A Little Sanctuary

Sometimes I do not like to make public what God has done in my private life, especially in regard to supernatural things. And yes, He has done some very supernatural things for us. There is what appears to be a conundrum in scripture, where Yeshua tells us on the one hand to shout from the rooftops about Him, and on the other, not to tell the world what He does. The latter falls in the category, perhaps, of ““Do not give consecrated things to the dogs; and do not throw your pearls before the swine, for they might tread them with their feet, and then turn and devour you.” [Mat 7:6]

The following I have only told in congregational settings, but those were broadcast. But, we do not have a very big footprint, so I suppose not too many swine are trampling them underfoot. Some are, however, as we found the unclean among us in the past. Praise God, however, we have been separated.

But, this past Shabbat I shared the final motivation and encouragement from God as to starting a Messianic congregation in The Woodlands, Texas. A wise congregant suggested that we share that as our ‘vision’ or ‘mission statement’. While I am not keen on doing things as the world does, I do think explaining why we do what we do is helpful, and this is distinct from simply creating a vision men will follow. One thing we have learned is that there truly are very few who walk “The Road Less Traveled”, “The Way of the Nazarene”.

Our ministry started in a very odd way. I am Daniel Perek, a former Navy submariner, who after the Navy married Melanie, a gospel singer, and began to raise two beautiful children with her. I was already studying the scriptures to seek a more biblical way of life. I knew the Sabbath was meaningful, and began to share it with my wife, along with the other Seven Feasts of God that I found in scriptures, and saw Yeshua observing in His life, in scripture. He lived them, and demonstrated His ministry in the midst of them, starting with a Jewish wedding, and ending with the Passover, but covering them all in between. We were seeing the relevance of them, and began observing Passover with the Messianic community, though we lived way out in the country. We would drive to Houston to observe the feasts. We observed our first Passover Seder, however, in East Texas in our home, with a few friends and family.

Then my job, in SCADA engineering, moved us to Houston. I began pursuing a Bible degree, and we observed the feasts on the other side of town with an established Synagogue. As I have always been into fitness, I found myself ministering to people the most in the gym, starting in the Navy. After that, my ‘best man’ was saved in the gym in East Texas. I continued that in the North Houston area, and found myself ministering to several ‘high-powered’ business men whose lives were full of issues like drugs, alcohol, and adultery, along with more petty sins of foul language and lewdness. But, I persisted in teaching them the scriptures for eight years. Others joined us, and after eight years of teaching, and of immersing several of them into Salvation in Yeshua, we began to meet as a fledgling Messianic congregation in our homes, and then in a public venue.

Suddenly, the vine was trimmed. Some lives were wracked with troubles, like marriages and finances, and some were just put out with the notion of a life-changing form of worship. They gave up. Wives would not come aboard, and they attacked me. Others left simply because they left. There were only one or two who did not turn vicious, and few who stayed.

It was very painful. It stressed my home out, something we’d never really experienced to that point. So, one fall Shabbat morning, with no one with whom to worship with that day, and my family still asleep, I got down on my knees with a makeshift ‘tallit’ [Jewish prayer garment], and I prayed, asking Abba very pointedly, “Do you want a Messianic Synagogue in The Woodlands or not?” I then sat up in the chair and opened my Bible, and I read these words in 1 Peter 2:

4The one to whom you are coming is the living stone, whom men have rejected, and yet He is chosen and precious with Elohim; 5you also, as living stones, build up yourselves and become spiritual sanctuaries and K’doshim Kohanim, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to Elohim, by Yeshua HaMashi’akh.  6For as it is said in the scriptures, “Behold, I lay in Tzion a chief cornerstone, approved, and precious; and he who trusts on Him shall not be ashamed.”  7It is to you who trust, therefore, that this honor is given; but to those who are disobedient, He is a stumbling stone and a stone of offense.  8And they stumble over it because they are disobedient to HaDavar for which they were appointed.  9But you are a chosen family, ministers in HaMalkhut, a kadosh people, an assembly redeemed to proclaim the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness to His marvelous light.”

And then, asking for more affirmation, much like Gideon did, I flipped the pages somehow to Ezekiel 43, not being very deeply familiar with the prophet or his book at that time, and read part of one verse:

“You, son of man, show the House of Israel the House of God.”

I had been teaching those men about the spiritual nature of the congregation, that we, together, are one edifice. When they so easily and devilishly left and scattered, I was nearly broken. The day before, the Rabbi that anointed and ordained me, and his wife, knit my soul back together from the human hurt; but I still needed guidance from God on whether or not he wanted me to move forward. Then the readings above were ‘given’ to me as a mandate.

That night, as I lay down to sleep, I prayed again and thought about those verses, and the Ezekiel verse was burned into my memory. I reflected on it, and the ‘spiritual stones’ that Kefa mentioned in his letter, and I wondered if there really were any righteous people in The Woodlands. I remember telling Abba at some point during all of that, “this city is like Laodicea,” wondering if there were enough people interested in serving God in His way such that they would leave behind the traditions of men. I fell asleep.

During the night, I left my body, whether it was a dream or not, I cannot tell; I just know how very real it was. I hovered over the city in the darkness. We lived at that time on the southeast corner of it, and I moved over the easternmost corridor, then cut across west on its north border, then went south on its western corridor, then cut east across its southern border’s corridor. All the while, I was seeing ‘lights’ come on, but they were not ‘natural lights’. They were glowing gold lights with white glow around them; it’s rather hard to describe. By the time I circled the city and had seen a number of those lights, I sat bolt upright in bed. Again, I cannot say it was just a dream, but I cannot say otherwise. I can only say how very real, and how very meaningful it was, and how very awake I was at that point. I knew it was a mandate.

We put up a website and began to pass the word that we were moving forward. That was in late October of 2007. By January, we had outgrown our living room, having gone through the flux of holiday attendance. I prayed again, and asked Abba for a more permanent public venue; the short of it is, He provided us one a mere mile from our house. We met there for four years, until driven out by outgrowing the parking lot and many of the hosts’ anti-Semitic behaviors toward us. We moved into another building in 2011, and experienced the very same thing there, until we moved out in 2016. Then, in 2019, we went through another pruning of the vine, where dead branches were cut off, and the vine moved again. We had physically moved our home north to the northern boundary of that vision in 2019, and then the remnant congregation was moved with us by the Creator and our Savior and Rabbi, Yeshua.

Our goal remains one purpose, to show the House of Israel the House of God. The House of Israel is made up of His Jewish people who believe in Messiah Yeshua, the Son of God [or will receive that good news if they have not as yet], and any Gentile believer who understands that God has not cast off His People, the Jews, and that they [gentiles] are GRAFTED INTO the Olive Tree of Israel, becoming LIVING STONES in the House built by the Jewish Carpenter, Yeshua the Nazarene.

The House of God is orderly. It is a place of Prayers and Worship, for ALL people. It is to meet at the appointed times of the Messiah. Those of us who build it are to build it on HIS principles, and NOT on the principles of this world, with Yeshua as the only foundation: not Rabbis, not Popes, not Statists, nothing worldly. Before and after the passage I had read in 1 Peter 2, we read:

1Therefore lay aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and evil accusations, 2and become like newborn babes, and long for HaDavar [The Word/Torah] as for pure and spiritual milk, that you may grow in it unto Salvation 3if you have tasted and found out that  יהוה  is good.

9But you are a chosen family, ministers in HaMalkhut [The Kingdom], a kadosh [holy] people, an assembly redeemed to proclaim the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness to His marvelous light; 10you, who in the past were not considered a people, but who are now the people of Elohim, who had not obtained mercy, but who now have mercy poured out upon you.  11My beloved ones, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from carnal desires, which war against the soul; 12and let your conduct be good before all men, so that those who speak evil words against you may see your good works and glorify Elohim at the day of trial.

We are to strive to conduct ourselves worthily. People are always going to speak evil of those serving the Messiah in peace and humility. By now, we are used to it. But, what God is doing in this “Little Sanctuary” is a beautiful thing, and we wish everyone could share in it, though we know most will not.

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

“…for wide is the gate, and broad is the road which leads to Abadon, and many are those who travel on it.  14O how narrow is the gate, and how difficult is the road which leads to life, and few are those who are found on it.”   

That narrow road is His Torah, which teaches us how to live in His House. Today, people sashay into His House with brazen wantonness in dress and demeanor, treat His House as a night club looking for the pleasures of the flesh, harm his people and then leave, moving on to lather, rinse, repeat, and most leave unchanged but for a brief moment of temporary euphoria.

For us, it is indeed a hospital; and sometimes, surgery is required, and the knife hurts for a while, but healing is the end result, and a lifelong pattern of health of the soul, as the diet is fixed, the lifestyle is fixed, the laziness is removed, and a desire to participate in the BUILDING of HIS HOUSE is instilled in the place of lethargic selfishness.

He has indeed become for us a “Little Sanctuary”. When last we were ‘scattered’, a very similar thing happened as my wife and I considered whether or not still to tend His vine, as many were seeking us out to do so. Ezekiel came to call again, as I read this verse in affirmation out of his chapter 11 : “Therefore say, ‘Thus says Adonai  יהוה , ‘Although I have removed them far off among the nations, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet have I been to them as a little Mikdash [Sanctuary] in the countries where they are come’.

We hope to help others who need sanctuary from this world of strife, to build places where the people of God can worship in harmony and safety, to grow, and to be conformed into the image of His Son, Yeshua the Messiah. Please reach out to us if you are being called to build in His Kingdom, we have been down that road, and are familiar with its pitfalls, and its joys. mikdash@protonmail.com

Published by danielperek

See my about page! I'm a Messianic Jewish writer, and teacher of the Torah as Messiah Yeshua taught it. I'm a husband, father, and grandfather. A musician, singer, and composer. Most importantly, a servant of the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua HaNatzri!

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