When I was a boy, one of the only Jewish holidays my family celebrated was Chanukah (the other was Passover), but if you had told me that one day I would write an entire book about the Festival of Lights, I would have said you were a couple of candles short of a menorah! Now all these years later, I’m delighted about the newly released “Real Story of Chanukah,” because it truly puts the modern holiday in perspective by placing it against the backdrop of its factual history.
But what really excites me about the new book is that its message is so Messianic… not because it shows you Yeshua in the chanukiyyah, but because the real story of Chanukah is about being completely sold-out, zealous, crazy-on-fire—dedicated—to Adonai. I love this kind of message!
In The Real Story of Chanukah (which quotes at length from the apocryphal, yet historically reliable books of 1&2 Maccabees), we get to witness the struggles of a handful of average, everyday Jewish people during the intertestamental period. Against the overwhelming anti-Semitic and assimilating forces of their day, we see these valiant, devout few as they fight for the God and the Torah they love, in order to restore Israel to faithful fellowship with God. The story is just incredible—it’s vivid, moving, and, at times, almost beyond belief. And it’s within this context that I was able to unpack the Messianic message, illustrating how, according to the Scriptures, we too can and must be completely dedicated to the cause of Yeshua.
I believe that this is an important book, not just because it offers a unique perspective and insight regarding the holiday, but because the message of the story behind the holiday is an inspiring source of encouragement and exhortation… it’s Scripture put into action in peoples’ lives… it’s a commentary on the social issues of our day… it’s a warning for what we may be headed toward in the future.
If you already have a copy of the audio teaching upon which this book is based, I want to encourage you to pick up a copy of the book as well. The audio teaching covers the essential topics and story that is contained in the book, along with the emotion and dynamics that only come from a live presentation, but the book has considerably more material, and goes into detail that I wasn’t able to cover in the original teaching. In the book, I’m able to deal with other related topics that round out the entire discussion as it pertains to the issues raised by the holiday of Chanukah—and, believe me, there are quite a few.
I think my closing thoughts from The Real Story of Chanukah’s preface best sum up my reason for writing this book, and it reads as follows:
You may know next to nothing about the Feast of Dedication; you may love and cherish it as a meaningful time of year. My aim with this message is not to dash your view of Chanukah upon the rocks. Instead, my hope is that you will be stirred and inspired to abandon all that has doused your fire for God, and to be reignited with a burning passion for righteousness, holiness, and the zealous life for Adonai.
May the real story of Chanukah cause you to wholly commit yourself to God—to be restored to who He has made you to be—forsaking everything you hold dear, and even yourself… devoted and dedicated… to the death.
I think you’ll be challenged, exhorted, and inspired by The Real Story of Chanukah—the miraculous story you never knew…
We are very excited to announce the release of the newly revised (and hopefully final!) edition of Behold the Lamb, a Scripture-based Haggadah for a modern, Messianic Passover memorial ‘avodah (Hebrew for “service”, “rite”, or “ceremony”).
The Passover experience facilitated by Behold the Lamb is an uncommon, untraditional departure from the usual Passover seder, set apart by its unique and unapologetic use of Scripture—approximately ninety percent of the Behold the Lamb Haggadah is nothing more than a compilation of relevant passages from the Word… and nothing tells a story better than Scripture!
In addition to the groundbreaking Haggadah, Behold the Lamb also includes a 20+ page supplementary section containing recipes for delicious homemade matzah, an introduction to our unconventional children’s crafts, and pages of brand new teaching material on Passover topics that we have never seen treated in any other publication, Messianic or otherwise.
In 2007, we published the Discipleship Edition of Being a Disciple of Messiah: Building Character for an effective walk in Yeshua, and it has since been used by many home groups, bible studies, for leadership training, youth groups and more. We realized, however, that not everyone is able to make use of a book that has a workbook format, so we decided to add the Bookshelf Edition to the Messianic Life lineup. The Bookshelf Edition, published in November 2009, contains the same material as the Discipleship Edition; the difference is that the Bookshelf version does not have the workbook questions and activities, and the book itself is a smaller size—more suitable for your bookshelf.
About the importance of discipleship, Kevin says, “Many of us really have no clue what discipleship is all about. We vaguely think it has something to do with evangelism, or perhaps taking a class on the foundations of the faith. But real discipleship—true discipleship—is what the Master exemplified for us. He called people to follow Him and be like Him. If we’re truly living for God—and even if we’re struggling with it, but faithfully trying—we have something to offer those who don’t yet know Him, and those who need to know Him more. I love this book because it hits at core topics that every believer in Yeshua needs to have settled in their lives. These topics are linch-pins in our walk with the Master, and we need to get these down—get these solid, deep within us—if we ever hope to be productive servants in God’s Reign. I promise two things from this book: one, you will be lovingly, but firmly challenged; and two, you will be encouraged to be the complete, whole and effective disciple that you have already been remade to be!”
Click here to learn more about Being a Disciple of Messiah.
When asked why he wanted to write this brief work about Yom Kippur, Kevin responded, “‘Deny Yourself’ is not just about making meaningful, practical application for the holiest day of the year. This is what the Master told us to do: deny ourselves. In order to serve Yeshua, we have to stop existing–we need to supercede all our wants, desires and needs, and completely replace them with the Master’s instructions. In 2009–and it’s been this way for a long, long time–the Body of Messiah is a cultured, civilized, domesticated religion. It’s all about us and what we can get from God. The message of ‘Deny Yourself’ is the message of Scripture: it’s not about us at all–it’s about emptying ourselves just like Yeshua did and unselfishly serving God and everyone else.”
To learn more about Deny Yourself, or to order your copy, please visit http://denyyourself.perfect-word.org/.
January 20, 2009, Phoenix, AZ. Kevin appeared as a guest on Jewish Voice Today with Jonathan Bernis to give his testimony about how he came to faith in Yeshua, and to talk about discipleship and daily devotion to God. Filmed before a live studio audience, the show originally aired the week of February 22, 2009.