On The Other Side

(Rev from April 2007) 

Lk 16: 19-31   the rich man and Lazarus; Abraham’s bosom
Phlp 1: 21-23   with Messiah
Mt 8: 11-12   outer darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth  

Recently I have gone to five funerals of believers in Yeshua/Jesus. Three had lived to ‘full age’; two were young parents, with their infant son. For us whose sins are forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for our sins, and in His resurrection from the grave, we pass from death to life, awaiting the last trumpet blast for the resurrection of the dead in Christ. (1Cor 15:50-57) Then shall be the victory shout and song of the righteous! For those without that personal relationship with God the Father through saving faith in His Son, they also await a separate resurrection of the unrighteous. Both groups are waiting for the resurrection on the appropriate last day. Continue reading “On The Other Side”

Gen 12: YHVH’s Call To Abram, Son of Eber, Son of Shem

Gen 11:31 – 13:1 

From the genealogy in Gen 11, we learn that Abraham (Abram) was born 352 years after the Flood. Noah died only two years before the birth of Abraham! Shem and Eber were still alive (even during Jacob’s life)! Truly, Shem is the father of all the sons of Eber, father of the Hebrews. We do not know for certain whether they ever met and spoke with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob (or even with Ishmael and Esau), but it is likely, and they would have had eye-witness accounts of pre-Flood and post-Flood people and events, as God maintained His witness and passed it on to His chosen persons and family. Noah was the tenth from Adam, and was protected through the judgment of the Flood; Abraham was tenth from Shem, who also was saved out from the Flood. Ch 12 carries on with God’s redemptive plan, choosing Abram – son of Eber, son of Shem, son of Noah — from among all the Gentiles, through whom He would bless the world through covenant and promise – and lots of controversy. Continue reading “Gen 12: YHVH’s Call To Abram, Son of Eber, Son of Shem”

Gen 4: Crime and Punishment, With Redemptive Hope

Gen 4:1-26

We may not realize that sin is a crime against God. Sin is lawlessness (1Jn 3:4); that is, it does not accept or live by any law that governs society, or that establishes what is good and what is evil. It is disobedience and rebellion against God and His Word. (Is 1:18-20) It began with Lucifer, now the Devil, and he brought it into Eve and Adam. Sin separates us from God our Father. (Is 59:2) Yeshua came to destroy the works of the devil, and to restore us to a relationship with God, knowing His holiness and righteousness, His goodness, His love. (1Jn 3:8) Continue reading “Gen 4: Crime and Punishment, With Redemptive Hope”

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. Continue reading “The Gap Between Believing God’s Word _______ and Human Wisdom”

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”

Generational Transference: We and Our Fathers

The righteousness and justice of God:  His ways are not ours; His thoughts not ours.  Repentance begins with agreeing with Him and learning from Him.   The truth sets us free, and humbles us to first judge ourselves of the log in our own eyes, so that we can better help others with their specks.  Glory to our Father in Heaven and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ!

Heb 7:8-10  Here men that die receive tithes; but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.  And as I may so say, Levi also, who receives tithes, paid tithes in Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.  Continue reading “Generational Transference: We and Our Fathers”

Whose Right of Determination? – 17 Apr 2018

Israel remembers tonight all her sons and daughters who have died in the numerous wars and terror attacks since her birth as a nation 70 years ago, according to the Hebrew calendar.  (The Western calendar Independence date is May 14/15.)   Every war and attack against Israel is an existential threat to her existence.  As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Through many tribulations we enter the Kingdom of God!” (Acts 14:22)   There is much suffering, even death, before entering into glory.

YHVH God of Israel called and destined His people to be separate from the Gentile nations, a holy people to Himself, and a priestly nation to the nations.  But in the days of Samuel the prophet, the Children of Israel asked for a king like the Gentiles have, to judge them and lead them in war.  God gave them what they asked for:  He gave them Saul to be their king.  (Shaul in Hebrew, which means, “asked for”.) Continue reading “Whose Right of Determination? – 17 Apr 2018”

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.

Yeshua Is Judge, And Savior

Mk 11:11-26  And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the Temple.  So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve. 

(12) And on the next day, they going out of Bethany, He was hungry.  (13)  And seeing a fig-tree with leaves afar off, He went to it, if perhaps He might find anything on it.  And when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season of figs.  (14)  And Jesus answered and said to it, No one shall eat fruit of you forever. And His disciples heard. 

(15)  And they came to Jerusalem. And entering into the temple, Jesus began to cast out those who bought and sold in the Temple.  And He overthrew the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves.  (16)  And He would not allow any to carry a vessel through the Temple.  (17)  And He taught, saying to them, Is it not written, “My house shall be called the house of prayer for all nations?” But you have made it a den of thieves.  (18)  And the scribes and the chief priests heard. And they sought how they might destroy Him. For they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His doctrine. 

(19)  And when evening came, He went out of the city.  (20)  And passing by that morning, they saw the fig-tree dried up from the roots.  (21)  And Peter, remembering, said to Him, Rabbi, behold, the fig tree which You cursed has withered away. 

(22)  And answering Jesus said to them, Have faith of God.  (23)  For truly I say to you that whoever shall say to this mountain, Be moved and be cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he said shall occur, he shall have whatever he said.  (24)  Therefore I say to you, All things, whatever you ask, praying, believe that you shall receive them, and it will be to you. 

(25)  And when you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive it so that also your Father in Heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  (26)  But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive your trespasses. 

Yeshua has just made His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, the common people acknowledging Him as the Son of David who they believed had come to be the King of Israel.  But His time had not yet come for that.  He left the city and the Temple, and went to Bethany, probably to the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus.  Continue reading “Yeshua Is Judge, And Savior”