The Gap Between Believing God’s Word _______ and Human Wisdom

We are influenced by the world we are born into much more than we realize. Young children today have an intuitive grasp of some modern technology than many adults who are their parents and grandparents. The current generation is also entering and growing up in a world that is increasingly ignorant of the true God and of His Word, of His covenants, and with an evolutionary mindset and world-view that has displaced a general consensus of the fundamental truths of morality expressed in the Bible, even within the household of faith (at least in the western, Christianized, gospelized world). We have a natural tendency to subject God’s word to the teachings of men – or to the lies of the devil – rather than to subject all things to the Word of God. If we do not believe what God says about the beginning, we may not believe what He also actually says about the ending. If we twist His words at first, we will probably continue to twist them at last.

Many believing Christians want to accept evolutionary “facts” as a means by which God created and made the world as it has “evolved” to be. Mostly they do this because of the amount of time they think is needed to “evolve” to where we are today. Yet, the issue is much more than a matter of time: the evolutionary explanation of origins and destiny are totally incompatible with what YHVH God has revealed to us – especially through the Jews – regarding what He alone knows: He IS the Creator, and the Redeemer, and has a plan that He is carrying out, no matter what anyone may believe or not. “Let God be true, and every man a liar!”

For those who “keep and remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”: if you do not believe that God created the Heavens and the Earth in six days, and rested on the seventh, then you are not keeping the Sabbath, since this is the initial reason He gave it to Israel as the sign of His covenant relationship with them. And the Jewish people are His witnesses for who He is. This is so, also, for believing Christians, since they are in a new covenant relationship with the God of Israel, YHVH God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob/Israel. We bear false witness of Him if we deny His own testimony of what He did, how He did it, when He did it, why He has done it! The Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world!

When God, who is unapproachable light, created in the beginning the Heavens and the Earth, the “raw material” was in darkness. The creation was outside of Himself. Then God spoke and called the light out of the darkness, as He began to form and order His creation. This was not created light, for God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. Jesus said that He is the light of the world. And in the New Heavens and New Earth – in the New Jerusalem – there will be no night there, for the Lamb will be its light for the eternal day, without darkness:  the day after the Sabbath. The sun and moon are temporary lights for this creation, which God placed in this unique solar system within the universe on the fourth day to serve their purposes in His sovereign wisdom.

We must, like Elijah called upon the false prophets of Baal in Israel, make a choice: if Yeshua/Jesus is our Lord and God, let us believe and follow Him. We can not be of two opinions when God has spoken to us, if a serpent, or a man, or even an angel, comes to us with a different word which contradicts His.

Here are some articles which are helpful on this subject of “the gap”:

 

https://creation.com/ten-theses-todd-wilson?utm_campaign=infobytes_int&utm_content=%5BResend%5D+Eugenics+is+back&utm_medium=email&utm_source=mailing.creation.com&utm_term=Fortnightly+Digest+-+2019.01.25

https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_654.cfm

https://carm.org/gap-theory

http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=997

2Pt 2 — False Teachers and Heresies

2Pt 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

2Pt 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who secretly shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with deceptive words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not.

Continue reading “2Pt 2 — False Teachers and Heresies”

Beer Sheva: A Key to Breakthrough to Jerusalem

(Spoken at a ‘Tribe of Judah’ joint service in Beer Sheva on Jan 12, 2019)

Beer Sheva and the rest of the Negev have a key role in God’s plan of redemption and salvation of His people Israel, and of all the Gentiles who are called by His name. We are also part of His plan and history, most of us being immigrants from somewhere who have returned home on Earth in these last days, according to YHVH’s promise.

“Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness, seekers of the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him.”

‘For the LORD will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her desert like Eden and her wilderness like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the sound of melody.’ (Isaiah 51:1-3)

Beer Sheva has a history of nearly 4000 years: the City of the Patriarchs of the Israeli people; the city named by Abraham, the father to the Jews, to the Christian believers, to the Arabs. Beer Sheva’s future is full of hope because she has deep roots in the past Messianic promises of the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob – the God of Israel. Believers in Jesus from all nations confess their own faith in the God of Israel’s fathers, who all lived in Beer Sheva.  Continue reading “Beer Sheva: A Key to Breakthrough to Jerusalem”

God Chose Abraham To Know Him

Gen 18:16-19  And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.  And YHVH said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?  For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of YHVH, to do righteousness and judgment; that YHVH may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

Continue reading “God Chose Abraham To Know Him”

March of the Nations – 15 May 2018

Yesterday Randi and I were treated as special guests at the March of the Nations events in Jerusalem.  This year’s event was the first time that it had been held in Israel, and it was done so in honor of Israel’s 70th year celebrations, and especially in honor of — as are all of the Marches of the Nations around the world each year — Holocaust survivors and their families.  One of the victims spoke about surviving two death marches, but having participated in five Marches of Life.  His life after the horrors of WW2 and the Nazi death camps is a story of death and restoration:  22 members of his family, including two great-grandchildren, live in Israel today. Continue reading “March of the Nations – 15 May 2018”

The State of The State of Israel: The Gospel and The Body of Messiah

(Originally written for Spanish-language Christian newspaper in Guatemala)

What is God doing in Israel? What is the spiritual state of the State of Israel as she celebrates 70 years as a sovereign nation among the nations of the world? Her successes in many fields far surpass the normal expectation of other nations. By the long list of numerous innovations and developments that Israel is known for, God is drawing attention to Himself through His miracle nation! (Is 11:11-12) But how do we assess the whole of Israel by the Word of God? There are many perspectives on Israel and many opinions by believers concerning the current spiritual situation here in the land. One thing is for sure: Israel as a nation is still resistant to the good news of Jesus (Yeshua) being the Messiah. Continue reading “The State of The State of Israel: The Gospel and The Body of Messiah”

Pride Comes Before A Fall – 19 Jan 2018

Dt 8:11-20

The State of Israel is preparing to celebrate its 70th Independence Day this April 18-19.
http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Culture-Ministry-announces-plans-for-Israels-70th-anniversary-536822

Seventy years of the impossible being made possible. After nearly 1900 years of exile from the land God promised on oath to give to the children of Israel; after prayers and hopes of one day returning to Jerusalem; after centuries of suffering persecutions and unending dislike and mistrust; after forced expulsions from other countries; after trying to show that they are like the Gentiles among whom they live; after failures of other nations to keep promises to assist them in their return to the land; after the Holocaust which sought to destroy their aspirations once-and-for-all; after wars against their surrounding enemies throughout the 70 years of statehood: Israel and the Jewish people here are thriving and prospering beyond all expectations, and blessing the world through its acquired knowledge and innovations born of necessity. Continue reading “Pride Comes Before A Fall – 19 Jan 2018”

Will Israel Ever Accept Messianic Jews?

A couple of days ago the Jerusalem Post carried an interesting article on the plight of Jewish believers in Yeshua/Jesus:
http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Diaspora-Affairs-Will-Israel-ever-accept-Messianic-Jews-518129

This situation is nothing new, as the article makes clear.  Before my wife and I got married (and before we were believers in Jesus) , we went to speak with a progressive rabbi — liberal beyond Reform Judaism (I was raised Conservative).    She (who is not Jewish) asked him who is a Jew.  He said that anyone that wanted to be a Jew could be one.  She said that she didn’t believe that, but that a Jew is one who has the DNA:  someone might convert to the Jewish religion, but that did not make him/her a Jew.  The rabbi said that’s not so:  “anyone could be a Jew that wanted to be, as Ben-Gurion said”!  Then I asked about those Jews who believe in Jesus (such as the organization Jews For Jesus), and say that they are still Jews.  His face changed…..and hardened:  “You can not be a Jew and believe in Jesus Christ!”

I grew up thinking that a Jew who became a believer in Jesus was either not a Jew anymore, or, at the least, was a bad Jew.  My father and mother never reconciled with me still being Jewish after I became a believer.  I say that I was born Jew-ish and was born-again a Jew! 🙂  All this to say, I am not attempting to have Judaism accept me as a Jew.  Whenever any Messianic Jew has gone to the Israeli courts to try to prove that they are still Jews for the purpose of aliyah, they have always lost, and brought more difficulty on the others, making aliyah of Jewish believers more difficult.  But still, the Lord is bringing some over, including some with big names.  Judaism will not accept us; some Jews will.  Just like Islam will never accept Israel; but some Muslims might.
The particular story of this woman is really tragic, and only brings shame to our government and nation.  Our hope is in Yeshua/Jesus, also despised and rejected, and thrown out of the vineyard.  We, too, must go outside the camp where He is and bear His reproach.

The Church’s Role in The End-Times of The Last Days Towards Israel’s Salvation

Gentile believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have been brought into covenant relationship with the God of Israel, and with Jewish believers in the Son of God.  The Church — the Body of Christ/Messiah, the one new man, the Bride of the Lamb — is comprised of both these redeemed and born-again believers called out from every people group and nation.  We all have a significant role to play through to the end of the age towards YHVH God’s salvation of His chosen people Israel, by which the whole world and creation will be blessed. Continue reading “The Church’s Role in The End-Times of The Last Days Towards Israel’s Salvation”

Looking For The Blessed Hope

(Presented at PFI-UK conference on June 10, 2017)  Rev:  Mar 12, 2018

I was saved when I finally realized that my hope for a better world was going to be the Lord Jesus Christ coming back to make this world right, according to the prophetic Word of God that He has given us in the Bible.  When I repented and believed the good news, I got much more than I had expected or even thought of:  forgiveness of my sins, baptism of the Holy Spirit, eternal life with the Lord in a new creation that will be perfect, far better even than the Millennial Kingdom after Jesus returns!

I remember that when we were first saved, much of the expectation then (1981) was that Jesus could come back in 1988, which meant that the rapture could happen any time very soon in 1981.  This was the blessed hope.  Randi and I went to a church service not long after in another state, and the pastor that day said that the rapture, our blessed hope, could happen any time very soon, and that the Christians would escape the terrible things that were going to come on the Earth.  But every time that I read the Bible about these things, I was not as sure as these pastors and teachers were about the timing or the purpose of the rapture.  Also, I thought, Christians had not done any better than the Jews had with respect to living in a manner that honored the name of the LORD.  I heard another well-known teacher, who recently spoke at a conference in another country, say that the blessed hope of Christians was not dying; i.e., being raptured when Jesus comes for His bride.  This expectation was, and is, believed and taught by both Jewish and Gentile believers.

My thoughts always took me to consider all the thousands, millions, billions of believers who have already died over the last almost 2000 years.  According to all of these teachers and teachings, they all missed the blessed hope!  They simply were not living at the right time!  Yet the Scriptures give this blessed hope to all believers, not only to those who might still be alive when the Lord returns, when He calls, firstly, for those dead in Christ, and also to those alive in Him to gather together unto Him. (Ps 50:4-5; 2Thes 2:1-5)  In fact, the catching up of those alive at His coming was a “new thing” that would not have been thought of before the revelation given to the apostle Paul:  whether dead or alive, all who have hoped in YHVH’s Messiah for salvation will be in the new body with Him at that moment which the Father has appointed! (Gen 3:15; Mt 24:36; Rom 8:18-25; 1Cor 15:50-58)  Have you noticed that after the mark of the beast has been taken to the doom of all who do so, the apostle John is told by a voice from Heaven:  “Write:  ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’  Yes, says the Spirit, that they rest from their labors, and their works follow them.’” (Rev 14:13)  As much as we might like not to die, God is saying that those who do die in the Lord even during the time of great tribulation are blessed!  For they will be resurrected to eternal life in the body.  The gates of Sheol/Hades – death — can not prevail against the Church! In any case, it does seem that the Holy Spirit is awakening the Body of Messiah to the coming again of the Lord.  Many still seem to be sleeping, or, having awakened, they still seem unprepared or indifferent to it.  This is what the parable of the ten virgins teaches us.  As often as we fellowship in the Lord’s Supper, we remember the Lord’s death until He comes. (1Cor 11:25-27)

An argument used to support an “imminent” – any time, whether very soon or very distant – rapture are the verses and expectations of the apostles in their letters to believers that the Lord was “at the door”, “at hand”, “approaching”, “coming quickly” (which is not the same as  ‘coming soon’).  Paul, in his first epistle to the believers in Thessaloniki, wrote to them of the Lord’s coming and the catching up of those believers who would be alive at His coming.  Paul even wrote as if he himself might be alive at that time.  Yet in his second letter to them, he clarified what had apparently been misunderstood:  that this would not happen until the falling away (apostacy) and the revelation of the antichrist.  This does not occur until midway through the last seven years of this age (the 70th week of Daniel).  It could perhaps be said that from that midway point the Lord’s return will be imminent.  But even then, maybe not:  remember that those who are alive in Messiah meet in the air those who are being resurrected on the way up, and in these verses from Revelation regarding the opening of the fifth seal, the Lord is letting us know that there are going to be a certain number of martyrs before His vengeance is poured out. (Rev 6:9-11)  Both Paul and Peter came to know that they were going to die, and they did not say, ‘unless the Lord should come between now and then’.  The return of the Jewish people back to the land of promise was and is a big sign of the last days that needed to occur before these other events can play out.  The Holy Spirit gave the early believers an earnest expectation that their blessed hope would truly be in God and the fulfillment of His plan of redemption.  But beyond them, the Scriptures are written for us living at the end of the age, and so this expectation is being quickened in our generation to a level not known for most of the last 2000 years. (1Cor 10:11)

The Word of God promises to those in Christ that we are delivered from God’s wrath, the Day of YHVH. (Is 61:2b)  Jacob’s Trouble/the Great Tribulation is essentially Satan’s wrath being unleashed on especially Jews and Christians, whom he especially hates, since both are connected with Yehovah God and His Son in covenant relationship, even if individuals among them do not believe.  God’s wrath is against His enemies, and of His people, both  Jews and Christians.  Some of His enemies can include individual Jews and Christians who have forsaken the covenants He has “cut” with them.  God’s wrath will be seen to be His righteous judgment against those who are clearly opposed to Him.   Those who hold to a pre-tribulation rapture as the blessed hope have had to redefine the whole of “Daniel’s 70th Week” — the last seven years before the coming again of the Lord — as God’s wrath/ the Day of the LORD, in order to justify their particular position, but which is also the eschatological view of all believers:  we will not suffer the wrath of God.  This is good news!  And the Holy Spirit will enable us to help others understand what is going on, and purify us to be the spotless and chaste Bride of our glorious Bridegroom!  This is also good news!  (Mt 3:11-12; Dan 11:31-35; Eph 5:25-27; 1Jn 3:1-3)

Let’s look at some verses that express the promise of God which gives the confident hope that has sustained the faithful throughout the ages of mankind:

Tit 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, (12) teaching us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live discreetly, righteously and godly, in this present world, (13) looking for the blessed hope, and the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (14) who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify to Himself a special people, zealous of good works.

Act 23:6 But when Paul saw that the one part were Sadducees and the other part Pharisees, he cried out in the Sanhedrin, ‘Men! Brothers! I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee! I am being judged because of the hope and resurrection of the dead’.

Act 24:14-16 But I confess this to you, that after the Way which they call heresy, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things that are written in the Law and in the Prophets. (15) And I have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. (16) And in this I exercise myself, always to have a blameless conscience toward God and men.

Job 19:25-27  For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall rise on the Earth at the last;   (26)  and even after my skin is corrupted, yet this: in my flesh I shall see God,  (27)  whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not a stranger’s; my heart yearns within me!

Heb 11:17-19  By faith Abraham, being tested, offered up Isaac. And he who had received the promises offered up his only-begotten son,  (18)  of whom it was said that in Isaac your seed shall be called,  (19)  concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from where he even received him, in a figure.

Jn 11:23-27  Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again.  (24)  Martha said to Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.  (25)  Jesus said to her, I am the Resurrection and the Life! He who believes in Me, though he die, yet he shall live.  (26)  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?  (27)  She said to Him, Yes, Lord, I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who has come into the world.

Dan 12:1-2 And at that time Michael shall stand up, the great ruler who stands for the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation; until that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. (2) And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Act 26:6-8 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made to our fathers by God, (7) to which promise our twelve tribes hope to attain, serving God fervently night and day. For the sake of this hope, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. (8) Why is it thought a thing incredible with you that God raises the dead?

Rom 8:18-25  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.  Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.  For we saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

1Co 15:16-20  For if the dead are not raised, then Christ is not raised.  (17)  And if Christ is not raised, your faith is foolish; you are yet in your sins.  (18)  Then also those that fell asleep in Christ were lost.  (19)  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.  (20)  But now Christ has risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruit of those who slept.

Php 3:7-12 But whatever things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (8) But no, rather, I also count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be dung, so that I may win Christ (9) and be found in Him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith, (10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death; (11) if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the [righteous] dead. (12) Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. The second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him a thousand years.

Our blessed hope as believers in Yeshua/Jesus is the same as that given to the Fathers and the Children of Israel, and which was believed by men and women of faith in the Word and promise of God before them: it is the resurrection of the dead in Messiah/Christ, and the rapture of the living in Christ/Messiah at His revelation, at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in great power and glory, and sin will trouble us no more: “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the Earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”