Monday, August 29, 2016

An Encounter with Yeshua by Isabelle Esling

An Encounter with Yeshua by Isabelle Esling: FREE DOWNLOAD! When Isabelle Esling met Yeshua, He tremendously changed her life. Here is her story of the life-changing encounter.'Yeshua is a very special person. In fact, there is nobody like Him. Yeshua’s heart loves unconditionally. He doesn’t care about your background or the mistakes you are making. He is not here to accuse you. Yeshua is love and forgiveness. In short, Yeshua is endless love.'

Sentenced to death for uttering the truth. How the prophetic words of Daniel 7:13 got Yeshua condemned to death.

Computer generated picture of the Shroud of Turin by Ray Downing

"Yeshua kept silent and the high priest said to Him:

I am making you swear by the Living God to tell us if you are the Maschiach, the Son of God?"

Yeshua said to him: " you have said it.  And I say to you, you will see the Son of Man sitting to the right of the Power and coming with clouds of Heaven."

The priest tore his clothes and said: "He is a blasphemer! Why should we continue seeking witnesses. Have you not heard his blasphemy? What is your opinion?"
"And they said: " He is a man of death! ( translated in Hebrew by "isch mavet")
They spat in His face and struck Him with a fist on the cheek. They said: "prophesy to us, Maschiach! Who stuck you?""

Matthew 26:63-68 Franz Delitzsch version

At the very moment Yeshua our Messiah would quote the prophetic verse of Daniel 7: 13, He would sign His death arrest.

חָזֵ֤ה הֲוֵית֙ בְּחֶזְוֵ֣י לֵֽילְיָ֔א וַאֲרוּ֙ עִם־עֲנָנֵ֣י שְׁמַיָּ֔א כְּבַ֥ר אֱנָ֖שׁ אָתֵ֣ה הֲוָ֑ה וְעַד־עַתִּ֤יק יֹֽומַיָּא֙ מְטָ֔ה וּקְדָמֹ֖והִי הַקְרְבֽוּהִי

Daniel 7:13

Prior statement to this article

I noticed that a lot of Gentile followers of our Messiah tend to slate orthodox Jews for not acknowledging that Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel. I read a statement on social media that was quite arrogant. Somebody had stated: " The smartest Jews all know that Yeshua is the Messiah."
Beware, some orthodox Jews who crossed my path may not have accepted Yeshua, but they could outsmart you within a few minutes.
This is not a matter of intelligence, but rather of spiritual blindness. Instead of slating a whole community, rather pray for the veil of incomprehension be lifted. Also remember that there are Torah truths hidden to your eyes that orthodox Jews envision very easily. Be humble. You may know that Yeshua is Messiah, but you don't know everything!

I'd advise everybody to stop judging so fast. First of all, most of you are not even aware of the requirements for being an orthodox Jew, nor have you been raised as a Jew. You are probably blind to see that secular oral traditions have prevented people from approaching the Scriptural truth that Yeshua is indeed our Messiah.

Revealing His identity as Maschiach publicly

During His ministry in Galilee Yeshua chose not to reveal His true identity.

However when our rabbi performed some exorcisms, the demons already knew Him.
In Luke Chapter 4 verse 35, Yeshua rebukes a demon, asking him to shut up before he left the possessed man.

"And Yeshua rebuked it and He said, "Shut your mouth and come out of him!" And the demon threw him in the midst, and it came out from him, while it did him no harm."

The creatures of darkness knew and were afraid of Him, and Yeshua had authority over all of them.
However, even His close disciples ( besides a few such as John, Philip, Nathanael and Peter) had a hard time to comprehend who Yeshua actually is. As I underlined it in former articles, seeing clearly that Yeshua is the Messiah was difficult in the 1st Century for the Spirit had not been given yet.

The disciples didn't realize that the Messiah had to be mistreated and to die a very painful death before being resurrected. The words of Isaiah , chapter 53, were veiled to them. They are still sealed for many persons nowadays. Let us pray that the sight of many be opened so that they understand Hashem's plan of Salvation.

One MUST also realize that in Jewish tradition, the character of the Maschiah is dual. The suffering Messiah, ben Yosef has so often been occulted in favor of Messiah ben David.

Yeshua incarnates both figures of the Messiah.

He is:

  • Maschiach ben Yosef, son of Yosef, during His first coming in the 1st Century. His Suffering has been predicted in the Tanakh in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22.
  • Maschiach ben David, as depicted in the verses of prophet Daniel Chapter 7, verses 13 and 14)

(Whoever wants to refute that our Messiah is spoken about in Isaiah Chapter 53 and who thinks that Isaiah refers to Israel has to explain me in detail how Israel can die for Israel's sins.)

Daniel 7:13-14 in the orthodox Jewish Bible ( English translation)

"I was beholding in visions of the night, and, hinei, one like bar enosh ( Ben Adam i.e Moschiach came with the clouds of Shomayim ( Heaven) and came to the Atik Yomin ( Ancient of Days i.e Hashem) and before Him He was brought." Daniel 7:13, Orthodox Jewish Bible

" And there was given Him (Moschiach) dominion, and honor, and sovereignty that all people, goyim, tongues should they serve reverence as deity Him (Moschiach).
His dominion is an everlasting Kingdom, which shall not pass away and His (Messianic) Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Daniel 7:14 Orthodox Jewish Bible

The verse of Daniel 7:13 being so clearly of messianic significance, I was very curious to know how orthodox Jews would interpret it. I found out that many orthodox Jews choose the messianic perspective on Daniel 7:13. Some of them claim that " bar enosh" ( Son of Man in Aramaic) has been mistranslated and that its very meaning is just of ben Adam, "human being".
In my opinion, ben Adam being translated as " human being" doesn't really make sense if you consider that this person, the Son of Man, will be given dominion, sovereignty and  honor and that all nations will serve him, as verse 14 confirms it.

I remember discussing with an orthodox Jew years ago who told me that " anybody could be Moschiach when I mentioned Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel.
The way Daniel 7:14 is worded would dismiss this argument of  any human being a possible candidate to the person of the Messiah anyway.

Yeshua, the true Messiah of Israel, is still a threat to the religious establishment

After reflecting on the Messianic verses of Daniel 7:13-14 and the person of Yeshua as I know Him, my Lord and Savior as He revealed Himself to me, I realized that the real Yeshua ( and not His diluted version) is still a threat to the religious establishment.

The truth I am going to state will probably displease Jews and Christians, but I have to tell it anyway, for it is the truth.

  1. Yeshua's Name is a big threat to corporate rabbinates that will keep combating Yeshua being revealed as the Messiah to the nation of Israel, because it is not in their interest that the truth be told to the simple Jew or Israeli. Why? Well, these persons have a lot to lose: their influence, their power, their financial situation would decrease dramatically as well.
  2. Yeshua's Name is a threat to Christianity's corporate assemblies. The pope even teaches that it is "dangerous" to have a personal relationship with Yeshua our Messiah out of Catholic Church. Just to begin with Catholic Church, the clerics keep the crowds away from reading the Bible and also teach them that accepting Yeshua is not enough to be saved. Other corporate Christianity such as protestant and evangelical churches seem to preach the Bible, but many greedy pastors wish to influence people and take their money instead of showing them the way to Yeshua. Many people are being taught to have "figurative encounters with Yeshua" through Scriptures. Most of the leaders mentioned above ( of course there are exceptions, I didn't say everybody) themselves do not have a single clue about who Yeshua really is.
  3.  Corporate religion, whether it is Jewish or Christian will keep you in bondage. The Son of Man has come to SET YOU FREE.

In conclusion: you MUST meet Yeshua and experience Him as a REAL person, because our Messiah is ALIVE and He WANTS a relationship with you!

No matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, there is only ONE PATH to Salvation!

If you haven't done it yet, it is not too late. Call upon Yeshua's Name. Repent of your sins and accept Him as your Lord and Savior.

May He bless all of you who are reading this article. 


Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Last Days in the desert movie review

Rating: 1.5 stars

Warning to the viewer: misleading on many points-despite its claims to be inspired by the Gospels

Between 2015 and 2016, a few new movies have been released about Yeshua.
I'd advise anybody to be careful about any new film that would advertise a more  "modern or a more accurate presentations" of some episodes of  our Savior's life.
Always remember to confront them with Scriptures, ideally replace them in their original, Hebrew context of the 1st Century.

Last days in the desert is supposed to recall the episode of Yeshua's 40 days in the desert. Not only is this release a total misrepresentation of the 40 days in the desert that is described in the Gospels, the film is also misleading in many ways.

Here is why:

  • The scenes are total fiction
  • In the Bible, Yeshua spends 40 days alone fasting in the desert where He is confronted with Satan alone. There are no other human beings with Him.
  • our Lord wasn't with "wild animals", despite the fact that many translated Bibles support this the desert, Yeshua was with the Hayyot, some sort of angels and was having a mystical experience close to the experience described in Ezekiel 1. This experience is called Merkabah mystic. I can prove my point. I already worked on the subject earlier. But I didn't expect a Hollywood producer to dig that deep anyway.
  • Yeshua is supposed to be alone. He only responds to Satan's suggestions and resists to the temptations. This is what the Gospels are telling us.*
  • There is a scene where the young man starts farting in the desert and "Yeshua"  ( I mean Evan Mc Gregor of course) bursts out laughing in a ridiculous manner. What image does this give of the noble soul our Lord and Savior truly is to the person who has no idea about Him? This was intentional to belittle Him.
  • "Yeshua "and " Satan" are both played by Evan Mc Gregor. This too was intentional to put the Son of Man on the same level as the devil.
  • There is a lewd scene where Yeshua caresses and kisses the widow of the family father. This is a clear attack on our Messiah's purity.
  • There is a dead body cremation scene. The Torah forbids cremation.
In my eyes the movie is deceiving and misleading in so many ways. It mirrors Yeshua in a bad way.
Moreover it constantly reflects scared and powerless Yeshua, who doesn't seem to know the Father.
To whom who believes and encountered our Messiah's path, Last Days in the Desert is a joke signed by the devil. Do not fall for it.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The misinterpreted words of rabbi Yeshua: a commentary on John 10:34

Only simple minds would belittle our Savior's complex words. Very often, rabbi Yeshua's words are despised and disregarded in the world of unbelievers. 
I've also seen believers who are just content with their pastor or rabbi's interpretation of Yeshua's words. It is so much more comfortable to let someone think in your place and to tell you what to believe, isn't it?
However, this is not how Yeshua wants you to walk with Him!
A true follower of Yeshua should always seek the renewal of the Word by the Spirit and thirst for our Savior.

When reading Yeshua's words, bear in mind that you are always being taught Torah.

Today I'd like to explore the words of John 10:34 with you.
A few days ago, my friend Gail who is a Messianic Jew, raised the question of the difficulty of this words. She was confused about the use and meaning of the word "gods". She asked me  for some insights and I too confessed my ignorance. This pushed me to dig deeper into the very meaning of Yeshua's words.

A verse that is misused to promote New Age theories

New Age gurus are willingly taking our Rabbi's words out of context in order to exalt the ego and to prove that human beings are "gods" with equal power as Hashem's. This is a wicked and distorted interpretation.

I am going to prove my point.

Yeshua's words into context: a rabbinical approach in prophetic perspective

So, WHAT does Yeshua state in John 10:34?

"הלא כתוּב בתוֹרתכם אני אמרתי אתם אלהים"

Ha lo katuv betoratekhem ani amarti atem Elohim

"Is it not written in your Torah, 'I have said: "you are "elohim"?'

(Delitzsch Gospels version)

One difficulty with the following verse is that Yeshua intentionally quotes Psalm 82, verse 6, but speaks about Torah. It is impossible to consider that Yeshua confused Torah and Tehilim ( the Psalms). We also know that John, the disciple, who reports the story, happened to be Torah-savvy as well.

One must understand that Yeshua uses the word Torah by extention to speak about the Tanakh ( Old Testament).

The following source details verse 34 and offers some interesting Torah cross references i.e Exodus 4.16 and Exodus 7:1.

"Moreover he shall speak for you to the people; and he will be as mouth for you and you will be as God to him. You shall take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs". Exodus 4:16
" And the Lord said to Moses: "See I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet." Exodus 7:1

Insights from the Holy Spirit 

Yeshua's words remained unclear to me until the Holy Spirit enlightened Exodus 7:1 for me in correlation with John 10:34.

When you do carry the Spirit of God and you are in a position of power to perform miracles or to apply judgment ( please look up the link I provided above), like the judges usually do, you become an "elohim", a "god". You are a "god", because you act in the same way God does.
Moses has been made like God to the Pharaoh-as he fully represents the Almighty in His manifestations of power.

In conclusion, I'd like to exhort people NOT to be satisfied with popular interpretation of verses. Stop just accepting an interpretation because your priest, pastor or rabbi said it was right to do so!

Back in the first Century, Yeshua said: " You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life;  and it is they that bear withness of me; yet you refuse to come to me to have eternal life." John 5: 39-40

Have a REAL RELATIONSHIP with our Savior. Have the courage to ask Him for insights when you don't understand a verse. Otherwise the Spirit you have received will be of no use.

If you truly love Him, you will develop enough motivation to understand His words in context. Our Lord never refused to quench His disciples' thirst. Always remember that.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A fifth visitation by our Savior ( from Heart of a Savior)

NB: The following image is not linked with my visitation. I just chose it to illustrate the article.

Yeshua's visitations are always very unexpected. I was relaxing at home after dinner. I decided to view the “Shalom Aleichem” video I had discovered a few days earlier. This very anointed video made impression on me. While I was listening to the song, my soul went deep into adoration of the Most High.
The second after I raised my head and glanced at the wall.
My eyes contemplated the Face of the King of the Kings whose traits and long hair I could distinguish. Yeshua's head was surrounded with a big halo of light I had never seen before. Yeshua's majesty was summarized in all details of what He let me contemplate of Him.
Holy is our Lord and His holiness is present in each of the visitations He grants me. Oh reader, join me in high praise, as the words flow out of my mouth.

Glory to Yeshua, the King of the Kings, who reigns for ever and ever!”

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Young Messiah: movie review by Isabelle Esling

The Young Messiah: movie review by Isabelle Esling: Rating: ***I had the opportunity to watch the Young Messiah recently, so here are my thoughts about the new movie release.The fictional movie depicts Yeshua's childhood. It supposedly covers the perio...

Friday, August 19, 2016

Jewish burial customs in the 1st Century and Shroud evidence

The intent of the following article is to dig a little bit deeper into Jewish burial customs of the 1st Century.
I realized that understanding these customs in a proper manner will also clarify our understanding of the reports of the Gospels. In addition, it will shed more light on the way Yeshua was buried.

The burial: a sacred duty in Jewish customs

The Old Testament abounds in examples proving that it was a sacred duty for Jewish people to bury their dead. We also know that, due to the Middle Eastern climate, people had to be taken to rest normally on the very day of their death, because corpses decomposed very rapidly.

It was also viewed as shameful for a family to leave one of their deceased members for days without burying him.

"Then the men of Y'huda came, and they anointed David king over the house of Y'hudah. They informed David that the men of Yavesg-Gil'ad were the ones who had buried Sha'ul. So David sent messengers to the men of Yevesh-Gil'ad with this message: "May you be blessed by Adonai because you showed this kindness to your Lord Sha'ul and buried him. Now may Adonai show kindness and truth to you; and I too will show you favor because you have done this."
2 Samuel 2-4

How people were laid to rest

The Gospels teach us HOW people were laid to rest.

For instance John 11:44 and John 19:40 provide very clear details about the way people were dressed for a burial.

"The man who had died came out, and feet bound in his graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Yeshua told them: " Unwrap him and let him go." John 11:44
"They took the body of Yeshua and bound it in linen cloths with the spices as the burial customs of the Jews." John 19:40

What we must consider about crucifixion

  • crucifixion is a curse, it is defined as such in the Torah...a man hanged on a tree is cursed.
The Torah gives precise indications about handling a crucified person's burial:
" And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God." Deuteronomy 21:22-23
In short, what do the verses of Deuteronomy mean regarding Yeshua's crucifixion? They CLEARLY mean that Yeshua took the curse by God our Father for OUR sins.

  • crucified people would be mocked by Romans, who would often write some kind of sarcastic epitaph on their cross.
  • Pilate considered Yeshua to be innocent, otherwise he would have denied Joseph of Arimathea his demand. Without allies within the Sanhedrin, Yeshua's dead body could have ended up in the common grave.

The story of 21 year old Yehohanan, who lived in the 1st Century will teach you a lot about crucifixion and crucifixion methods used by the Romans.

What the Shroud teaches us about Yeshua's burial

               Yeshua's burial cloths are composed of 2 parts

                                           part 2: Shroud of Turin

part 1: Sudarium of Oviedo ( napkin)

Scientific research has proven that the blood found on the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo belong to the same person, who wore a Crown of thorns ( or rather a helmet of thorns), suffered scourging and crucifixion as described in detail in the Gospels. The Face of the Shroud also confirms what we know from the Gospels: Yeshua was blindfolded and punched in his eyes.

"After blindfolding Him, they kept asking, "Prophesy! Who hit you?" Luke 22:64

Parts of Yeshua's beard are missing, which is also fulfills Isaiah's prophecy:

"I gave my back to those who strike me, and my cheeks to those who pluck out the beard: I did not cover my face from humiliation and spitting." Isaiah 50:6

The Shroud of Turin gives testimony to the world that our Messiah Yeshua is our Passover lamb, whose body has been made a bread of affliction ( a matza) for our Salvation.

Only one person corresponds to this description: Yeshua our Messiah.

Funnily skeptics always base their attacks of the Shroud on the fact that it is one linen piece, willingly ignoring the existence of the Sudarium of Oviedo. The Shroud of Turin does NOT contradict the stories of the Gospels, it confirms the written testimony of the disciples in an astounding way.

The body of Yeshua: washed or unwashed?

Before even arguing if the Man of the Shroud was washed or unwashed we need to understand what Jewish burial customs in the 1st Century imply:

  1. If the person died a regular death, there is an obligation to wash and anoint the body with spices and perfumes before the person gets laid to rest.
  2. In the case of violent death ( which is the case for the Man of the Shroud), body will be laid to rest AS IS.

Again, detractors of the Shroud often speak by ignorance. 

However, the fact that the Man of the Shroud's body had been unwashed made me stumble upon an apparent issue: didn't the Gospels of Mark, Luke and John mention the use of spices and perfumes?
What was that supposed to mean? I broke my head over this issue and asked my friend David Hines, the Shroud researcher, to come to rescue.
David shared his opinion ( that is based on forensic facts that have been proven by several pathologists and Shroud experts). 
David came to the conclusion that the body of the Man of the Shroud was washed to some degree. Is this contradictory? Not at all.

You will judge by yourself as I am sharing his words with you all. I do trust David, not only because of his expertise, but especially because he deeply loves our Lord. David spends much time with our Lord daily and also received some insights from Him.

Quoting David:

"First I do not believe Nicodemus purchased about a 100lb weight of myrrh and aloes to be used on a dead person. 
Meaning he DID NOT buy myrrh and aloes  to be used in a burial.  That was not his plan. 

But to use on a living Jesus.  I believe he purchased the myrrh and aloes to treat scourge wounds thinking Jesus would be scourged and released as would be routine procedure. 
A prisoner is NOT scourged and crucified.  One or the other, not both.  If what happened to the Man in the Shroud was routine procedure the Romans would have been nailing dead corpses to the crosses. 
Jesus/Yeshua is scourged and crucified.  That does not make sense.   

I believe Nicodemus knew how brutal the scourging was and perhaps even witnessed it and purchased the myrrh and aloes to treat scourge wounds.   Myrrh resin was used in war to cover battle wounds.   It is a antiseptic.   
It is not typically used in a Jewish burial that I know of.    Certainly not in that excess. 
Myrrh and aloes in a burial?  That does not make sense.  What makes sense it that it was purchased to treat scourge wounds.  That is exactly what one would purchase to treat scourge wounds.   Aloes for the skin and myrrh would be the perfect purchase to property heal from the brutal scourging. 

I believe Nicodemus having purchased the myrrh and aloes on his behalf brought them to the burial not thinking they would ever be used in a burial but ended up being used in the burial.  Since he bought them for Jesus may as well give them to him type thinking. 
Like Dr. Frederick Zugibe I believe the body was washed to some degree, meaning myrrh and aloes just poured over the body and nothing more.  As a act of purification.   Myrrh resin was used in purification rites. 
I honesty believe that, I can almost picture it,  myrrh and aloes being poured over the body. 

In doing this it did not wash all the blood off, but dirt and perhaps sweat.    So I believe to some degree, a minor degree the body was washed,   Myrrh and aloes poured over the body but not scrubbed down or blood removed.  
Myrrh resin is like tree sap,   it would preserve the blood on the linen.     And there is a thin coat of carbohydrates over the Shroud linen,   the chemcial properties of that carb layer match the chemical properties of myrrh and aleos. .I wrote a paper on it that I will send. 

Dr. Baima Bollone found myrrh and aloes in the blood by antibody antigen testing.  He is a very respected forensic pathologist and had blood samples from the Shroud and performed numerous tests over many years and wrote a book about it.   He also examined the blood from the Sudarium.
As for the women I believe they came with perfumes.  Nothing to wash the body.   Fragrance only. 
Myrrh by itself is not really a good fragrance. it is base for perfumes,.  when mixed with frankincense makes for a perfume.  
Women bought perfume because none was used at the burial. 
I spent a lot of time with the Lord on this.  I know I am right. 
How does one define the word "washed"  that is a very vague term.   For the most part I believe the blood stayed with the body,  with perhaps some loss of the blood when myrrh and aloes were poured over the body.  Bear in mind aloes are 90% water."   

The following study proves that RULE Nr2 ( see above) was applied for the Man of the Shroud.
Not only is the second point still applied in contemporary Jewish burial customs, it also fully proves without a doubt that the Man of the Shroud is a Jewish person.

The sign of Jonas- why Yeshua probably wasn't buried on a Friday: meaning of " Erev Shabbat"

"But He answered them: " An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to except the sign of the prophet Jonah" Matthew 12:39

Why is it important to know if Yeshua fulfilled the prophecy of the Sign of Jonas?

It is a detail of the HIGHEST IMPORTANCE because this is the sign Yeshua promised to His generation, so we would recognize that He is the Messiah.

If Yeshua actually died on a Friday and was resurrected on a Sunday morning, we have bad maths here, that's two nights and a half inside of the tomb, not three days and three nights, in the same way the prophet Jonas remained in the fish's belly.

A lot of people think that the term " erev Shabbat", the eve of Shabbat only refers to Friday evening. Rather the contrary is true. Not only is "Shabbat" used to describe the resting day, it is ALSO used to describe any feast for Adonai such as Pesakh or Sukkot.

Nowhere in the Gospels, it is specified that Yeshua actually died on a Friday. Yeshua died before Shabbat, but this Shabbat could have been any day of the week.

The following study will help you understand the right timing in Yeshua's death and resurrection.

May the Spirit of Adonai help you understand the importance of Yeshua's words and the fulfillement of His prophecies.
May you understand that, if after 2000 years, the piece of linen that we call "Shroud of Turin" is still there, its purpose is not for you to worship it, but it truly testifies of the Resurrection of our Lord.
The details of our Lord's suffering are encrypted for you to remember the HIGH PRICE Yeshua paid for your sins.

May you come to repentance and be saved in His powerful Name. Amen.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My two cents about the 'Risen" movie

Rating: 3 stars

I have been able to watch the movie "Risen" a few days ago. Before I could even watch the movie I have seen some extreme reactions from people: while some people hailed the movie as a great movie, some others were just bashing it, describing it as "intentionally misleading" and " Illuminati stuff".

My reaction to the movie will be in the middle. I think that there are some positive sides to underline, but there are also some details that I dislike and I won't hide them from you.

The positive side of the movie

The fictional story of Clavius, played by Joseph Fiennes depicts the story of an unbeliever who happened to be an eyewitness on the scene of the crucifixion.

This man, who sacrificed to foreign god Mars and who is full of violence decides to investigate about the death of Yeshua and the mysterious conditions of disappearance of His body. His first goal is to disprove all rumors of the rabbi's resurrection.
Meeting resurrected Yeshua in the presence of the disciples is a life-changing experience that transforms Clavius into a new man.

The details I dislike about the movie:

-Cliff Curtis doesn't convince me in the role of Yeshua for several reasons. The actor seems to be deprived of emotions. I don't feel that he is compassionate and loving. He seems cold to me.

-the actor is dressed in dark clothes and when we look at him from afar, he looks like a dark entity...isn't Yeshua supposed to be the light of the world, and as such, be a reflection of light, even in the way He dresses up?

- My eyes have been granted to see my Messiah 4 times. My ears have heard His voice and I have felt His loving touch. Yeshua as I know Him is a loving and caring person. Yeshua cares in the tiniest details and His love is visible in the person He touches. This kind of love doesn't appear in the movie as far as I am concerned, despite the miracles scenes.

- the movie makes the disciples appear as simple fools. One is tempted to think that they are supersticious and idiots with simplistic views. One could even think that they are practicing some kind of witchcraft. Somebody who never read the Bible will not understand easily what they believe in and their connection to the Jewish world.

- in the same way, the person who is ignorant of Scriptures will remember from the movie that " God appears to people in the form of a "crazy rabbi"". Nowhere Yeshua is shown as the fulfilling of the prophecies.

-another point bothers me even more: showing the disciples utter IHVH.

Why? Because in the first Century, only priests at the temple were allowed to do so. I am convinced that Yeshua and His disciples always showed great deference towards our Father's Name and refrained from pronouncing it aloud.

All in all, I think that the idea of starting from the investigation of a non-believer who comes to faith in Yeshua is good. But Mika Waltari did it much better in his book "The Secret of the Kingdom."

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

Monday, August 15, 2016

Thomas, a man of faith

To a great majority of people, Thomas, Yeshua's disciple has become the epitome of the doubter. The expression " doubting Thomas" is so popular that many people end up bragging: "I am like Thomas. I only believe what I see."
I am going to prove you that Yeshuda Toma aka Thomas Didymus, nicknamed the "twin", was actually a man of faith. Actually, you will never see Thomas with the same eyes after reading the following article.

Zechariah's prophecy and the disciples state of mind after Yeshua's crucifixion

All Gospel quotes are from Franz Delitzsch Gospels and the verse of Zechariah is from Tanakh.

picture from the movie "Thomas"

"Strike the shepherd, and the sheep be scattered, and I will turn against the insignificant ones"
 Zechariah 13:7
        הַךְ אֶת הָרֹעֶה וּתְפוּצֶיןָ הַצֹּאן וַהֲשִׁבֹתִי יָדִי עַל הַצֹּעֲרִים

Many people ( especially non believers) think that Yeshua's disciples were cowards and traitors to their Master. Yet I don't think that any of us would have done better.

Always bear in mind that you all know that Yeshua is the Messiah. Although they all shared His friendship, saw Him, ate with Him, laughed with Him and cried for rescue when they felt threatened, the disciples had no precise idea about WHO Yeshua actually was. Only Shim'on Petros, Peter revealed His identity once, because the Holy Spirit revealed it to him.

Many disciples expected Yeshua to deliver Israel from the Roman oppressors. The Messiah was supposed to put everything in order and to restore peace.

Now imagine the precious friend who was part of their daily life, whom they had set all their hopes in, gets betrayed and dies the painful death of a criminal ( for a Jewish person, it was a shame to get crucified. This punishment was reserved to the worst criminals.)

The disciple were really hit hard by Yeshua's death. They were hopeless. At the same time they were fearing persecution and had to hide.

The Gospel of John clearly tells us that the disciples did not understand that the Messiah had to suffer according to the prophecies and to rise from the dead after three days;

"For they did not understand what was written, that He would rise from the dead" John, Chapter 20, verse 9

Thomas' quotes in the Gospels

Yeshua appears to Thomas 

"Toma who is called Didumos, one of the Twelve had not been in their midst when Yeshua entered.
The rest of the disciples told him about, saying: " We have surely seen the Master!"
He said to them: "If I do not see the wound marks of the nails in His hands, put my finger on the place of the nails and put my hand on His side, I will not believe." John 20:24-29

"At the end of the 8 days, the disciples were in the house a second time and Toma was with them.
Yeshua entered, and yet the doors were closed. He stood among them and said: "Shalom to you."
After that, He said to Toma: " Extend your finger here and look at my hands. Reach your hand here and place it on my side. Do not let your faith be lacking, but rather believe." Toma answered and said to him: "My Master and my God" (אדֹני ואלֹהי)
Yeshua said to him: "Because you have seen me, you believe. O gladness of those who believe yet do not see."

From a personal point of view, I feel a lot of empathy for Thomas, because, in some ways, I am quite similar. I mean, I have always been a believer, even in my worst sinning days. I've always loved Yeshua. I cannot think of one time that I hated our Lord. Even when I rejected Him openly, my heart still had a secret corner where He was loved. I used to believe, but I think that I have been a big doubter as well, on many occasions, and even after Yeshua approached me.

Yeshua knows that I needed to feel, to hear and to see Him...and, in His immense goodness, He granted me the desire of my heart.
He granted it to me because I was committed to do His will.

Now back to Thomas: often people do not understand that Thomas, as a disciple, has always been a man of faith. Thomas loved Yeshua very much and he was heartbroken when Yeshua died on the Cross. His pain was so immense that he didn't want to be fooled by some kind of " hallucination" from his friends that he probably thought to be desperate enough to imagine Yeshua alive before them. He wanted to experience by himself. Note that immediately after seeing and touching Yeshua, Thomas utters a strong confession of faith: "Adonai ve Elohai"  (אדֹני ואלֹהי), my Lord and my God.

This expression is also linked with a personal experience I had with Yeshua. One night, I fell asleep and I saw Yeshua standing before me, all dressed in white, and, eyes closed, I stated twice: "My Lord and my God". If you are curious to read it, I shared this experience in An Encounter with Yeshua.

Thomas' enigmatic quote from John 11:16

Thomas, who is called Didymus  said to his fellow disciples: "Let us go as well, so that we may die with him."

If we single it out from the whole text of John 11, it becomes even more deranging. Therefore I will quote the preceding verses:

"After He spoke things like this, He said to them, "our beloved Lazar ( Eleazar, Lazarus) is asleep, I am going, so that I may wake him.
The disciples said to Him: "My Master, if he is sleeping, he will recover.

Yeshua was speaking about his death, but they thought that He was speaking about sleeping for rest."

The answers of the disciples point at some state of spiritual blindness or maybe a refusal to accept the hypothesis of Lazarus' physical death. Yeshua uses a metaphor that they are unable to decipher.
So Yeshua needs to them plainly.

"Then Yeshua said to them plainly: "Lazar is dead."  I am glad for your sake that I was not there so that you may believe. And now let us travel and go to him."

Yeshua will resurrect Lazarus so the disciples may BELIEVE.

As Yeshua is inviting His disciples to travel and go to see Lazarus, Thomas makes this enigmatic statement:

"Let us go as well, so that we may die with him."

A lot of scholars have used this statement to make Thomas look like a pessimistic, negative and maybe suicidal character. 
I must say that this verse intrigued me, this is the least I can say, so I asked our Lord to open my understanding of it.

I am not going to give you a classical interpretation, this is what I saw, with the help of the Spirit:
After Yeshua spoke of the reality of Lazarus' death, He made it clear that He would perform a miracle. He would resurrect His dead friend and bring the disciples to faith by performing this act.
In this instant we can assume that Thomas became conscious of the symbolism of death and resurrection, realizing that one must die at first before being reborn.

The Gospel of John is very subtle and intended to allow the committed disciple reach spiritual heights with the help of the Spirit. It is very uplifting when you allow the Spirit to direct your read.

The "Gospel of Thomas"

I've read the Gospel of Thomas back in the 90's  out of curiosity. While it is often slated for being " gnostic", I didn't find anything really negative in it. Other people consider it to be a " lost Gospel". Frankly, I would have to re-read it in order to reformulate a sharper opinion about it. But I'll let you judge by yourselves and have a look at the document that supposedly carries some "secret words" of Yeshua.

The movie "Thomas"

I've watched this movie a few months ago. It unveils Thomas' emotional side and love for Yeshua our Messiah. Just have a look and judge by yourself.

Thomas' mission

According to the following article,Thomas supposedly died in the year 72 as a martyr.
Thomas is said to have traveled to India in order to preach the Gospel.
A lot of stories and legends have been built around Yeshua's disciple. I won't get into details as I think sticking to the Gospels is much safer.

While I was apologizing to our Lord for my doubting character, Yeshua told me: "It is better to have Thomas' faith than none." 
If you love Yeshua and you are committed to Him, single moments of doubt will not compromise your faith. Walk in humbleness with Yeshua, as the disciples did.
Sometimes they failed at their task miserably. Thomas did. But most importantly, he loved Yeshua and after doubting, he came back with a stronger faith and testimony.
We are just human. Our Lord understands when we doubt and He comes to our rescue.
You might doubt a lot of things. However, never doubt His immense love and compassion, for it lasts for ever and ever.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Joseph of Arimathea, who was he?

Joseph of Arimathea is a key figure in the Gospels. Prominent member of the Sanhedrin, secret disciple of Yeshua, Joseph is described as " righteous and good man" ( a tsaddiq). We know that Joseph came from Ramatayim ( Arimathea) in Judea.
He is known to have bought a pure linen shroud to wrap Yeshua's body after he descended Him from the Cross. Our Father, in His immense mercy, has preserved the pure linen shroud in which Yeshua's body has been wrapped and that carries Yeshua's image for 2000 years. This shroud is known worldwide as the Shroud of Turin.

Joseph of Arimathea's role might look insignificant at first sight, when we examine the reports of the Gospels superficially. However, one has to consider that this rich and influent man is the one to allow Yeshua to have a more than decent burial, with the honors that a true King actually deserves.

We know from the Gospels that Joseph was waiting for the Kingdom of God.

Joseph of Arimathea in the Gospel of Matthew

Through Matthew's mouth, the following details about Joseph of Arimathea are available:

" In the evening, there came a rich man from Ramatayim ( Arimathea) named Yosef, and he was also one of the disciples of Yeshua. He approached Pilatos to request the body of Yeshua and Pilatos offered for it to be given to him.
Yosef took the body and wrapped it into a pure linen garment ( besadin tahor in Hebrew).
He placed it in the new tomb that was hewn for him in the rock, rolled a large stone over the entrance of the tomb and left.
Myriam HaMagdalit and the other Myriam were sitting there, facing the tomb."

Matthew 27:57-60 Franz Delitzsch version ( Hebrew Gospels)

From Matthew's mouth we learn that Yosef was originally of Judea. The detail is of importance, because Pilate was the procurator of Judea. As a Judean having authority within the Sanhedrin, Yosef was entitled to reclaim Yeshua's body.
He was rich, so he could afford to buy a piece of pure linen to envelop Yeshua's body ( the Shroud of Turin is very expensive material) and he could also provide a newly cut tomb for Him. Thanks to this man, who happened to also be a disciple of our Lord, Yeshua would be given honors in death.
בסדין טהור besadin tahor, pure sheet-tahor is an adjective visible in Psalm 51, lev tahor, pure heart)
Especially the verse about the shroud is very interesting in Hebrew. Matthew chooses another word than John.
ויקח יוסף את הגויה ויכרך אותה בסדין טהור
Yosef took the body and wrapped it into a pure linen garment.

This is what Mark reports about Joseph of Arimathea

Interestingly, Mark uses the same word as Matthew to describe the Shroud ( sadin)...and he purchased a sheet ( vehou kana sadin והוּא קנה סדין )
" The time of the evening arrived, and since it was erev Shabbat, which is the day before Shabbat, Yosef haRamati came, a respected counselor, who was awaiting the Kingdom of God; he strengthened himself and came to Pilatos, and he asked for the body of Yeshua.
Pilatos was amazed that he was dead, and he called the centurion and asked him if he already died. He was informed by the centurion that it was so, and he gave the body as a gift to Yosef.
He purchased a sheet ( sadin  in Hebrew), took Him down, wrapped Him in the sheet, placed Him in a tomb sewn into the rock and rolled a stone at the entrance of the rock. Myriam haMagdalit and the other Myriam the mother of Yosei saw the place where He was put." 

Mark 15:42-47 Franz Delitzsch version ( Hebrew Gospels)

We know from Mark that people were all in a hurry, because of the preparation of Shabbat.
Yosef is described as a respected counselor. He had Scripture knowledge and was awaiting the Kingdom of God.
His act of requesting Yeshua's body was an act of courage. It was also recognizing publicly that he was in favor of Yeshua, which wasn't easy because of the weight of the hateful members of the Sanhedrin.
Yosef is described as the person who bought the shroud, descended Yeshua from the Cross and placed it into a new tomb.

Although great quantities of naive and unrealistic paintings of Joseph of Arimathea exist all over the internet, one must bear in mind that this man was a member of the Sanhedrin and is more likely to have worn clothes that had to do with his official counselor functions, so rather like the picture above.

Luke's presentation of Joseph of Arimathea

"There was a man named Yosef who was one of the counselors, a good and righteous (tsaddiq in Hebrew) manfrom the Ramatayim, a town of the Yehudim who had not gone along with their plans or their actions. He was waiting for the Kingdom of God.
He approached Pilatos and asked for the body of Yeshua. He took it down and wrapped it in sheets ( besadinim- plural here singular sadin) and he placed it into a rock where no person had placed him yet.
The day was Erev Shabbat and Shabbat was arriving.

Some of the women who came with him from the Galil and followed him saw the tomb and that his body was placed in it. They returned and prepared spices and perfumes, but on Shabbat day they rested according to the mitsvah."

Luke, chapter 23, verses 50-56 Franz Delitzsch version

We know from Luke's report that Yosef, Joseph of Arimathea, was a "good" and " righteous" man  ( a tsaddiq in Hebrew.)

Most importantly, never has Joseph been an accomplice of some Sanhedrin member's wicked plans to harm and murder Yeshua. He was waiting for the Kingdom of God and reclaimed Yeshua's body to Pilate. 
Erev Shabbat was approaching. People were in a hurry. Luke's text indicates that the use of Joseph's newly cut tomb was for a temporary use.

Again I'd like to address all the people who think that observing Shabbat is obsolete. If it really was, why would Luke put an emphasis on observing the mitsvah? 
Remember that people were afflicted by Yeshua's death, they really wanted to honor Him in death, but would observe Adonai's rest in any case.

John reveals the presence of Nicodemus.

"Hatakhrikhim munakhim" =התכיריכין מֻנחים = Shroud 

" After this, Yosef haRamati (of the Ramatayim) came. He was a disciple of Yeshua secretly on the account of the Yehudim and he requested for Pilatos to permit him to take the body of Yeshua.
Nakdimon ( Nicodemus) also came, who earlier had come to Yeshua at night, and he bought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about one hundred litrin. They took the body of Yeshua and wrapped it in burial garments ( translated as shown above)  with the spices according to the customs of the Yehudim for burying the dead. In the place where He was crucified , there was a garden, and in the garden there was a new tomb which no dead person had been placed until then. 
They placed Yeshua there because it was Erev Shabbat for the Yehudim and the tomb was nearby."

John 19:38-42

John tells us that Yeshua had at least two allies in the Sanhedrin, who were secret disciples: Joseph and Nicodemus. Thanks to both men, Yeshua will be given decent honors in death- the honors due to His rank. The presence of the spices points at the burial of a prominent person.
I provided you with a link within the text of John which is a detailed study by Shroud of Turin experts. The myrrh and the aloes have been found on the piece of linen and the study will offer you many insights about Jewish burial customs as well.
John locates the tomb as the Garden Tomb and he also points at a temporary burial due to Erev Shabbat approaching.

Shroud story

Please allow me to share some insights I received thanks to David Hines, who dedicates much of his time to Shroud of Turin investigations.

It is quite amazing that the Shroud of Turin is still there, 2000 years after Yeshua's Resurrection to testify about the realness of the event.

Here is what David Hines shared with me about Yeshua's precious burial cloth. Quoting David:

" John does not record in his gospel the purchase of the Shroud, but what he saw in the tomb after the linen was purchased.

The Shroud was one piece when it came into the tomb and it was cut into two pieces. a 14' strip was cut from the left side and was used to wrap around the Shroud.
That is why John uses the plural sense of the word othinion Spelled like this.  ὀθόνια
This word means fine linen cloths. or linen cloths.
 He is describing both the Shroud, the strip of linen and the head cloth 3 pieces. That is why he used the plural sense of the word linen cloths instead of cloth and why Mathew, Mark and Luke do not.

Because the Shroud was 1 piece of linen originally and became 2 pieces. The strip removed was later sewn back on. Still has blood drops on it. On a closing note, the person who sewed this back on did a fantastic job. Likely the best sewing job of their life. Hats off to that person whoever it was!"

If you are curious to know more about the Shroud of Turin, please visit;

David's words make sense to me, as they fully explain the use of singular and plural words to define Yeshua's burial cloth.
To the attentive reader, the Gospels are a precious mine of information. Use it wisely!

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

Featured Post

Yeshua's trial: un unfair mascarade of justice

The holidays had just ended. I was back to school, aged 15, and  ready to meet our new religion teacher. "Another annoying guy&quo...