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Sukkotin’

Here’s what’s coming on Hebrew Nation Radio on Monday, October 9:
What are you doing for Sukkot – the Feast of Tabernacles? The Jewish people have celebrated Sukkot for over three thousand years – finding creative and meaningful ways to mark this special appointment with the Creator. The Torah Awakening among non-Jews has now added a number of new traditions from Ephraimites and others around the world who have begun to take seriously the commandment to mark this time with great joy:
You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice. (Deuteronomy 16:13-15)
In this show, Mike and Al guide us through a tour of Sukkot at two different locations in the Southeastern USA. You may be surprised at who turns up as our guests!

Remnant Road 02The Remnant Road, with co-hosts Al McCarn, Mike Clayton, Barry Phillips, and Hanoch Young is the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  You can listen live at 11:00–1:00 EST, 8:00-10:00 PST at http://hebrewnationonline.com/, and on podcast at any time.

© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2017.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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Israel 2016: Days of Transition

imageComing to Jerusalem at the invitation of the Almighty for one of His feasts means stepping into a bubble of time and space.  It is holy and joyous, but like all good things is must end at some point.  My friend Pete has written about the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles our families shared in the moshav (village) of Gi’vat Ye’arim.  I cannot improve on what he shared in his post called Embraced!  (To read it, please go here:  https://natsab.com/2016/10/24/embraced/)

Our farewell to Gi’vat Ye’arim arrived on October 25.  We travelled from there in three cars to Ariel, site of the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress.  The plan as to take the highway to the coast and drive up Route 2 along the Mediterranean, then stop at Mount Carmel where Elijah defeated the prophets of Ba’al (I Kings 18), and from there go to Ariel.  We did not count on Tel Aviv traffic!  Before long we became separated, leaving my wife, Charlayne, our daughter Katie, Pete’s son Jeremiah, and myself to make our own way.

It turned out to be a very pleasant journey.  We did dip our feet in the sea at Caesarea, where the old Roman aqueduct still stands.  The calm blue of the water captured our admiration, but could not keep me from remembering that the ships of at least five navies were playing games of cat-and-mouse not that far away in the deadly dance over Syria.  Such thoughts are never far away when one is in Israel.  And yet they did not diminish our enjoyment of Caesarea that day.

As we resumed the journey, we drove to and through the Mount Carmel National Park.  The views are splendid, the roads wind up and down the hills, and sometimes large trucks slow the journey.  Driving through the Druze town on the slopes of the Carmel Range was a cultural experience – made more interesting by a wrong turn down a side street.  (Hint:  never, ever, ever do that in the Middle East!)

Eventually we arrived at the Carmelite monastery which is the traditional site of Elijah’s victory.  There we were reunited with our friends, thanks to the timely arrival of several tour busses why I blocked their cars in the parking lot for an hour!  We had time to take in the stunning views of the Jezreel Valley and of the imposing statue of Elijah on its tall pedestal before continuing on to our final destination:  the Eshel Hashomron Hotel in Ariel.

Since arriving here we have enjoyed continuous fellowship with old and new friends from 15 countries and six continents.  The Congress convened last night, October 26, with a review of the First Congress by Ephraim and Rimona Frank, and reports from delegates of the participating countries.  Mike Clayton provided a short exhortation from Scripture which set the tone for these five days.  He pointed out that Judah’s returning exiles in the days of Nehemiah celebrated Sukkot (Tabernacles) after building Jerusalem’s wall, and then assembled on the 24th day of the seventh month to fast, pray, read the Torah, and declare their repentance and allegiance to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to His covenant (see Nehemiah 8 and 9).  As Mike pointed out, we returning Ephraimites just happen to have assemble on the 24th day of the seventh Hebrew month to convene our Congress for the same purpose.  As in all things of YHVH, that is not a coincidence.

The evening ended with a time of worship and dance, featuring a powerful dance presentation by the Dutch group Mahanaim (Two Camps).  They depicted two brides – Judah in white and Ephraim in red – who separated, fought with one another, and in the end were reunited by the same Bridegroom they both love.  Their performance established a worshipful tone which introduced Andrew Hodkinson of South Africa to lead us all in song and dance.  Those of us who joined the dance circle had come from Holland, England, Fiji, Australia, Sweden, South Africa, the USA.  Together we danced as one people, brought near by the Messiah we adore to the brother we have longed to embrace here in this land of Israel.  At the of the evening, Ed Boring of the USA led us all in singing Hatikvah – Israel’s national anthem.  It could not have been a better ending to these days of transition.

The Roman accused the at Caesarea.

The Roman aqueduct at Caesarea.

image

On the beach at Caesarea.

On the beach at Caesarea.

Statue of Elijah's Victory over the prophets of Ba'al at Mount Carmel.

Statue of Elijah’s Victory over the prophets of Ba’al at Mount Carmel.

Enjoying the view at Mount Carmel.

Enjoying the view at Mount Carmel.

The Jezreel Valley as seen from Mount Carmel.

The Jezreel Valley as seen from Mount Carmel.

Delegates from 15 countries assemble for the Second B'ney Yosef National Congress at the Eshel Hashomron Hotel in Ariel.

Delegates from 15 countries assemble for the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress at the Eshel Hashomron Hotel in Ariel.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2016.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Israel 2016: Between the Surreal and a Holy Place

Our plan today was to visit the Kotel (Western Wall) and then go shopping.  At least that was the general outline.  Pete and I had other things in mind – activities which involved more walking and exploration, and less exchange of hard currency.  It would be cheaper, of course, but more importantly, it would help vigorous teenage boys expend more energy and perhaps enjoy their time in Jerusalem a little more.

Worshippers at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem for Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), October 23, 2016.

Worshipers at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem for Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), October 23, 2016.

We are now veterans at navigating Jerusalem.  Drive through Ein Kerem (hometown of John the Baptist) up to Mount Herzl, get on the light rail, and ride to the City Hall.  Walk down to the Jaffa Gate, and wind our way through the Jewish Quarter to the Kotel.  It was easy – aside from forgetting to remove my wallet from my pocket at the security checkpoint.  Not a problem, other than embarrassment when the sensor announced my faux pas.  The officer was patient and professional; he sees this a thousand times a day.  Put the wallet on the table, go back through the sensor, and all is well.

This is my third time to the Kotel.  It’s the first time for the young people with us.  The women went to their side, leaving the six of us men to move through the crowds on our side.  Tommy and Pete led the way, followed by Pete’s sons Jeremiah, Joseph, and Silas.  I brought up the rear.  Eventually we found space at the wall where all of us could touch the ancient stones and pray side by side.  What I prayed recalled the words of the Son of David who dedicated this holy place above us:

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth?  Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You.  How much less this temple which I have built!  Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You today:  that Your eyes may be open toward this temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place.  And may You hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place.  Hear in heaven Your dwelling place; and when You hear, forgive.  (I Kings 8:27-30 NKJV)

Why do we pray toward Jerusalem?  That is why.  It is His city, the place He has chosen from all the places on this planet.  The one place where His visible glory appeared and remained for centuries – and will return one day.

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Israel 2016: A Quantum Leap Toward the One New Man

bfb161022-take-two-tabletsThere is an old joke about Moses standing on Mount Sinai waiting the hear from YHVH.  The hand of the Almighty appears with the Ten Commandments written on stone, and a great Voice says, “Take these two tablets and call me in the morning”.

It is funny because it is not a joke.  We know what happened:  Moses took the tablets with the Ten Commandments back to the people of Israel, but when he found them celebrating in idolatrous revelry (oddly enough, in worship of YHVH by pagan means), he threw down those tablets written by the Finger of God and shattered them.

Parents should have special insight about YHVH’s reaction to all of this.  First, He punished everyone – both the instigators who provoked the people to disobedience, as well as the willfully ignorant who allowed themselves to be led astray.  Even those who stood by and let it happen did not escape His notice.  Do we not act similarly when our children embark on a path of foolishness that wrecks the house?

That was the negative reaction.  What came next was His solution to the problem:  He directed Moses to clean up the mess.  Consider these words:

And the Lord said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke.  So be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself to Me there on the top of the mountain.  (Exodus 34:1-2 NKJV)

In other words, “Bring two tablets and call me in the morning.”

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Israel 2016: The Kind Face in the Hijab

For three consecutive days in this Holy Land called Israel I have become acquainted with the immense progress of YHVH’s Kingdom plans.  Over that same period I have become acquainted with how utterly inadequate I am in this process.

Inadequate?  Yes.  Indispensable?  No. 

Jerusalem's Light Rail, venue for more miracles than can one might expect.

Jerusalem’s Light Rail, venue for more miracles than one might expect.

Moses, by his own confession, was inadequate, and the Almighty did not deny his protests.  Yet no one would argue that Moses was indispensable in the process of bringing our ancient people out of Egypt in the First Exodus.  So am I no less indispensable to this process of bringing home the rest of YHVH’s covenant people.

The truth is that everyone is indispensable.  Each man, woman, and child who steps up to the high calling of bringing tangible reality to the Creator’s Kingdom is indispensable.  Each one who shirks that call diminishes the Kingdom in ways that at the moment only the angels know – and weep over.

As I am learning, this is not simply a Christian kingdom, nor a Jewish kingdom, nor a Messianic or Hebrew Roots kingdom, but the Commonwealth of Israel instituted by Holy God.  His revelation comes in multiple pieces and levels and ways.  It comes to Jews, Christians, Hebraic believers in Yeshua, and many others we may not now recognize as fellow Israelites.  It is bigger than we think, but its glory wanes when we think we have it figured out and insist that others endorse our singular view of it.

It is a miraculous Kingdom.  Perhaps not the miraculous that we may expect, such as oceans dividing to make a dry path, or mountains crumbling, or masses of sick people instantly healed.  Those miracles have, do now, and will occur.  Yet the miracles all around us are hardly recognized as such today.  I lived through one a few nights ago, when ten of us Hebrew believers of Christian backgrounds shared a fine supper in the Orthodox Jewish sukka of my new friend Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz.  

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Israel 2016: Different Shades of Right

bfb161018-trip-north

Today we traveled to the Far North.  In a place like Texas that would mean a whole day’s journey.  In Israel it means about three hours in holiday traffic.

Our destination was a place the rest of the world calls an “occupied territory”.  I call it one of the most beautiful and captivating places I have ever seen.  The Golan Heights really are high, rising abruptly from the Jordan Valley in a very short distance.  It was not the first great change in elevation during this journey.  Coming down from Jerusalem to Route 6 along the coastal plain is enough of a descent to cause one’s ears to pop.  The same thing happens once the traveler passes the Horns of Hattin (subject of a future blog post) and descends to Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee.  Then the process happens in reverse on the ascent from the sea to the northern hills, and down again to the Jordan before ascending one final time to the Golan.

A word about these famous biblical bodies of water:  I was not prepared to find the Sea of Galilee to be so tiny.  Comparatively speaking, that is.  Neither was I expecting the Jordan River to be smaller than a McAlpine Creek back home in Charlotte.  Such great things happened around both over the last 5,000 years that I expected something a bit more majestic.  Then again, Israel is a land of tremendous contrast.  The truly great things are the small and humble things, while the big and powerful things often turn out to be woefully inadequate (remember Goliath?).

But I digress.  This is a post about the town of קצרין.

For those who cannot read Hebrew, there is some difficulty explaining exactly where we were.  This town is the capital of the Golan, so one would think that its name in English would have some kind of standard transliteration.  Oddly enough, it does not.  On the road map we were using, on the road signs we passed, and even on the web sites I have checked to verify what I am relating, the name is given in a number of different ways, such as:

Qatsrin

Qatzrin

Katsrin

Katzerin

Katzrin

Even the official website of Israel’s Ministry of Tourism spells the name two different ways!

bfb161018-qatsrin-signWhat are we to make of this?  I suggest it is an illustration of the difference between Greek and Hebrew thinking.  The Greek way would establish one right answer for spelling the name in English.  Every other spelling would be wrong.  In Hebraic thinking, however, there are multiple ways to convey the truth that this particular place is the town we want to visit in the Golan.  The sounds of the two syllables (well, three if one is Southern and drawls) are close enough to the Hebrew in each of the transliterations given above to ensure that the traveler can get to the right place.  Thus there can be many versions of “right” in Hebraic thought.

What, then, is “wrong” in Hebraic thought?  Ah, that would be trying to spell the town’s name as something like Woebegone, Bora Bora, or Cascabell.  Clearly they are wrong in many ways.  How do we know?  Because the sounds rendered in the spoken Hebrew tell us we want a place that sounds like “Cat’s Ring”, so something that sounds like Bora Bora is right out.

This lesson was reinforced in the fellowship we enjoyed with some amazing Jewish Israeli friends in their Sukkah at Qatsrin.  It seems that there are many ways to live out the truth of YHVH’s Word.  The ultimate wrong answer is not opening that Word and letting it soak into the heart and soul.  However, there is a wrong answer that is almost as bad, and that is insisting that one’s own narrow interpretation is the only truth.

For he who is not against us is for us.  (Mark 9:40 NASB)


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2016.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Israel 2016: Breakfast with King Saul

 

Sunrise at Gi'vat Ye'arim

Sunrise at Gi’vat Ye’arim

And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and valiant men went with him, whose hearts God had touched.  (I Samuel  10:26 NKJV)

Is there a better way to wake up that with a beautiful sunrise?  It was a surprise to find such a view of the hills to the west of Jerusalem from the house we are staying, but a welcome surprise after a very long day of travel. 

We are staying in Gi’vat Ye’arim, a town in the hills west of Jerusalem.  In ancient times this was Gibeah, the home town of King Saul and a city with an interesting (and not that pleasant) history (see Judges 19-21).  We are sharing the house here with very good friends, and today will set out on our first full day of seeing the Land.  Our travel yesterday from North Carolina through Germany to Israel was relatively uneventful, although I would recommend patience in dealing with Israeli rental car agencies!  Our friends the Rambos and Wilsons travelled separately, coming through Toronto to Tel Aviv, but we all arrived at about the same time and are now sharing this beautiful house for the next week.  (You can see Pete’s account of their travels on his blog, natsab.com).

View of the hills west of Jerusalem from Gi'vat Ye'arim

View of the hills west of Jerusalem from Gi’vat Ye’arim

We are in Israel for two momentous occasions:  the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), and the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress.  Expectations and excitement this year as the prophetic developments on many fronts indicate the world has entered a very special year on YHVH’s timeline.  That is why all of us who have blogs, radio programs, video channels, and other outlets will do our best to share our experiences as they occur.  We do not know exactly what will happen, but we expect to have a number of divine encounters that as our God continues the work of bringing His people together for His Kingdom purposes.

Regarding bringing His people together, there is already an exciting development to report on the Second Congress.  With nearly 150 people registered from 14 different countries, this Congress is already bigger and more diverse than the First Congress.  New countries represented include Australia, Belgium, Indonesia, New Zealand, Peru, and South Africa.  There are also several Indigenous Peoples from some of these countries who will be contributing of their special gifts and callings to this process of Israel’s restoration.

There is an opportunity for those who are not going to the Congress to take part in a meaningful way.  As always, prayer is essential – for unity among the brethren, for safety in travel, for clarity in hearing the Holy Spirit communicate the Father’s intent, and for wisdom in making the right decisions. 

There is also a way to contribute directly to help restore the Native voices to the House of Israel through the B’ney Yosef Indigenous Peoples Scholarship Fund.  Contributions to the fund initially will be applied to the costs of Indigenous representatives to the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress in Israel, October 26-31, 2016, and for related purposes as the people of the House of Yosef come together across the globe.  If you are interested in making a contribution, please click on this link:

B’ney Yosef Indigenous Peoples Scholarship Fund

This is a very exciting time to be alive!  Whether you are able to come to Israel or celebrate the Feast at home, expect this year to be unlike any other!

bfb161014-givat-yearim-morning-03

 


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2016.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

After the Fox: Still in Transition

Two months ago the world received notice that The Barking Fox is on the move.  The relocation to North Carolina is complete, but our transition is still in progress.  We set up housekeeping in Charlotte on September 4, and thanks to tremendous help from Pete Rambo and his family, we finished unpacking and had most of the place in order within a week.  We had to get settled in a hurry so we could go to Virginia and see our oldest daughter married at the end of the month – just in time to prepare for the High Holy Days!

Even now the Fall Feasts are upon us.  The sun is setting in Charlotte, which means the new Hebrew year 5777 is here.  This weekend we enjoyed Shabbat with the Rambo family at their home in South Carolina, and with them entered into the season of Yom Teruah (the Feast of Trumpets, celebrated by our Jewish brethren as Rosh Hashanah).  While there we joined with Tommy and Dorothy Wilson, fellow leaders of B’ney Yosef North America, in prayerfully planning our upcoming trip to Israel for Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) and the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress

Our expectations are very high that this season will bring the climax to many of the prophetic events connected with Messiah’s return.  Whether we will see Him coming this year is something no one can say for certain, but as we watch the signs of the times we can’t help but conclude that the current world order, which has been in place for 100 years, is rapidly giving way to something new.  Although we cannot know exactly what we will encounter in Israel, we anticipate that as Ephraimite delegates from around the globe gather for the Congress, YHVH will provide direction for this coming year.  Those of us who have blogs and other media outlets will be covering the events as best we can, so look for some exciting reports!

And after that?  We will continue learning who we are as Hebrews awakening to our identity as part of the covenant people of YHVH.  Our transition from Texas to North Carolina is part of that.  In my book, Give Me A Place Where I May Dwell, I share thoughts about what it will take for us to develop this sense of being a people – Hebrews and Israelites of the House of Joseph/Ephraim who are preparing to be reunited with our brethren of Judah (the Jewish people) at the coming of Messiah Son of David.  Here are some of those thoughts:

There are already many gatherings of like-minded believers at Sukkot in various places.  This is a very good start, but it is time to consider how to transform these virtual communities into actual communities.  That means many of us will have to relocate so that we can live near fellow Ephraimites.  Initially this relocation and community building should happen in the lands we now call home.  We should look for places where we can congregate as neighbors and learn to live together as a distinct people.  Perhaps this means establishing new villages and towns in rural areas, or perhaps moving into neighborhoods in cities and suburbs where housing is available.  When we look we will find many possibilities.  The important thing is to look, to make a concerted effort to find one another, associate with one another, live next to one another, and together create the meaning of the Ephraimite people. 

That is the purpose of our transition.  Already we count ourselves part of a vibrant and growing Hebrew community in Western Carolina (the western counties of North and South Carolina).  We were much blessed to be connected with similar communities in Texas and hope to remain connected with them.  However, if we have heard YHVH correctly, our place at this particular time is in the Southeastern United States, and here we look forward to making a real contribution to the developing regional network of Hebrew communities.

This brings us to the fun part of this post.  Our move from Texas to North Carolina was perhaps the easiest relocation we have ever had thanks to our God’s provision.  The pictures below illustrate this transition through the eyes of our dog, Blue.  This was a strange experience for her, but she seems to have come through it quite well and adjusted quickly to her new home.

L’shana tova from all of us to all of you!


This is perplexing. What was familiar is now oddly different.

This is perplexing. What was familiar is now oddly different.


I don’t understand. These people show up with a big truck and now I’m in jail.

I don’t understand. These people show up with a big truck and now I’m in jail.

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40 Days of Repentance: “Fruit of an Unrepentant Heart” – B’ney Yosef North America

What does it mean to repent?  How much repentance is necessary?  Perhaps it means far more than we think, and perhaps there is much more need to repent than we may understand.  This is not a casual thing – especially in this increasingly chaotic time.

It is no coincidence that the first major initiative of B’ney Yosef North America is a call to YHVH’s people to examine themselves thoroughly in a humble, repentant attitude at this season moving into the High Holy Days (Rosh Hashana/Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement, Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles).  In this, as in many other areas, we are grateful for the understanding we have gained of repentance from both Christian and Jewish sources.  The details of repentance, or teshuva, is something our Jewish brethren understand very well; our Christian brethren understand that repentance is made complete by the atoning work of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ).  

These two perspectives are two halves of a picture that is only now beginning to come into focus.  These short daily meditations are one means of acquiring that focus.  As of this posting, we are already one week into the 40 Days, but it is a simple matter to jump in at any point.  Whatever you do, take time in this season to ask the Almighty for revelation on how to make things better in your relationships with Him and with others.


40 Days of Repentance:

“Fruit of an Unrepentant Heart”

B’ney Yosef North America

Mikveh in Galilee. Photo by Yocheved.

Mikveh in Galilee. Photo by Yocheved.

As we proceed through these forty days of repentance, through the month of Elul and into Tishri through Yom Kippur on 10 Tishri, we are going to look at what happens to our hearts when we are unrepentant. In other words, what we are introducing into our lives and our relationships when we do NOT repent.  [please click on the link below to continue reading]

Source: 40 Days of Repentance: “Fruit of an Unrepentant Heart” – B’ney Yosef North America


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2013-2016.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fox Byte 5775 #41: Pinchas (Phinehas)

פִּינְחָס

One of the great depictions of American historical events is John Trumbull’s painting, Declaration of Independence, which hangs in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol.  The scene captures the moment on June 28, 1776, when the five men who drafted the Declaration present their work to the Continental Congress.  Of the 56 signers of the Declaration, 42 appear in Trumbull’s work, the others having died before he could obtain their images.  The painting also depicts five men who did not sign, including Robert Livingston of New York.  Livingston was one of the men who drafted the Declaration, but New York recalled him from the Congress before he could sign his work.  In Trumbull’s painting Livingston appears in the center of the drafting committee, with Roger Sherman of Connecticut on his right and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia on his left.  Americans may not remember the distinguished men from Connecticut and New York, but they do remember Jefferson and John Adams of Massachusetts, two future presidents.  Jefferson and Adams embraced different visions of how to govern the infant American Republic, and even though they became political rivals, they remained friends until their deaths on the same day, July 4, 1826. 

There is a legend that Jefferson paid Trumbull to paint his foot on top of Adams’, but it is only a legend.  The two men’s feet are close together in the picture, and as time and dirt wore away at the painting it came to appear that Jefferson’s foot was resting on Adams’.  That is not the only oddity in Trumbull’s work.  Like many works of art it is not entirely accurate, but is effective in capturing the spirit of the moment and of the age.  So also is 1776, a musical play which humorously explores the events during that fateful summer of American independence.  Howard DaSilva dominates the film version with his portrayal of Dr. Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania.  If we are to believe the movie, independence was Adams’ idea, and the declaration was expressed in Jefferson’s words, but it was Franklin who brought it into being with his wisdom, wit, and ability to achieve consensus.  1776 embellishes the story with fictional dialogue, but it captures a number of famous quotes by the Founding Fathers, including Franklin’s immortal words:  “If we do not hang together, we shall most assuredly hang separately!”

Dr. Franklin spoke a warning to a people facing the threat of political extinction before they could become a nation.  Long before Franklin uttered his warning, Yeshua of Nazareth spoke the same truth to the people He had come to redeem from the threat of extinction by the enemy of their souls:

And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.  (Matthew 12:25 NASB; see also Mark 9:38-40; Luke 9:49-50, 11:16-23)

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