed multiple additional rules and regulations around Torah to make it impossible to break the food commandments in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. This is especially the case for many restrictions placed on the mixing of milk and meat derived from the second part of Deuteronomy 14:21 "You shall not eat anything that has died naturally. You may give it to the sojourner who is within your towns, that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. "You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.” Also note that the sojourner ger (H1616) is allowed to eat meat from a kosher animal that has died naturally but not the Israelites.

Kosher from a Jewish Perspective.
To keep kosher has always been seen to be a Jewish thing that distinguishes Jewish people from non-Jewish people. The primary focus is on food that contains blood which covers meat and food from the sea as the life is in the blood (Lev 17:11). God’s covenant people, Israel, by having a diet peculiar to themselves would be kept from familiar conversation with idolatrous neighbours. The laws, however, were probably sanitary and necessary to the good of the people. In his book "To Be a Jew" (an excellent resource on traditional Judaism), Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin suggests that the dietary laws are designed as a call to holiness. The ability to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil, pure and defiled, the sacred and the profane, is very important in Judaism. Imposing rules on what you can and cannot eat ingrains that kind of self control, requiring us to learn to control even our most basic, primal instincts. (Refer to

Even before the Flood the difference between clean and unclean animals and birds was known by Noah in Genesis 7. In Leviticus 11 the requirements for clean and unclean animals, fish birds and insects are given in more detail without giving any reasons except stating twice “be holy, for I am holy."

What has holiness to do with food?
Animals are only clean which have cloven hooves and chew the cud, while fish with scales and fins are clean while everything else from the sea is an abomination as given in Leviticus 11. Any predator or scavenger is unclean including birds. The four animals specifically listed as unclean are the camel, badger, hare and the pig. The first three all chew the cud but do not have cloven hooves, while the pig has cloven hooves but does not chew the cud. What meaning could this have? The first three that chew the cud are clean inside but outwardly unclean. The camel is a good example of having an unpleasant outer character but it would save your life in the desert. The pig on the other hand is outwardly clean but inwardly unclean. This is just what Yeshua accused the Pharisee in Matthew_23:27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. The pig also eats anything and does not know when to stop eating. As it does not chew the cud its stomach does not break down any toxins which are then stored in its flesh. Pig flesh is the closest to human flesh. Hence it can be dangerous to eat if not cooked properly. Consequently the pig is both physically as well as spiritually unclean as it represents a lack of discernment and judgement as well as hypocrisy which God hates. As we are obedient to the Living Word we move from uncleanness to cleanness into holiness.  This is being set apart in this world but not of it, living with integrity (the same all the way through, not appearing to be what we are not and into move into hypocrisy).

What does the New Testament Say?
Besides the misunderstanding of Acts 15 which we have already covered, is the lack of understanding of Acts 10, the narrative of Cornelius, a Roman centurion, the first Gentile believer. Here Peter is prepared for the coming of Cornelius' servants by a vision of unclean animals coming down in what could have been a tallit (prayer shawl) lowered by its four tziztit (tassles) and told by God to "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." At first reading this could be all about food but look at verse 17 which gives the reason for the vision Act 10:17 Peter wondered what this vision meant. The men Cornelius sent had found Simon's house. They were standing at the door.”. Gentiles and especially Romans where considered unclean and Peter and his followers would never have stepped into their home without being told by God, "What God has made clean, do not call common." Peter and his followers did not suddenly become pork eaters after this, but started reaching out to Gentiles who accepted Yeshua as Saviour! God had to speak three times before Peter got the message. That is how ingrained the belief that Gentiles were outside the Covenant. (Now days this has been completely reversed and Christians are just as ingrained in the belief that the Torah is only for Jewish people, and Jewish people in the belief that Jesus is only for the Gentiles!!)

Another misunderstood scripture is Mark 7.
Verse 19 is mistranslated in the newer English translations like the NIV where the sentence “(In saying this Jesus declared all food clean)” is added instead of translating the Greek participial phrase, “cleansing/purging all foods.” as is done in the older translations like the KJV. In this chapter Yeshua is berating the Pharisees for adding to the Word of God, the traditions of man (paradosis παράδοσις) by getting people to dishonour their parents. These modern translates then go and do exactly the same by adding this sentence which does away with the whole of Leviticus 11 commandments! Did Mark the author go off and eat a pork pie now that he has supposedly declared all food clean. He would have been excommunicated from ever entering the temple. (Interestingly paradosis is one of only two Greek nouns where the numerical value of its letters adds up to 666 the other being euporı́a εὐπορία meaning wealth or affluence.)

Nowhere in the Brit Chadashah is there a hint of Yeshua or any of His disciples ever eating anything unclean. The Pharisees for one would have jumped on them very quickly if they had. For example in Mark 7 the only thing the Pharisees could pick on was that the disciples were not ritually cleaning there hands before eating! The Apostle also kept kosher and even taken the nazirite vows (Acts 18:18 and 21:23).

Are these kosher requirements for Jews as well as for non-Jewish believers in Messiah?
There is no doubt that they are for all Jewish people, both believers and non-believers in Yeshua. The sojourneys (ger) with the Israelites would have kept kosher except for being able to eat clean animals which had died naturally which the Israelites could not as given in Dt 14:21. They were not of the seed of Abraham i.e. non-Jewish, but had fully accepted the God of Israel and come into covenant relationship with Him. If you accept that non-Jewish believers in Yeshua are the modern equivalent of these sojourneys (ger) then it can be said that there is some need for all believers to keep kosher not only the Jewish believers. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we need to keep them undefiled and holy unto the Lord.

As far as eating blood is concerned, Leviticus 17:10-16 is very clear it is detestable to God and denies the atonement of Yeshua's blood for both Jew and non-Jew. So no wonder one of the most common response one gets in talking about the food requirements especially from those who love their bacon butties or black pudding is “We are not under the Law but under grace”! Is this cheap grace? Yeshua if anything came to raise the bar on Torah (Matt 5:21-45) not to do away with it (Matt 5:17-20).  


In Summary

There are both physically and spiritually reasons for keeping kosher. This should flow not out of a having to, but a wanting to be obedient to our Messiah and follow His example. As we are obedient in this most fleshly part of our lives we can move into being holy unto the Lord.
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