ok. big sigh. this announcement is big.

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Greetings, Grace and Shalom to all.

I remember well my two-years of intense 200+ hours (semester-hours) of Bible study. It required a prayerful life and many spiritual requests for that enormous transformative period. During that time, I had many encouraging people surrounding me, supporting me, happy to see me complete the studies. While there I learned the value of the Bible’s original languages and spent five semesters learning the Greek language – whew! but only one semester in Hebrew.

I have been in a type of limbo for the last five or so months, not exactly sure where to go. However, after deliberating my choices for forty days (April 1 to May 10, 2012), I have chosen to walk forward on a path that requires greater commitment. Knowing that, I prayed for God to verify this path by providing me a highly valued Torah Scroll. While waiting for God’s answer, I decided that if God answered my prayers, which he did, that I would work toward a Messianic Bar Mitzvah and study Psalm 119, which I am doing.

I am convinced that God has approved this walk. He is permitting me to have a greater role in the kingdom, by being a servant to both Israelites and the church. I am certain of this, because within ten days of my prayer on May 4, God expected proof of my sincerity and seriousness of this decision, and then faithfully gifted me two copies of the Torah. A printed Bible-type 1967 JPS English translation; and a fabulous highly valued souvenir Scroll from Israel. By giving me two copies, it seems that he verified my prayers – double, establishing his answer with two witnesses (Deuteronomy 19.15b, Matthew 18.16b).

As I received each copy of the Torah, I had made my Bar Mitzvah desires known to some people at Baruch HaShem. They have graciously encouraged this decision, and a brother is ready to teach me Hebrew . So, while my announcement may sound strange, I personally view it no different than my commitment to Bible School.

I am dedicated to learning Hebrew, having a Bar Mitzvah requires reading Hebrew and reciting the Ten Commandments. It is my prayer that doing this will help increase my wisdom and stature, and help me both with God and man. It is also my prayer that this will provide greater ability for me to teach the Scriptures; to reveal the proper value of the Torah in the New Covenant; that God will allow me to share the Gospel with both Jews and Gentiles; and help invigorate the one new man in Messiah (cf. Matthew 5.17-19; Romans 1.16, Romans 7.12, 14; 1 Timothy 1.8; Ephesians 2.15 with Romans 10.12; Galatians 3.28; Colossians 3.11).

I am walking into unknown territory. I am a Gentile, yet a believer in the Jewish Messiah. While I am certain that this path (the teaching of Torah and the testimony of Jesus as Messiah) will be rewarding, it comes with its difficulties.

This is not the time nor avenue to discuss the theological ramifications of Law and Grace, that time will come and come quickly. For now, I am simply asking for your prayers and blessings that I am able to complete this study of Hebrew, and receive my Bar Mitzvah. This announcement also means I am not looking for ministerial work, so my Ministry Announcement is hereby retracted.

I simply ask for and hope that I receive support like I did when I went to Bible School.

Thank you; Grace and Shalom,

Raymond Harris