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FFOZ Blogs

Timely updates, teaching, videos and inside information about what's happening at First Fruits, written by staff members and guest contributors.

From: D. Thomas Lancaster

D. Thomas Lancaster is Director of Education at First Fruits of Zion, the author of the Torah Club programs and several books and study programs. He is also the pastor of Beth Immanuel Sabbath Fellowship in Hudson, WI (www.bethimmanuel.org).


Fall of the Temple

Tags: destruction of Jerusalem, fast of Av, tisha b'Av, tisha be'av

The rebels were slain and defeated everywhere they turned. A great number of them were weak and unarmed. They had their throats cut wherever they were caught. All around the altar lay dead bodies heaped one upon another. The ramp going up the altar ran with their blood. The dead bodies that were slain above slid down the ramp. (Josephus)


A Rabbi for the Whole Messianic Movement

Tags: Isaac Lichtenstein, Vine of David

Rabbi Isaac Lichtenstein, of most blessed memory, left this earth on Hoshana Rabbah, the year of 5669 (1908), during the happy season of Sukkot. Hoshana Rabbah is the seventh day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the 21st day of Tishrei. His Yahrzeit this year will fall on Wednesday, October 15.


Elementary Principles

Tags: Elementary Principles; Hebrews 6:1-2

Sometimes it’s not easy finding the right name for a book. The title Elementary Principles: Six Foundational Principles of Ancient Jewish Christianity does not have a great hook, but it’s the title we selected for this collection of teachings on Hebrews 6:1-2 after trying several other equally blasé titles: Basics; Basic Teachings of Christ; Initiation; The Apostolic Catechism; Spiritual Milk and so forth. Sometimes a great snazzy title just doesn’t...


Join us for the Israel Study Tour

Every disciple of Yeshua should visit the Holy Land at least once. Join me and my brother Steven Lancaster of Biblical Backgrounds for a fabulous study trip to the holy land of our Master Yeshua this fall. This is not just a tourist trip. We will be embarking on a serious study tour. We will be learning the land of the Bible from north to south. We will follow in the footsteps of Yeshua and see Nazareth, Capernaum, Bethsaida, Lake Galilee, Mount Hermon, Jericho, and of course, the holy city of Jerusalem.


Bush steps in Messianic Judaism

Generally speaking, the Jewish community has had a fairly good relationship with bushes, ever since Moses heard God speaking to him from within a burning bush on Mount Sinai. So how did former President Bush manage to inadvertently infuriate Jews all across America last month? The trouble started when the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute (MJBI) in Dallas scheduled former President George Bush as the keynote speaker at its November 14,...


Peter's Bones

Simon Peter’s bones have been identified. That’s what Pope Francis suggests.This Thursday (Tevet 9) is the traditional anniversary of Simon Peter’s death according to Jewish tradition. At First Fruits of Zion, we keep Tevet 9 as Peter’s Yartzeit. In honor of the day, I thought I should say something about Peter’s bones, since they were in the news again a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago, Pope Francis and...


Simple Chanukah Gifts

Tags: Beth Immanuel Messianic Minnesota, Chanukah, Simple Gifts, Thanksgiving, Troy Mitchell

This year, Chanukah and the American holiday of Thanksgiving converge.This convergence has not happened since the 1800’s, and it will not occur again in our lifetimes. Chabad.org features an interesting article about the convergence. In honor of this rare moment, Troy Mitchell has released a mash-up of the traditional Thanksgiving song, “Simple Gifts” and the traditional Chanukah song, “Ma’oz Tzur.” Troy Mitchell is the worship leader at the Minnesota-area Messianic...


More posts by D. Thomas Lancaster


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