Shavuot 5774 / Pentecost 2014

Shavuot 5774 / Pentecost 2014

“Remember” is a thread that runs from Genesis to Revelation. From the time God put the rainbow in the sky and told Noah, “I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant,” Genesis 9:16, to the last book of Scripture in which Jesus told the church in Sardis to “Remember…what you have received and heard; hold it fast and repent,” Revelation 3:3, God is into remembering, and encourages us to do the same. Shavuot/Pentecost is the annual remembrance of the giving of the Law on Sinai and also the outpouring of the Holy Spirit following the resurrection of Jesus.

The biblical calendar date for Shavuot falls this year on June 4. On the Christian calendar Pentecost is Sunday, June 8.

Let’s pray that we will all experience a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit — a deluge of His heart into ours!

Don Finto

Listening to Brother Yun

Listening to Brother Yun

Three times this past weekend I heard Brother Yun speak, the Chinese evangelist whose story is told in “The Heavenly Man” book. His mother had become a believer through Westerners in China before the rise of communism in 1949, but when the missionaries were expelled, churches destroyed, and pastors imprisoned, her faith became dormant and even forgotten. She married and had six children, but in their great poverty, Brother Yun’s 15 year old brother starved to death, his dad was dying of cancer, and his mother was about to commit suicide when she heard the Lord’s voice, “Don’t give up! Call on Jesus!”

She woke up her five children, told them to kneel around their father’s bed and to call on Jesus to heal him. They had no idea who Jesus was, had never heard His name, but they obediently did as they were told. Within the week the father was healed and the mother began to tell all her friends who also began to follow Jesus. And she, though illiterate and never having even seen a Bible began pastoring one of the early house churches. She taught only what she remembered from the missionaries and what God personally imparted to her. For weeks they began to pray for a Bible. Brother Yun promised God he would memorize it and would spend his life telling others about Jesus if only he had a Bible.

Today one million Chinese a month are coming to the Lord and it’s estimated that there are as many as 160 million believers in this nation of a billion and a half souls. They are now sending missionaries – workers, businessmen and women – to all the nations between China and Israel in a movement called “Back to Jerusalem.” Besides missionaries, this movement has produced tiny audio Bibles that currently are being sent into North Korea and Iran.

May we be challenged to live Revelation 12:10 to the fullest: Overcoming by the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony and not loving our lives so much that we shrink from death. After all, if we really have died with Jesus already, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Don Finto

Remember This Day!

Remember This Day!

(Passover, the 14th of Nisan, beginning this year at sundown, April 14, 2014)

“Remember this day.”
(Moses to Israel, Exodus 13:3)

“Do this in remembrance of me.”
(Jesus to His disciples, Luke 22:19)

Passover is one of “the Lord’s appointed feasts” (Leviticus 23:4) for all of God’s children, feasts that still have profound prophetic implications for us. Before you begin the meal, go outside and look at the full moon. The 14th biblical month of Nisan (also called “Aviv”), is always a full moon, always a light in the sky. This Passover is the first of four consecutive “blood moons” on Passover and Tabernacles during this year and next.

Some may want to enjoy the “Seder” (meaning “order) with a “Haggadah” (meaning “the telling”), but Scripture, remembrance, and freedom in the Spirit are more important than style. This day is the most important anniversary date on God’s calendar, a remembering of Israel’s release from centuries of slavery, but also the anniversary of the Lamb of God, Yeshua’s execution – followed three days later by His resurrection.

Begin with the “woman of the house” reciting the following prayer as candles are lighted.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Kings of the universe, Who has delivered us from slavery and brought us into freedom through the Lamb of God, Jesus/Yeshua, the Light of the world. We honor You, O God, in the lighting of these festive candles. Amen

Read aloud or tell the story of Passover night from Exodus 12.
(Abbreviated version – 12:1-14, 21-42)

Read or tell the story of Jesus as reflected in John 1:29; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 5:7-8; 11:23-26
Like the annual Passover lambs, Yeshua was chosen on the 10th day of Nisan, examined for four days to be sure He was flawless. Pilate had the last word: “I have examined him… and have found no basis for your charges” (Luke 23:14). In other words, “He is a Perfect Lamb, ready to be killed.”

On traditional Passover tables: a lamb bone (you may want to serve lamb), “bitter herbs” (horse radish, also parsley to be dipped in salt water to remember the tears and suffering), “charoset” (a mixture of apples, nuts, & sweet wine) to remind us of sweetness & hope even in the midst of suffering, unleavened bread and wine.

Take the wine! Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the universe, who created the fruit of the vine! And who took the Passover wine and said, “This is my blood of the new covenant.” (In the traditional celebration, there are four cups: 1) sanctification-cleansing, often accompanied by a ceremonial washing of the hands; 2) suffering-slavery/plagues; 3) redemption-freedom , pointing us to Jesus, and 4) praise-restoration. We may want to remember all four as we take the wine.)

Take the bread! Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the universe, who brought forth bread from the earth and from heaven (There are traditionally three “Matzah,” the center Matzah broken and hidden to be discovered at the end of the meal – for believers this tradition points to Jesus, who was broken, hidden and revealed)

Eat together! Enjoy the meal!
Remember! Rejoice!

During the meal, lead conversations about

  • our own deliverance from slavery and bondage into the joy and freedom in Messiah
  • what it means to be “saved by the blood” of the Lamb, passed over by death
  • anything else the Holy Spirit stirs in you as you share the evening together


Some time during the evening read: “Remember this day”

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, Impress them on your children.when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7

On this day, 3500 years ago, lambs were slaughtered throughout Goshen in Egypt.
Hyssop brushes stroked Jewish doorposts with lamb’s blood.
The children of Israel met quietly, sequestered behind their bloodstained doors,
waiting to be delivered from 400 years of slavery.

On this night, 3500 years ago, the Lord went through the land looking for blood on doorposts.
There was a great deliverance, a pass-over.
Firstborn sons were slain in houses where there was no blood.
Wailing and mourning was heard when judgment came in Egypt.

On this night, 3500 years ago, freedom was proclaimed in Israel.
Firstborn sons of believing Israel were spared through the blood of the lamb.
The lamb’s blood painted on doorposts brought freedom.
The wealth of Egypt became the wealth of Israel.
Shouts of joy were heard as Moses led Israel out of Egypt.

On this night 3500 yeas ago, the exodus from Egypt came suddenly.
For 3500 years believers in God have remembered this night.

On this day, 2000 years ago, another Lamb was slain.
Human hearts were stroked with Lamb’s blood and freed from centuries of slavery.

On this day, 2000 years ago, the Lord began to look for Lamb’s blood on doorposts of hearts.
There was a great deliverance—a passing over.

On this day, 2000 years ago, wealth was restored to the sons of Adam,
Another Moses led another Israel out of another Egypt.

On this day, 2000 years ago, Lamb’s blood on the doorposts of hearts brought freedom.

Today…Lamb’s blood is still found on human hearts.
Deliverance is found behind a blood-stained door.

If the doorpost of your heart is stained with Lamb’s blood, have a glorious Passover season.
If not, grab quickly the hyssop and look for the Lamb’s blood.

The exodus will come suddenly and we will be ushered into a whole new glorious future.

The slain Lamb has risen and will return as King of kings and Lord of lords!

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

Let me give you a nice “Holy Land laugh!” When Tod and I arrived (with Micah and Steve Allen), our phones were not working because of a new ruling about foreigners’ telephone accounts in Israel. So we had to wait to get new SIM cards for the phones. As a result we could not get in touch with friends, nor they with us.

On the day I got my phone updated, I sent out a short email to let some of our friends know that we were in the country for a few days. The note I thought I wrote was very simple. “Tod and I in the country until Saturday. We had to get new numbers. Mine is …; his is….” Just as I pushed the send button, I noticed that Spell Check had changed “Tod” to “God,” reading “God and I in the country until Saturday. We had to get new numbers. Mine is…” It was late at night and I had blind-copied everyone; I could not even remember who all I sent it to so I simply thought, “Oh, well,” and laughed myself to sleep, in anticipation of the emails I would get the next day!

From John and Una Gere: Wow! Can we give out God’s phone number to anyone, or is private!!!!! I remember His old number was JER333 (call unto Me and I will answer thee…..)

Gabriel Leonhard: I’m so glad that you brought God with you! 🙂 and Micah

Shira Sorko-Ram: Dear Don, I have ALWAYS wanted God’s direct line! Thanks for His and for yours!

Israel Pochtar: Wow… amazing to hear you’re here in the land with God! How did you get his personal number? 🙂

Have a blessed day! And laugh a little!

What About Those Blood Moons?

What About Those Blood Moons?

What is a “blood moon” and why is it important? And what is happening in these days that has caused this to be such a topic of conversation?

A “blood moon” occurs when there is a total lunar eclipse – the moon is positioned between the sun and the earth, the sun is hidden from view and the sun’s rays shine from behind the moon turning it into a red hue. A total lunar eclipse can only occur with a full moon.

Why is the “blood moon” potentially important? Because Joel prophesied and Peter affirmed that “the sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Joel 2:30-31 & Acts 2:20). And God said, Genesis 1:14, that He put the sun and moon in the sky “as signs to mark seasons and days and years” (1:14).

What is happening in our day that has caused such attention to be focused on this prediction? Later this year and next year there will be four blood moons, all of which will take place on significant biblical feast days.

On the 14th of Nisan this year (Passover, April 15) the first will occur, the second on the 15th of Tishri (Tabernacles, October 8). Next year will bring precisely the same occurrence. A blood moon will take place on Nisan 14 (Passover, April 4) and again on Tishri 15 (Tabernacles, September 28).

The last time four blood moons occurred on these feast days in two consecutive years was in 1967/1968 during the time of the Six Day War when Israel took possession of Jerusalem for the first time in many centuries.

The prior occurrence of four blood moons in consecutive years on these two feast days was in 1948/49 during the time of Israel’s War of Independence.
Before that time, we have to go back in history to 1493, the season of the Inquisition when the King and Queen of Spain were confiscating Jewish wealth, exiling or murdering Jewish people.

Another significant thing about this season is that in the midst of these four total lunar eclipses are two solar eclipses to take place on the first day of the biblical calendar, Nisan 1 (March 20, 2015) and the first day of the civic calendar, Tishri 1 (September 13, 2015).

  • Nisan 14, April 15, 2014 – Passover – “blood moon” lunar eclipse
  • Tishri 15, October 8, 2014 – Tabernacles – “blood moon” lunar eclipse
  • Nisan 1 – March 20, 2015 – beginning of the year – solar eclipse
  • Nisan 14, April 4, 2015 – Passover – “blood moon” lunar eclipse
  • Tishri 1 – September 13, 2015 – Feast of Trumpets – solar eclipse
  • Tishri 15 – September 28, 2015 – Tabernacles – “blood moon” lunar eclipse

What does all this mean? Is this God’s proclamation that something extraordinary is going to occur during or just prior to the multiplicity of eclipses? It would seem so, since that is what has happened in the past. Does this mean war in Israel and the Middle East? Will the outcome be good, as in the 1948 and 1967 conflicts? Or is greater hardship indicated as in 1493? We cannot know. Some suggest this could mean the rapture of the church prior to the great tribulation, but I find no biblical proof that we escape tribulation, and it seems the rise of the anti-Messiah will precede His return. Escape wrath? Yes, but not tribulation. We are continually warned to prepare for hard times, while at the same time assured that we will never experience God’s wrath. (See, for example, John 16:33 and Romans 5:9.

So what are we to do? Keep walking strong and pray for victory for all of God’s people, and for millions to come into the kingdom. Surrender to Jesus! Listen to and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit! Worship! Share the good news! Be prepared to stand strong whatever may come. We have the assurance that in the end all will be well.

Don Finto

Keep Bothering The Lord

Luke 18:1-8

Jesus told the story of a widow who kept bothering a judge. The judge had no regard for her needs, but because she continued to persist he finally granted her request just so she wouldn’t wear him out with her coming. What is the message of this brief parable? Luke says, “Jesus told his disciples this parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

There is a place for godly persistence in prayer. If an uncaring judge will answer the plea of a widow because of her persistence, how much more will God, a caring Father, grant the entreaties of the children whom He loves. “Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?”

Jacob wrestled all night with God for the fulfillment of a promise God had given him twenty years earlier. What are the promises we have received from the Lord, either through His Word or through His revelation to us that agrees with His Word? Stand strong until the answer comes!

Isaiah says to those “who call on the Lord, ‘Give yourselves no rest and give God no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.'” Give yourselves no rest! Give God no rest! Keep bothering Him! Wear Him out with your coming! Why? Not because God is reluctant to answer our prayers, but because He wants the increase of our fervency.

When we are confident that our prayers are consistent with His heart then we must persevere until the answer comes!

Don Finto