Sabbath Greetings for April 1999

Sabbath Greetings for 4-10-99   Faith and Faithfulness

Dear Friends in Yahshua,

In the Old Testament, faith usually has the meaning of being faithful.
A good example is Lamentations 3:22 and 23,
“Through Yahweh's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.”
which forms the basis for the old hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness.

In the New Testament, however, faith often has the meaning of belief:
          Matthew 21:21  So Yahshua answered and said to them,
"Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt,
you will not only do what was done to the fig tree,
but also if you say to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' it will be done.
22 and whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."

The Greek word G4102. pistis, means persuasion, credence, moral conviction, abstract:
constancy, or by extension the system of religious truth itself.
It has been translated assurance, belief, faith, and fidelity.

We might ask if this is even the same concept.

Well, it seems to at least be related. Paul wrote:
          Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of the Messiah,
 for it is the power of Yahweh to salvation for everyone who believes,
 for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
 17  For in it the righteousness of Yahweh is revealed from faith to faith;
 as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
Which is a direct quotation of:
          Habakkuk 2:4  "Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him;
 But the just shall live by his faithfulness.

In Genesis we see the same kind of faith or belief as we see in the New Testament.
 Genesis 15:6  And he [Abraham] TRUSTED in Yahweh,
and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
Not only is it trust and belief that is described
but the effect is the same as Yahshua described.
Abraham was considered righteous because he believed in Yahweh!
He was promised great blessings for his children
immediately after this statement in Genesis 15.

Faith has the meaning of belief and trust,
but even in the New Testament it has the meaning of faithfulness;
of being true to what is expected of you.
The New Testament uses the term ‘faithful’ about fifty times.
This compares to about 250 times where faith is used.

If we consider the terms, we can see that we can have faith in Yahweh
because He is faithful to keep the promises He has made to us.
Our faith is based on His faithfulness.
Likewise Yahweh sees our faith because that faith causes us to be faithful to Him.

Because we believe that He exists and is able and willing to help us,
we do as He wants us to do.
If we really believe in Him and understand Him
then we must become His obedient children.

          Friends,  let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
   having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience
   and our bodies washed with pure water.
   23  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
   for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:22-23)

Shabbat Shalom from Tom and Cathy Schattke

Sabbath Greetings for 4-17-99  The Sabbath and Holy Days

Dear Friends in Yahshua,

The ten commandments are given in Exodus 20 and in Deuteronomy 5.

I (Tom) used to like the Exodus version better because I didn’t understand the version in
Deuteronomy. Here are the two Sabbath commandments from the NKJV for your comparison:

Exodus 20:8  "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  9  Six days you shall labor and do all
your work,  10  but the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh your Elohim. In it you shall do no
work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor
your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
11  For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and
rested the seventh day. Therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Deuteronomy 5:13  Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  14  but the seventh day is the
Sabbath of Yahweh your Elohim. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your
daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any
of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female
servant may rest as well as you.
15  And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your Elohim brought
you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore Yahweh your Elohim
commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

We see that the Exodus version looks back to the origin of the Sabbath while the Deuteronomy
version looks back to the Exodus. I didn’t understand what the Exodus had to do with the
Sabbath. I guess I thought Yahweh had made a mistake in talking about the Exodus.
Someone blessed me with an explanation.
It has made the Deuteronomy version my new favorite.

There is a clue in Leviticus 23:24.
Yahweh says, "Speak to the children of Israel, saying:
'In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath,
a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.”

He is giving the command to observe the Feast of Trumpets!
He calls it a Sabbath.

By the same token, the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
that time when Yahweh, “brought you out from there by a mighty hand,”
was exactly on a Holy Day Sabbath! (Numbers 33:3, Leviticus 23:7, John 19:31).
No wonder Yahweh mentions that time in the Sabbath commandment.

We see holy days called Sabbaths in these other verses too:
Leviticus 16:31, 23:32, and 23:39.
In Leviticus 25:4-5 we see the seventh year called a Sabbath year.

So it appears that Yahweh intended for us
to take an additional meaning from the Sabbath commandment.
It also supports observance of the Holy Days!
This time of year is inexorably bound up with the Holy Days
and we think of that great time when Yahweh freed us from slavery in Egypt
and that OTHER GREAT TIME when Yahweh freed us from slavery to sin
through our Master Yahshua the Messiah.
At both these times He acted mightily to give His people rest.

Let us praise Yahweh for His mighty works!

Friends, may Yahweh bless you with His shalom on this Sabbath Day.

You may wish to watch for the new moon this evening 4-16-99 at sunset
which will mark the beginning of the new scriptural month.

I spoke with Mary-Jean Vacca today and she sounds GREAT!
She has recovered quickly from her surgery.
The surgery was not as radical as they feared it might be
and she has had wonderful help from her daughters and from our Father in Heaven.
Although she feels good and is in good spirits she still needs Yahweh's hand of healing
to remove the cancer from many parts of her body.
Pete and Mary-Jean both thank you for your prayers.
Please continue to remember her as you come before Yahweh's throne.

Shabbat Shalom from Tom and Cathy Schattke


Sabbath Greetings for 4 - 24 - 1999   Children
Dear Friends in Yahshua,

Yahshua our savior had some interesting things to say about children:

Matthew 18:1 . . . the disciples came to Yahshua, saying,
"Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
18:2  Then Yahshua called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,
3  and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted
and become as little children,
you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
4  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5  Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
6  But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin,
it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck,
and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month in the USA.
It is certainly appropriate to spend some time thinking about this important subject.
We can all think back to our own childhood.
We may be thankful for parents who loved and protected us from every sort of harm.
In some cases however, there are occasions we would like to leave out of our store of memories.
The best thing to do about those negative things is heartfelt repentance and forgiveness.
Repentance by the one who did it and complete forgiveness by the one who was wronged.

But we can all do something about the future.

Let’s pick up with Yahshua again.
With the child still standing near him, Yahshua continues:

Matthew 18:7  "Woe to the world because of offenses!
For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
8  "If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you.
It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed,
rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.
9  "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you.
It is better for you to enter into life with one eye,
rather than having two eyes, to be cast into gehenna fire.
10  "Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of
My Father who is in heaven.”

I’d like to encourage you to begin soon to do several things:

Spend more time with little children. It will be good for both of you.

Make it your practice to be kind and gentle with all children. Listen to them.

Try to get a child to spend time AWAY FROM the TV
and WITH his/her Mom AND Dad.

If you know about any kind of abuse situation
try to get the abuser to take some counseling or classes in parenting.
In most places abuse is a crime and it would not be a bad thing to remind
someone of this while encouraging them to get help.

Make a point to pray for children that might have no one to pray for them.
It is a good work to pray for abused or neglected children.
Ask Yahweh to set angels about them for protection.
Ask for them to be blessed with peace and joy.
Ask that Yahweh will direct you to a child who may need your help or encouragement.

I believe Yahshua liked to spend time talking and laughing with children,
praying with them and praying for them. An example is recorded here:

Matthew 19:13  Then little children were brought to Him that He might put hands on them and pray,
but the disciples rebuked them.  14  But Yahshua said,
"Let the little children come to me,
and do not forbid them;
for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
15  And He laid hands on them . . . .

Friends, may Yahweh bless you on this Sabbath Day as you
follow the footsteps of our loving example, Yahshua the Messiah.
And may Yahweh especially bless the little children.

Shabbat Shalom from Tom and Cathy Schattke

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