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Start Your New Week with a Word of Edification, Exhortation and Comfort from Daniel Botkin

Welcome to the Gates of Eden Blog ~ New posts weekly at 8PM following Shabbat

August 25, 2019

The Greek word ekklesia is usually translated "church" in English translations of the New Testament. When people hear the word "church" in English, it can mean a number of different things to different people. It might mean a building ("We're going to clean the church on Saturday"), or a meeting ("We have church tonight"), or an organization ("He's starting a new church"), or a denomination ("He belongs to the Baptist church or the Methodist church"). Most informed Christians know that the Biblical meaning of church is none of these things, even if they sometimes use the word "church" in these

June 16, 2019

In English we call the fourth book of the Bible “Numbers.” This is a translation of the Latin title of the book, Numeri, which is a translation of the Greek title Arithmoi. If you read the first several chapters of the book, it’s easy to see why Greek-speaking, Latin-speaking, and English-speaking people gave it a title that includes the ideas of arithmetic and numbers. The first several chapters consist primarily of long lists of numbers and mathematical calculations to record the total amounts of various countings: how many men in each of the twelve tribes; how to set up the camp according to the tribes; how many men in each of the families of the Levites; how many shekels of redemption money to collect; how many of each item that each of the tribal leaders brought as an offering, etc., etc.,

June 2, 2019

In the early years of the twentieth century, God did an amazing thing. He poured out His Spirit in a mighty and marvelous way. All over the world, in Wales, in America, in India, in Africa, in Asia, all over the world, the Holy Spirit moved mightily. Great multitudes of people were awakened, converted, and filled with the Holy Spirit. Out of this world-wide revival emerged the Pentecostal Movement. The history of the Pentecostal Movement has been documented in books such as Vinson Synan's The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century (Eerdman's 1997), Walter Hollenweger's Pentecostalism: Origins and Developments Worldwide

May 19, 2019

The modern Messianic Jewish Movement began in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when great numbers of Jewish people came to the conclusion that Jesus (Yeshua) was the Messiah foretold by Moses and the Prophets. In previous centuries, a Jew who came to faith in Jesus was expected to assimilate, and he normally did. He abandoned Jewish forms of worship and lived like the Gentile Christians of whatever church he happened to join. Unlike Jewish believers of the past, Jewish believers in the 1970s desired to retain many of the Torah practices which Jewish believers of previous generations normally abandoned. In the 1970s many Jewish believers started meeting together to celebrate Shabbat and holy days in a Christ-centered (Messiah-centered) way, and to worship in a Jewish context.

August 5, 2018

The Greek word ekklesia is usually translated "church" in English translations of the New Testament. When people hear the word "church" in English, it can mean a number of different things to different people. It might mean a building ("We're going to clean the church on Saturday"), or a meeting ("We have church tonight"), or an organization ("He's starting a new church"), or a denomination ("He belongs to the Baptist church or the Methodist church"). Most informed Christians know

July 15, 2018

Several years ago I saw a book that was a compilation of testimonies of Jewish people who had come to the conclusion that Yeshua of Nazareth was the Jewish Messiah. The title of the book was They Thought For Themselves. These Jewish seekers did not just take the word of the rabbis who said that Jesus could not have been the Messiah. They read the Messianic prophecies for themselves, they read the New Testament Scriptures for themselves, and they thought for themselves. As a

May 13, 2018

In English we call the fourth book of the Bible “Numbers.” This is a translation of the Latin title of the book, Numeri, which is a translation of the Greek title Arithmoi. If you read the first several chapters of the book, it’s easy to see why Greek-speaking, Latin-speaking, and English-speaking people gave it a title that includes the ideas of arithmetic and numbers. The first several chapters consist primarily of long lists of numbers and mathematical calculations to record the total amounts of various countings: how many men in each of the twelve tribes; how to set up the camp according to the tribes; how many men in each of the families of the Levites; how many shekels of redemption money to collect; how many of each item that each of the tribal leaders brought as an offering, etc., etc., etc.

May 6, 2018

According to Jewish tradition, the Pentateuch (Torah) was given on the Day of Pentecost. According to Acts, the Holy Spirit was likewise given on the Day of Pentecost. The fact that the Torah and the Spirit were both given on the same date suggests that there is a connection, that the Law and the Spirit are meant to operate together, and to complement one another, not contradict and oppose one another as some Christians seem to think. Another similarity of the Pentecostal Movement and the Messianic Movement is the grassroots origin of both movements. The origins of other movements and denominations in Christian history can be traced to the individuals who founded them.

April 22, 2018

The modern Messianic Jewish Movement began in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when great numbers of Jewish people came to the conclusion that Jesus (Yeshua) was the Messiah foretold by Moses and the Prophets. In previous centuries, a Jew who came to faith in Jesus was expected to assimilate, and he normally did. He abandoned Jewish forms of worship and lived like the Gentile Christians of whatever church he happened to join. Unlike Jewish believers of the past, Jewish believers in the 1970s desired to retain many of the Torah practices which Jewish believers of previous generations normally abandoned.

March 18, 2018

By the time most of you read this, our congregation will have celebrated New Year's Eve on the evening of March 16. That's when the Biblical New Year starts this year, on the New Moon that marks the beginning of the Hebrew month Aviv (also called Nisan). "This month [the month of Passover, Aviv] shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you" (Ex. 12:2). The Hebrew word aviv is not only the name of the first month; it is also the word for the spring season and for the green ears of grain that appear in the spring. Aviv is a word that conveys the idea of new beginnings. Therefore, this "beginning of months" is a good time of year for us to consider Yeshua's "beginning of miracles"--the transformation of water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. It is appropriate that Yeshua's very first miracle was the changing of water into wine, because this miracle is an illustration of what He...

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