Monday, July 22, 2013

UPDATING THE PILGRIMAGE

Shalom,
It has been a long time since my last posting, 2012.
I have been busy the last year with reading, studying, small group meetings, and pondering where the path should lead. It has been a good year for growing in the understanding of Torah and how to live the Words in our daily life. The group gatherings have grown and expanded in multiple directions. One avenue is the planning of gatherings and studies of the Festivals and Appointments of the Lord.
So in helping with that path we will be jump starting this blog to keep in contact and to pass on teachings and to share ideas,
Life continues to be a Pilgrimage and I would like to keep the latter part of this earlier posting to keep the hunger alive.
Our next gathering to celebrate the Appointments of the Lord will be the nights of 6 and 7 August, 6th month Elul, the theme will be repentance and study of Haggai. More info to follow.

I would like to quote a small example from D.Thomas Lancaster's book Grafted In, Israel, Gentiles, And the Mystery of the Gospel. You can get a copy from First Fruits of Zion.

http://www.ffoz.org

Blessed are those whose strength is in you.
Who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
They go from strength to strength.
Till each appears before God in Zion. Psalm 84:5,7

"To what can the kingdom be compared? It can be compared to a pilgrimage up to Jerusalem.
Such pilgrimages happened three times a year, For the holy festivals of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, all Israel went up to the Temple. The Mishnah describes the caravans of pilgrims who gathered in the villages and cities of Israel in preparation for the journey to Jerusalem. Friends and family, neighbors and countrymen, met in the villages of assembly. Final provisions for the journey were purchased. Bags were packed. Prayers for safety were prayed. Overnight the pilgrims transformed the village into a city of tents. Some slept under the wheeling stars of the open sky.
At dawn the head of the assembly awoke the pilgrims by shouting into the early morning air, "Arise, let us go up to Zion, o the House of the Lord our God!" (Jeremiah 31:6). The glad song began. ...
As the roads filled with people, distinctions of village, clan, and tribe were blurred and quickly forgotten. When at last they laid eyes upon Jerusalem-resplendent, white stone bathed in sunlight-a cheer rose from the travelers. Before them was the Temple of the Lord.
A pilgrimage to a festival in Jerusalem is a particularly apt metaphor for the people of God. In a pilgrimage, everyone on the road began at a different point of origin and now occupies a different place on the journey, but will one day be joined in one place of glad worship. So too, the people of God, compromised of members from many different beginnings, now occupy many different positions on the journey, but ultimately arrive at the same goal. The journey itself is not the goal, but the journey is the means to the goal. Anyone can join the journey, and our joy will not be complete until everyone on the journey has arrived at the destination"

There are many Christians and Jews who are are worshiping the one true God but are going about it in different ways. The early days were much the same in that there was one Temple in Jerusalem but many Sects with different beliefs about the journey. I am not blatantly putting a stamp of approval of all groups that claim to be Christian or Jewish, there are groups that carry the name Christian/Jew but do not follow the Bible or Torah. I am thankful that I am not the final Judge and that even I will be surprised when the day comes to see who is there and who is not. So let us continue to encourage one another and remember Finney's words:
"You were made to think. It will do you good to think; to develop your powers by study. God designed that religion should require thought, intense thought, and should thoroughly develop our powers of thought. (2)

If my brother is inquiring after truth, I will, by the grace of God, “hear with both ears, and then judge.” But I will not promise to attend to all that cavilers may say, nor to notice what those impertinent talkers and writers may say or write who must have controversy. But to all honest inquirers after truth I would say, Hail, my brother! Let us be thorough. Truth shall do us good. (3)

I have not yet been able to stereotype my theological views, and have ceased to expect ever to do so. The idea is preposterous. None but an omniscient mind can continue to maintain a precise identity of views and opinions. Finite minds, unless they are asleep or stultified by prejudice, must advance in knowledge.… True Christian consistency does not consist in stereotyping our opinions and views, and in refusing to make any improvement lest we should be guilty of change, but it consists in holding our minds open to receive the rays of truth from every quarter and in changing our views and language and practice as often and as fast as we can obtain further information."

Follow the link below for an interesting post on The Centrality of Yeshua.

http://ffoz.org/blogs/2012/07/the_centrality_of_yeshua.html