BECAUSE OF THE HOPE OF ISRAEL

Acts 28:17-29   . . .I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers. . .I have nothing of which to accuse my nation. . .[but] because of the hope of Israel I am bound [as a prisoner].

Acts 23:6   concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!

Acts 24:14-15; Dan 12:2   . . .according to the Way, which they call a cult, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.  I have hope in God,    which they also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.

Acts 26:6-8, 21-23   . . .judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. . . .our twelve tribes hope to attain. . . .for this hope’s sake. . .I am accused by the Jews. Continue reading “BECAUSE OF THE HOPE OF ISRAEL”

IN THE LIKENESS OF SINFUL FLESH

Rom 8:3   For what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin:  He condemned sin in the flesh.

1Tim 3:16   Great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifested in the flesh. . . .

We often think of the Lord Jesus as the Lamb of God, and as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.  These are descriptions of Him which we have in the N.T., giving light to O.T. Scriptures.  We think of the lion as symbolic of kingly authority and as a mighty warrior.  The lamb depicts meekness, innocence, dependence upon a shepherd.  Continue reading “IN THE LIKENESS OF SINFUL FLESH”

SECRET THINGS WHICH BELONG TO GOD

In 1 Timothy, one of the qualifications for even a deacon is to hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.  That mystery is surely the knowledge of Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God – and the revelation of the triune God – the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit:  YHVH our God is one.

In Deuteronomy 29:29 (28 Heb), Moses tells Israel that “the secret things belong to YHVH our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this Law.”

God revealed truth to Israel that was not given to other nations, and He called Israel to be a light and His witnesses to the Gentiles.  He gave them to know that He – YHVH – is the Creator; the truth about creation, the Flood, the ‘giants’.  He has revealed these things that we would obey Him with faith.

To Christians/the Church, God has given even more revelation.  Believers in Jesus are His witnesses, and are to make known the true knowledge of God and of His salvation of both Jews and Gentiles through faith in Him and His Word.

There are some things, however, which we CANNOT know now – things which are still secret with God.  The Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy writes of the many false teachers and teachings which come into the church – often by those who claim to know what no one else does. Continue reading “SECRET THINGS WHICH BELONG TO GOD”

YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!

This is a particular expression which appears in only one chapter of the Bible, but which is indicated in many places throughout the Scriptures.  It is an expression which some Christians are uncomfortable using, and also one which is used too liberally.  

Jn 3:1-11   You must be born again by the Spirit of God.
   –two births:  one, common to all human beings, of water/flesh/natural
                         one, necessary for eternal life, of the Spirit/spiritual/supernatural   

   –Without the Spirit of God/the Holy Spirit, no one can see nor enter the Kingdom of God  

   Lk 17:20-21; Jer 31:31-34   The Kingdom of God does not come [now] with observation; the Kingdom of God is within you [if you have a healthy conscious, but especially to those who are born-again].  

The necessity of the new birth from above by the Holy Spirit is proof that all are sinners, and that we are born in sin (original sin).  All are separated from God at birth:  no one knows Him in any personal way.  Yeshua says to all when He says to Nicodemus:  You must be born again in order to see and to enter God’s Kingdom.   Continue reading “YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!”

ADAM: HIS FALL AND RISING

I’ve heard some Christian preachers say they are going to show their sore displeasure to Adam when they see him because he did not obey God in the Garden of Eden and so brought suffering and death into the world for all the rest of mankind. (Rom 5:12-19; 1Cor 15:22)  This attitude does not at all understand that whoever Adam would have been, he would have done the same thing:  God already planned before the creation that the Son of God – the Word become flesh – would come into the world in the fullness of time to redeem every person, for all have sinned. . . .there is none righteous. . . .except for God Himself.  In Adam all die; in Messiah all live.

Adam is the human father of us all:  we are all children of Adam (bnei Adam).  It will help us to know him better so that we can identify with him rather than condemn him.  He is one of the great cloud of witnesses whom God has given us in the Bible to encourage us in our faith and in our works of faith.  Continue reading “ADAM: HIS FALL AND RISING”

CONVERSION FOR ALL IN MESSIAH

Passover reminds us who are children of Israel that YHVH God – the Creator of the Universe and the Redeemer of His creation – brought us out of bondage in Egypt into freedom to serve and worship Him, the one true God.  This historic event, which resonates down through the generations until today and on into the future (Ezek 45: 21-24), stamped upon the Jewish people the reality of being the Chosen People, and Egypt and all the nations knew, by means of the plagues upon Egypt and the Egyptians and the deliverance of the Israelis from the rule of Pharoah, that YHVH is God, and the God of gods. (Ex 7:5; 9:14, 16, 27; 10:2; 12:12; 14:18, 31; 15:14-18; Josh 2: 8-11)

Conversion is defined by Webster’s On-line Dictionary in these ways which are relevant to this brief study:
1. An event that results in a transformation.
4. A spiritual enlightenment causing a person to lead a new life.
7. Act of exchanging one type of money or security for another.
8. The act of changing from one use or function or purpose to another. Continue reading “CONVERSION FOR ALL IN MESSIAH”

LIGHT DISPELS DARKNESS – 21 Dec 2007

This Sonday some of us are going to Bethlehem to worship with Arab brothers and sisters in the joy of our God.  Next weekend our congregation (actually the Lord Yeshua’s congregation) will be host to over 40 teenagers from that same area.  Today happens to be the shortest day of the year, when the light of day in the darkest of seasons is at its briefest in this part of the globe.  A little light can dispel even more darkness; how much more the sun the blackness of night; how much more even does the Light which is the Word of God, and who is Himself the Lord Jesus Christ, dispel the darkness of lies! Continue reading “LIGHT DISPELS DARKNESS – 21 Dec 2007”

THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST

(Revised July 22, 2019)

1Thes 1:2-10   We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of God our Fatherknowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.  Evidenced by their change of worldview and lifestyle; their endurance through suffering for the sake of faith in Jesus, with joy of the Holy Spirit; and their hopeful expectation of the return of the Lord to deliver them from the wrath of God to come.  

Heb 6:1-2   Therefore leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Messiah, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God; of the doctrine of baptisms; of laying on of hands; of resurrection of the dead; and of eternal judgment.
      –from being mere ‘children’ to becoming ‘sons’
      —Dan 12:2   And many of those who sleep in the dust shall awakesome to everlasting life; some to shame and everlasting contempt
      —1Cor 15:13-19; Jn 11:23-24   without the resurrection, our faith, teaching, and lives are vain, futile   Continue reading “THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST”

GOD’S PURPOSE FOR BELIEVERS IN YESHUA

Rom 8:26-30  The Spirit intercedes for us according to the will of God. . .
                       And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to purpose.  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover, whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

What is our purpose in life?  For what are we preparing ourselves?  When a university student chooses a major field of study, or when someone chooses a career or profession based on skill, ability, knowledge, what do they do?. . . . . they prepare themselves for the goal of passing the course; of being accepted for the job;  of advancing to receive better conditions, salary, status, authority.  These are all normal pursuits in most of our lives, or as parents how we want to encourage our children.  There is the honorable way of pursuing one’s goals, and there are dishonorable ways to attain our objectives.  All of this is good and acceptable (not the dishonorable ways, of course!), and, in general, applies to all persons everywhere within their own culture. 

But what of those – also living in the same world with everyone else – what of those who have been born again from above by the Holy Spirit through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ?  As we know, this can happen potentially at almost any age and at different stages of people’s lives and for all kinds of people.  Continue reading “GOD’S PURPOSE FOR BELIEVERS IN YESHUA”

OVERCOMING HATRED FOR THE SAKE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

(Delivered at NEM Conference at the Baptist Village in Israel, April 23, 2006)

Mt 5:9-11   Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.  Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  

I tell people who ask me what it’s like to live as a believer in Israel that Israel is a great place to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, because it’s difficult to be lukewarm about our faith.  We have many first-hand experiences related to the passage we read from Matthew.  The Middle East provides us with many opportunities to be “blessed, happy, satisfied” if we are motivated by the love and purposes of God.   Continue reading “OVERCOMING HATRED FOR THE SAKE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD”