PURIM: SOME LESSONS FOR US

The Scroll of Esther is read in the synagogues every year for Purim.  This holiday is still being observed:  it still has relevance for us today, even for Gentile believers in Jesus.  Haman presents us with a type of the antichrist in his spirit, and a descendant of Agag, of Amalek, of Esau, the hostile twin brother of Jacob.

Today I want to look at just a couple of events in the book for us as believers to consider: Continue reading “PURIM: SOME LESSONS FOR US”

THE INCENSE OF PRAYERS – Feb 2006

(Written for IsraelPrayer.com .  Slightly edited here.)

Replacement Theology began a long time ago, when first Jews and then Christians went to the left or to the right of the Spirit of Truth of God the Father’s Word.  We replaced the commandments and promises of God with traditions of men and hope in this world, which opposes the Kingdom of YHVH God and of His Anointed One.  The Messiah and Son of God Himself has taught us to pray firstly for the sanctification of our Heavenly Father’s name, and that HIS will be done…on Earth, as it is in Heaven.  As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ (I’m writing English, and this name honors Him), we are commanded by Him to seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness.  (If I may turn aside for a moment after what I’ve just written:  if born-again belieiving Christians get involved with all kinds of very unprofitable nonsense over the name of our Lord and Savior, we can certainly not expect much favor from God.  In this we show ourselves to be like the Jewish people who, too, have made a mockery of The Name of the God who chose us!  All in the interest of sanctity and reverence!) Continue reading “THE INCENSE OF PRAYERS – Feb 2006”

CHRISTMASNACHT IN BEER SHEVA – 29 Dec 2005 (28 Chislev 5766)

(Written as an Op-Ed for the Jerusalem Post)

This Jewish story begins almost 4000 years ago with our father Abraham, and then with his two sons.  One son mocked the seeming insignificance of the other.  Later Isaac’s two sons strove, with the blessing given to our father Jacob/Israel.  The other son never really got over his loss.  Jacob’s own twelve sons have been squabbling ever since over who should have the place of honor.  When we do bad things to each other, we say it is just a family feud, but when others do bad things to us, we call it something else.  We are a picture of humanity in microcosm.  Although YHVH God has told His chosen people how to worship Him, we have disputed about even this.  Some of us deny that there is even a God who has told us anything.  Others will even use unlawful means to accomplish what to them is a just end. Continue reading “CHRISTMASNACHT IN BEER SHEVA – 29 Dec 2005 (28 Chislev 5766)”

FOR THE SAKE OF JESUS AND THE GOSPEL

(C&MA Great Commission Fund tour from Feb 27 – Mar 10, 2004, in Roanoke, Lynchburg, and Richmond, Virginia)

Mk 10:28-31 (Mt 19:29; Lk 18:29-30)  Then Peter began to say to [Jesus], ‘See, we have left all and followed You.’  So Jesus answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time – houses and brothers and sisters and  mothers and children and lands, with persecutions – and in the age to come eternal life.  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.’ 

Peter here is responding in amazement to what the Lord Jesus had just spoken before as to how difficult it is for rich people to enter the Kingdom of God.  Because rather than giving up all for the reality of God and His Kingdom, they are trusting in themselves and in their own wealth or wisdom or power.  Jesus answers that anyone – not only the apostles, but anyone – who forsakes those things most valued in their lives or in the estimation of the world for His sake and the gospel’s will be rewarded both now and forever, with persecution between now and then along the way!  Continue reading “FOR THE SAKE OF JESUS AND THE GOSPEL”

The Holocaust and the Salvation of Israel: “Be Reconciled to YHVH GOD”

Lev. 26: 40-45   Israel and Jewish people confessing personal and historic collective guilt for breaking YHVH’s covenants

There is a biblical principle whereby God holds the heads of a people accountable for the blessing or punishment of the people.  We see this with Pharaoh and the Egyptians with respect to the children of Israel at the time of the Passover and Exodus from Egypt.  We see it again with King David and his census of Israel, bringing the LORD’s judgment upon the people and the near destruction of Jerusalem (2Sam. 24). 

The rulers of the people — whether kings or priests — represent the people before God, and by their example of faith and obedience — or the contrary — the nation is led.  Today, does not a nation of people go to war or make peace based upon the determinations of their leader(s)?  Are not nations judged in the eyes of others by their thoughts regarding the heads of government or of the religious authorities?  Do not Jews today insist that Germans living today confess their nation’s and their parents’ guilt for the Holocaust — that Germans and Germany are primarily responsible and guilty because of their evil leader who governed and represented them?; or to put it another way, in Hitler, the Germans living today — whether or not they were personally and directly involved — are reckoned as guilty and defiled by the Jewish people, even more than are Austrians and Poles who also bear their own iniquity.  Continue reading “The Holocaust and the Salvation of Israel: “Be Reconciled to YHVH GOD””