Give Thanks Always

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:6).

Every day is an opportunity to give thanks to the LORD, and acknowledge His gracious mercy.

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

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A Thanksgiving Proclamation

President George Washington declared November 26, 1789 as a day of thanksgiving, but it was President Abraham Lincoln who established the fourth Thursday in November as a national Day of Thanksgiving.

Both proclamations were issued on October 3rd in their respective years. Following is the text of Lincoln’s proclamation as written by Secretary of State William Seward.

I have highlighted portions of the text for the purpose of contemplation and consideration. Note, for example, that Lincoln found cause of the civil war as the Most High God dealing with us in anger for our sins, (but) He nevertheless remembered mercy (for which we are to be thankful).

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.

Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

When Jesus was Read in the Synagogue

Pastor John MacArthur, in a recent sermon at Grace Church in Simi Valley, told the congregation that Ezekiel 16 is not read in synagogues. Why? According to the Mishna (Megillah 4:10), Rabbi Eleazar ordered that the chapter be excluded from the haftarah because it shamefully exposes the abominations of Jerusalem.

[Editor: The haftarah can be likened to the first and second readings of the Catholic liturgy. It features readings from the Torah and the prophets much like the liturgy which reads from both Old and New Testaments.]

This is not a study of Ezekiel 16, but it does paint a sordid picture of Jerusalem’s transgressions. In fact, the chapter should be rated “R” for its salacious descriptions of Israel’s harlotries.

… you spread your legs to every passer-by to multiply your harlotry (Ezekiel 16:25).

The LORD, speaking through the prophet, said that Jerusalem was worse than a harlot because she gave it away. Promiscuity was more abominable than prostitution. What does that say about our culture’s one-night stands, and bar hop hook-ups?

Ezekiel was in the first wave of captives exiled to Babylon, but his prophetic book was disputed even after the crucifixion of Yeshua. Rabbis simply did not like the prophet’s message which they deemed metaphysical and in opposition to the Law of Moses.

Well, the point of this article is to highlight the Christological passages of the Jewish scriptures which are not read in synagogues. According to Rabbi Singer, the Old Testament passages that Christians relate to the Mashiac are not read in the haftarah because they do not relate to anything found in the five books of Moses, or Pentateuch.

Whether the liturgy, or the haftarah, it is customary that the passages of scripture are relatable. Thus, we read Jesus in the B’rit Chadasha:

Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms (Luke 24:44).

Israel does not believe that Christ is the Mashiac so passages claimed by Christians are dismissed as irrelevant to the Law of Moses.

Rabbi Singer commented on Isaiah 53, arguably the most Christological chapter in the Jewish Bible:

It is easy to understand why Isaiah 53 is never read in the synagogue. Isaiah 53 bears no relationship to any of the chapters of the Pentateuch and is unrelated to any holiday or historical circumstance on the Jewish calendar.

Therefore this chapter was not included in any haftarah portion. This remarkable claim that the Jews expunged Isaiah 53 from the haftarah is probably the most anti-Semitic argument used by missionaries.

[Editor: Missionaries is a deprecatory term for the heretical sect of Judaism otherwise known as Christians.]

The Haaretz, a secular publication in Israel, dared to ask, What Happened to Jesus’ Haftarah?

The preface read:

The rabbis who instituted weekly readings from the Prophets as part of the Sabbath liturgy excluded all the biblical verses on which Christians based their principles of faith in the New Testament.

The author suggested that the exclusion was deliberate, and not due to the guidelines of the haftarah. He then cited a respectable list of Christological passages that are never read in synagogues.

(Click on the EMET tab where I have compiled a practical guide to messianic references found in the Old Testament.)

So, when was Jesus read in the synagogue? This was actually a teaser in reference to Christ’s return to Nazareth. Entering the synagogue on the Sabbath he took and read from the prophet Isaiah. I’ll leave you to study the full account in Luke 4:16-21.

I read somewhere that the rabbin closely follow the guidelines of the haftarah because they fear that their assembly might otherwise run out of the synagogue and be baptized!

Suffice it to say that Jesus’ haftarah is not read in synagogues today.

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ