Sabbath Greetings for May 1999

Sabbath Greetings for 5-1-99   Born Again

Dear Friends in Yahshua,

John 3:1  There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2  This man came to Yahshua by night and said to Him,
"Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from Yahweh;
for no one can do these signs that You do unless Elohim is with him."

This man was apparently a member of the Sanhedrin,
the ruling body over the Jewish religion and government.
We don’t know if he came on behalf of the entire body,
but he does say, “We know.”
Did he come ‘by night’ so that no one would see
that the religious rulers were consulting with Yahshua?
If he had an agenda for the meeting this story does not reveal it.
Yahshua controlled the entire conversation.

John 3:3  Yahshua answered and said to him,
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born
again, he cannot see the kingdom of Yahweh."

John 3:4  Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old?
Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"

Nicodemus must have been asking a rhetorical question.
Whatever Yahshua meant, he surely did not mean that.

John 3:5  Yahshua answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you,
unless one is born of water and the Spirit,
he cannot enter the kingdom of Yahweh.
6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh,
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7  Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
8  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it,
but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.
So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

John 3:9  Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?"

Oops. Wrong question, Nicodemus.

John 3:10 Yahshua answered and said to him,
"Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?”

I wondered what Nicodemus should have known that Yahshua chided him in that way.
A little searching revealed two scriptures in Isaiah
that relate a new birth with water and the Spirit.
Could it have been one of these:

Isaiah 44:1  "Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant, And Israel whom I have chosen.
2  Thus says Yahweh who made you And FORMED YOU FROM THE WOMB,
who will help you: 'Fear not, O Jacob My servant; And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3  For I will pour WATER on him who is thirsty, And FLOODS on the dry ground;
I will pour MY SPIRIT on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring;
4  They will spring up among the grass Like willows by the watercourses.'
5  One will say, 'I am Yahweh's'; Another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
Another will write with his hand, 'Yahweh's,'
And name himself by the name of Israel.

Isaiah 63:11 He remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying:
"Where is He who brought them up OUT OF THE WATER
With the shepherd of His flock? Where is He who put HIS HOLY SPIRIT within them,
12  Who led them by the right hand of Moses, With His glorious arm,
Dividing the water before them To make for Himself an everlasting name,

This passage is talking about the same time of going through the Red Sea
that Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 10:1 “Moreover, brethren,
I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were
under the cloud, all passed through the sea,
2  all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
3  all ate the same spiritual food,
4  and all drank the same spiritual drink.
For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them,
and that Rock was the Messiah.”

Paul relates that baptism or immersion to death and a new life in Colossians 2:12:
“buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him
through faith in the working of Yahweh, who raised Him from the dead.
13  And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
Read more of Colossians 2 to learn more about the newborn life at baptism.

Yahshua continues talking to Nicodemus:
John 3:11 “Most assuredly, I say to you, we speak what we know
and testify what we have seen, and you do not receive our witness.
12  If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe,
how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
13  No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven,
that is, the Son of Man.
14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15  that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

HalleluYAH!!
Those who are born of the water at baptism
and born of the spirit at the return of the Messiah
will live with Yahweh in His kingdom forever as spirit beings!

Friends, may Yahweh grant us all this eternal life —
thus following the footsteps of our loving savior and Sovereign,
Yahshua the Messiah in the fullest sense.

Shabbat Shalom from Tom and Cathy Schattke
 


Sabbath Greetings for 5-8-99 Holy Spirit 1
 
Dear Friends in Yahshua,

Last Sabbath we saw two scriptures from the book of Isaiah
that talked about the Holy Spirit being given to men (and women of course).
This week we’ll begin to look at just what this Holy Spirit is and what it does.

Yahshua explained spirit to Nicodemus:
John 3:5  Yahshua answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you,
unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of Yahweh.
6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and
that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7  Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
8  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it,
but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.
So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

So we learn that the only way to become a spirit being is to be ‘born’ of a spirit being.
That makes sense.
Horses come from horses, people come from people and spiders come from spiders.
We have never known it to be any other way.
Apparently Yahweh did not give the other spirit beings he created (angels)
the ability to engender or create other beings.
But of course Yahweh can.
It is not clear to us just HOW a spirit birth happens.
I mean that we know nothing of the mechanics of the process
compared to what we know about animal birth.
Perhaps someone will share their thoughts on that.

We also learn that a spirit being is essentially invisible.
Like the wind, we may sometimes hear it or see some effects of its action
but at other times not be aware that a spirit being is nearby.
In the case of some angels and the resurrected Yahshua,
they were able to be invisible when they wanted to be (Numbers 22:31, 2 Kings 6:17, Luke 24:31).

The area we want to focus on is the effect of the Holy Spirit of Yahweh.

Yahweh must want us to know about His spirit
because there are hundreds of scriptures that refer to it.
The fundamental use that Yahweh makes of His Holy Spirit
is to draw people to Him for salvation.
He has done so for thousands of years, even from the beginning,
when His spirit moved on the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2).

A most remarkable example is in 1 Samuel 19:20-23:
Then Saul sent messengers to take David.
And when they saw the group of prophets prophesying,
and Samuel standing as leader over them,
the Spirit of Yahweh came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.
And when Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise.
Then Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.
Then he also went to Ramah, and came to the great well that is at Sechu.
So he asked, and said, "Where are Samuel and David?"
And someone said, "Indeed they are at Naioth in Ramah."
So he went there to Naioth in Ramah.
Then the Spirit of Elohim was upon him also,
and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah.

Three parties who were sent to arrest David, and then Saul himself,
were filled with the Holy Spirit and immediately
began speaking the wonderful, encouraging words of Yahweh!

“Yes, they made their hearts like flint,
refusing to hear the law and THE WORDS WHICH YAHWEH OF HOSTS HAD SENT
BY HIS SPIRIT THROUGH THE FORMER PROPHETS.
Thus great wrath came from Yahweh of hosts,” Zechariah 7:12.
 

“I will put MY SPIRIT within you and cause you to walk in My statutes,
and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers.
You shall be My people, and I will be your Elohim,”  Ezekiel 36:27-28.

“But truly I am full of power by THE SPIRIT OF YAHWEH, And of justice and might,
To declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin,” Micah 3:8

John the Baptist was a great force in preparing the way for the salvation of Yahshua.
To do that job, it was prophesied that, “he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit,”  Luke 1:15.

When John’s father, Zachariah, was filled with the Holy spirit,
he talked about salvation,  Luke 1:67-69.

Friends, we pray that Yahweh’s spirit is working in your lives,
filling you with His love and with words of peace and joy.

Cathy and Cindy (our daughter) have gotten some serious poison ivy. Please pray for them.

Tom is scheduled to be speaking at Yahweh’s Assembly in Messiah in Frystown, Pennsylvania on
Sabbath, 5-22 and on Pentecost, 5-23.
I’ve planned some interesting messages.
If you can join us for one or both of those times then email us for details.

Shabbat Shalom from Tom and Cathy Schattke


Sabbath Greetings for 5 - 15 - 99   Holy Spirit Action
 
Dear Friends in Yahshua,

Last Sabbath we saw several examples of the work of the Holy Spirit before Yahshua’s birth.
Now let’s look at the action of the Spirit during Yahshua’s life.

It is really the same work.
Yahweh is using His spirit to help people get salvation.
In these cases it is through our Master Yahshua.

The very conception of Yahshua was by Yahweh’s spirit, Matthew 1:20.

At the beginning of Yahshua’s ministry, John the Baptist was
commanded to recognize Yahshua by the spirit that was upon him:
John 1:32  And John bore witness, saying,
“I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained upon Him.
33  I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me,
‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him,
this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’”

Luke 4:1  Then Yahshua, being filled with the Holy Spirit,
returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

After fasting for forty days and resisting temptation:

Luke 4:14  Then Yahshua returned in the power of the Spirit . . .

He immediately began his ministry with the power of Yahweh’s spirit within him!
He used that power every day and brought many to Yahweh.
Many left him later, but there were also many who believed and stayed with him
and followed his inspired teachings.

Yahshua prophesied that his disciples would be aided in their work by the Holy Spirit:

". . .for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” Matthew 10:20

"But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand,
or premeditate what you will speak.
But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that;
for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” Mark 13:11

Yahshua surely knew this by his own personal experience of being filled with that same spirit.
He knew that those who learned from him would do the same works that he did.
THAT IS MAINLY WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES.
It draws toward Yahweh those who are to be saved and to become His children.
We still have to make our own decisions but the spirit is there to teach and help us.
Then it remians within us to help us to show others the way.

The very last message Yahshua left for his followers before his ascension was,
"You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the end of the earth," Acts 1:8.

This power is not the power to light lamps or to lift great weights.
It is the power to speak to people about salvation through our Master Yahshua the Messiah!
It is the same power Yahshua had to say the right thing for his hearers.
It is the power we see the Apostles having in Acts and the other books of the ‘New Testament’.

May Yahweh’s spirit touch you and those you love.
May the power of Yahweh’s spirit make a difference in your life
and, through you, in the lives of others.

Shabbat Shalom from Tom and Cathy Schattke


Sabbath Greetings for 5 - 22 - 99 Pentecost

Dear Friends in Yahshua,

HalleluYAH!! The Feast of weeks is upon us!
Your Sabbath Greetings are early this week
because I’ll be traveling to Frystown, PA for the Holy Day.

I’m sure you will all be reviewing the second chapter of Acts
to see the great work Yahweh’s spirit did on that first Feast after the Messiah’s ascension.
Today, however, we’d like to take you to another great observance of this Feast.

The Feast of weeks is frequently called Pentecost, Greek for ‘fiftieth’.
This is because this Holy Day is not fixed by being on a certain date of a certain month.
We must count fifty days from the wave sheaf offering during the days of unleavened bread
to find when Pentecost falls each year.

There is a Jewish tradition that the Ten Commandments were given at the Feast of Weeks.
This is nearly true.
The commandments were given the day before the Feast
and something even more important happened on the actual day of Pentecost itself.

What could be more important than the Ten Commandments? Let’s see.

After the commandments were given:
Exodus 20:18  Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes,
the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking;
and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.
19  Then they said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear;
but do not let Elohim speak with us, lest we die."
20  And Moses said to the people,  "Do not fear; for Elohim has come to test you,
and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin."
21  So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where Elohim was.
22  Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel . . . .

The message Yahweh has for the Israelites goes on without interruption
from Exodus 20:22 until Exodus 24:2.
Many important ordinances are contained in these three chapters.
Yahweh gives rules for handling problems of family, business,
personal injury, and of course, religion.
He gives a prophecy of blessing for encouragement.
Yahweh even tells Moses what to do with all this information.
Of course Moses does it.

Exodus 24:3  So Moses came and told the people all the words of Yahweh
and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said,
"All the words which Yahweh has said we will do."
4  And Moses wrote all the words of Yahweh. [writing during the night]
And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain,
and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel.
5  Then he sent young men of the children of Israel,
who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to Yahweh.
6  And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins,
and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar.
7  Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people.
And they said, "All that Yahweh has said we will do, and be obedient."
8  And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said,
"This is the blood of the covenant
which Yahweh has made with you according to all these words."

This is the thing that is more important than the law.

Our fathers promise with a blood covenant to KEEP THE LAW.
They bind themselves in a relationship with Yahweh
and agree they will do everything Yahweh commands
and Yahweh will bless them and their children forever.
They made this covenant and they sealed it with the blood of the sacrifices.

This covenant was made on the Feast of weeks, on Pentecost.
After the covenant a really amazing thing happens.
Yahweh invites the leaders of Israel to a banquet
to celebrate their new covenant relationship!

Exodus 24:9  Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, [Aaron’s sons]
and seventy of the elders of Israel,
10  and they saw the Elohim of Israel.
And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone,
and it was like the very heavens in its clarity.
11  But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand.
So they saw Elohim, and they ate and drank.

Somehow, these seventy-four elders were given a vision of the throne room of the universe.
They ate and drank in the presence of Elohim, the mighty one of Israel!
How’s that for a Feast?

The lesson we can still learn from this story is to use the time of Pentecost
to make or confirm our covenant relationship with Yahweh.
This is what is described in Acts chapter two.
Thousands of people making a covenant with Yahweh through Yahshua.
This is a good time to agree to follow everything that Yahweh has commanded us to do;
to take Him for our mighty helper, and to dedicate our efforts to His ends.

May Yahweh bless you richly as you do.

Shabbat Shalom and a good Feast from Tom and Cathy Schattke


Sabbath Greetings for 5 - 29 - 99 The Early Congregation

Dear Friends in Yahshua,

The trip to Frystown was a real blessing.
There were many old friends, several new ones and a fine spirit of love.
Elder George Garner and his wife Janet made me feel like an honored guest.

Some other ‘old business’: Cathy and Cindy are much better
after their four-week fight with the effects of poison ivy.
They are down to just a lot of lighter itching.
Thanks for your prayers.

I need to make another prayer request. Elder Al Dupus’ wife Marie
is in intensive care because of problems with her heart and a cerebral hemorrhage.
Her condition is very serious and your prayers are valued to ask Yahweh for healing mercies.
Thank you.

Our scripture discussion this Sabbath will be based on what happened right after
the first Feast of Pentecost after Yahshua died.
We find this information.

Acts 2:42  And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship,
in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

I’m sure that many interesting things happened in those early days of the Jerusalem congregation
but we are told about only four: they continued steadfastly
 in the apostles' doctrine and
 in fellowship,
 in breaking bread, and
 in prayers.

What was the apostles’ doctrine or teaching?
Of course it was the same as that of their teacher, Yahshua.
What was his teaching? Let him answer that:
John 7:16  Yahshua answered them and said,
"My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
17  If anyone wants to do His [Yahweh’s] will,
he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from Yahweh
or whether I speak on My own authority.

So Yahshua gave a very simple way of telling his teaching was right from Yahweh.
He said you just compare it with what you already know is from Yahweh
and you’ll see that it agrees.
The apostles could pass the same test.
Their teaching also agreed with the old scriptures.
Praise Yahweh!

Fellowship was an integral part of that new congregation.
They were taught and clearly understood that other believers are our closest friends.
They will be our companions for eternity and they value the same things we do.
There is no room for prejudice or conflict in the congregation of Yahweh.

Indeed, the members of this congregation often dined together.
This is the meaning of the expression, ‘breaking bread’.

They were also faithful in prayer.
They didn’t stop praying, 1 Thess 5:17.
The scriptures show that they prayed with one another,
they prayed for one another and
they just prayed to praise our Father Yahweh.
HalleluYAH!

Good friends, be an example in your congregation, if you have one,
of following the same narrow path as Yahshua led his disciples on.
It is a path of peace, love and joy for everyone.
Pray that we will all follow the path of the faith once delivered to the saints.

Shabbat Shalom from Tom and Cathy Schattke


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