Yom Kippur: The Holiest Day
Larry & Tiz Huch
Q: You became a believer after a supernatural encounter with God. Briefly tell us about that experience.
A: I grew up in the inner city of St. Louis, Missouri and fell into a vicious cycle of anger, violence, and crime. I had been a heavy drug user for many years. I was living in Columbia, South America, smuggling cocaine into the U.S. I had a hunger to find something spiritual, something that was missing from my life. One day I overdosed on cocaine. I was shooting up, putting a needle in my vein, sometimes 10-12 times a day. I know it sounds crazy, but I felt if I did enough drugs it would fill that void I felt. I put the needle in my vein, then did the amount of drugs and did it again, and then again. Then I collapsed on the floor. I immediately knew I had overdosed and was dying. Without thinking I called out to God. I didn’t even know if there was a God or if He would care about someone like me. One of the most amazing things about God is His love for us. God loves us as we are. His love is amazing. I know without a doubt God saved my life that night. I know that a big part of that miracle was that I had a mother and an aunt that never gave up on me, never stopped praying for me. There is a saying on the streets, “once a junkie, always a junkie,” but there is a truth in God’s Word, “Who the Son sets free is free indeed.” Not many months after that night I gave my life to the Lord. I walked into the church a drug addict and walked out a child of God. What a mighty God we serve.
Q: At one point in your journey of faith, you began to understand and deeply connect to the Jewish roots of Christianity. How did that happen?
A: Tiz and I started and pastored six churches up until then, four in the U.S. and two in Australia. God had blessed us with many great churches, but I felt there was something missing. There had to be more. Some friends invited us to go to Israel with them. We were at Capernaum and a friend from Israel was telling us about the synagogue where Jesus had lived and done many miracles. I saw Hebrew writing in the stone of that ancient synagogue and I asked what it said. They were the names of the grandchildren of some of the apostles. I learned that Jesus never came to separate us from our Jewish roots, but as the apostle Paul said, to “graft us in.” At that very moment on the steps that Jesus walked, I had one of the most powerful encounters with the Lord I have ever had. God spoke to me and said, “I am going to teach you to re-read the bible. Not with Gentile eyes, but with Jewish eyes.” Next to being saved and filled with the Holy Spirit it was the greatest moment of my spiritual life.
Q: As Pastor of New Beginnings Church, you now teach other believers how to have that same strong connection with the Jewish traditions of their faith. Describe the impact this has had on the lives of those who hear these messages.
A: As Paul said in Romans, we are “grafted into” Israel. Jesus was Jewish, He ate Kosher, He kept Sabbath, He celebrated all the feasts. Jesus tells us to follow Him – do as He did. There are miracles connected to everything Jesus taught us. The Lord said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…with all your getting, get wisdom.” God did not say the truth will set you free, but He did say the truth you know will set you free. There are miracles and the power of God connected to Passover, Shavuot (Pentecost), Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Feast of Tabernacles. Why did the woman touch the “hem of His garment,” and then she was healed? Where is the “secret place” God dwells in? There are miracles waiting for those who get connected to the truth of our Jewish roots.
Q: Based on the Hebrew calendar, the Jewish observance known as Yom Kippur is at the end of this month. Can you describe the significance of this day and why it’s so important?
A: Every feast is a “shadow of things to come.” One of the most amazing teachings on the High Holiday of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is that someday the rapture and the second coming will happen. We will stand before the Lord. He will ask if our names are written in the Book of Life. If we are, then a second thing will happen. We will be rewarded according to our works, our good deeds. We are saved by grace without a doubt, but our reward is for what we have done. In Hebrew it’s called “Tikkun Olam,” repairing a world that is broken. We have 40 days leading up to Yom Kippur. For 40 days we are to “blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm.” The thought is that the shofar is to “awaken us from our slumber.” God is a good God. He wants us serving Him, He wants us taking care of widows and orphans. He wants to bless us, but sometimes we lose our direction. The world is showing signs of the Lord’s coming, like the birth pangs of a woman about to have a baby. Signs to get ready. Someday we will stand before the Lord, the Book will be sealed. Until then God gives us a shadow of things to come. Every year on Yom Kippur God designs our rewards for the next year, so in blowing the shofar we wake up to serve Him and to Tikkun Olam – make the world a better place.
Q: What are some of the traditions commonly associated with this time of year leading up to Yom Kippur?
A: God asks each of us, is the world a better place today than it was last year because of you? At our church we have special services during this time of the High Holidays. One of them is a service where we all eat apples dipped in honey. This is to remind us of God’s blessing for the coming year. The apples are symbolic of God’s great harvest and abundance – and of God’s desire to bring each of us great prosperity. The honey has two meanings: first, that God’s a good God and God’s Word will always be sweet on our lips; second, that our lives will be sweet and full of joy. We blow the shofar every day. God says when the enemy hears you blow the shofar, he will flee – flee from you, your family, etc. It’s not a ritual, it’s a revelation. A truth that sets you free. This is a very spiritual and anointed time on God’s calendar. In Hebrew it’s a “moadim,” an appointed time.
Q: How can believers around the world, even if they aren’t of Jewish descent, practically apply what the Bible says should be done in observance of this important event?
A: Remember what the Lord said: we who are followers – who believe in Jesus – are heirs to the promises of Abraham. Abraham is our Father. So many times we hear people say, “these are Jewish Feasts.” But look at what God says, “these are My feasts – feasts of the Lord.” God first gave these times of miracles to the Jewish people. They still belong to the Jewish people and now we have been grafted in to them. I want to make a very important point here – we have not and never will “replace” the Jewish people, but through the Lord we have been grafted in through the blood of Jesus.
Q: You and your wife, Tiz Huch, co-host a program on Daystar called New Beginnings. What can viewers who tune in each week expect to see?
A: We have always felt that God wants Tiz and I to teach God’s people how to win, that our calling was to dig up the truth in God’s Word that will allow all of us to be more than conquerors. We hear people say, “I’ve never heard that before” or “now I know what that means.” Let me give you an example. We are redeemed by the blood of Jesus – Jesus shed His blood seven times. On Yom Kippur the High Priest goes into the Holy of Holies and sprinkles the blood of the lamb seven times, but the next step is to break every curse so the blessing of the lamb’s blood can be released into every area of your life. How? You will have to watch us on Daystar to find out! In a word – revelation – the truth you know.
Q: Your program often features some of the outreaches you do in Israel to help support the Jewish people. Can you tell us how you got involved in this ministry?
A: One of the greatest lessons I have learned in studying the Bible in Hebrew is that well-known Scripture in the New Testament, “don’t worry about what you will eat or wear, but seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.” The word righteousness here is Tzedakah, acts of kindness or charity. We are to seek out where to do acts of kindness. Our ministry does this in several ways: we have an orphanage, we help build schools, we feed over 30,000 meals to kids every month. God spoke to my heart about Israel. Genesis 12:3 says, “I will bless those who bless you (Israel).” There is always a blessing when we do good, but there is a very powerful blessing when we bless Israel. I believe it’s an end day revelation in breaking the curse off our lives. Most of what the Jewish people have suffered is because of wrong church teaching. We have found God has called us to bless Israel in every way we can. I pray every day – God show me how you want us to be a blessing. A few months ago I was invited to Israel to welcome President Trump. I was blessed to have my picture taken with President Trump and Prime Minister Netinyahu and both of their wives. As I was walking away, Prime Minister Netinyahu grabbed my arm and said, “I watch you on TV. Thank you for blessing Israel. Keep up the good work.” By the way, he watches us bless Israel only on Daystar.
Q: Can you explain the Biblical reasons to bless Israel based on the Scriptures?
A: As I said, God talks to us in Genesis 12, “I will bless those who bless you,” but there is more – “I will curse those who curse you.” So it is not enough to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” we need to “bless them.” For years Tiz and I have helped others in countries around the world. Then God spoke His Word to my heart, “to the Jews first.” Jesus said, “when I was hungry you fed Me, naked you clothed Me… When you did it to the least of my brothers, you did it unto me.” I know the whole world is God’s brethren; but when He taught this He was in Israel, His Jewish family.
Q: How have people in Israel responded to your passion and commitment to help them in practical ways?
A: As I said before, it was pretty cool when the Prime Minister of Israel says, “I watch you on TV. Thank you for what you do for Israel.” I have to tell you that was a great moment. We see this kind of love and gratitude every day in Israel. The people who checked us into our hotel knew who we were and were so grateful for what we do for their people. We just built a mobile ICU Ambulance for Israel – we saw one on the street and talked to men and women assigned to that unit, and took pictures. Mothers and fathers with little kids coming and hugging us – just for loving the Jewish people and the land of Israel. I was walking through the “old city” of Jerusalem and an orthodox Rabbi stopped me and hugged me. He put his tallit over my shoulder and prayed with me. Many of the projects that the Lord leads us to do become blessings, not only to the Jewish people in Israel, but other Christians as well. Hospitals. Holocaust survivors. Orphanages. Help feed the hungry. Aliyah, bringing young Jewish people back to Israel. I had a Muslim man say to me, “Pastor, what you are teaching- and what you are doing – is moving us towards peace in the land of Israel. There is a teaching in Judaism – one day one person will do one more good deed and that one good deed will tip the scale and the Father will say it’s time and the Messiah will come.
Q: As you study the Bible and end time prophecy, what do you see unfolding for the future of Israel as so many nations are standing against her?
A: As more and more Christians in America and the world begin to understand their Jewish roots of the Bible, we are going to see not only people turning to support Israel, but literally as nations come back to the Bible and come back to the Word of God, we will see nations turning to stand with Israel and the Jewish people. People are beginning to realize that loving Jesus and loving Israel are synonymous.
Q: How should believers around the world specifically pray for Israel in the days ahead?
A: The Bible tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and that God would bring peace to the people in the land of Israel. I think a big part of that peace will come when Christians and Jews unify. God’s Word talks about the one new man when Jews and gentiles become one again, like they were in the time of Jesus. The Jews and gentiles coming together will prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah.
Q: What truth have you learned about the Jewish roots of your faith that his impacted your life and ministry the most?
A: That’s probably the easiest question of them all and one people ask me a lot. The main thing I have learned in studying God’s Word through the eyes of the Jewish roots is that how I treat people is how I treat God. This is exactly what the Word of God meant when they asked Jesus what is the greatest of the commandments.
Jesus said to love God, and then He said, this one is equal to that … that we are to love one another. These two are the same, loving God and loving each other. By loving each other it shows that we truly are the children of God. We don’t have to believe exactly the same, but we can love God and each other.
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