Last week I spoke about digging up our stopped-up wells so that the spiritual life in Messiah can flow through us more freely. We spoke of some of the “stones, dirt, and garbage” which can clog up our wells. It had been my intention to speak today on another subject related to God’s purposes for us here in Beer Sheva, but during the week the Holy Spirit convicted me of another stone in both my life and in the congregation’s, which is limiting God in blessing us here as He would want. It is a subject which is seen from the first pages of history down to these last days, as written for our instruction in the Bible. Continue reading “CLOGGED WELLS: UNPAID TITHES AND OFFERINGS”
Mt 1:1-16; Lk 3:23-38 Genealogy of Yeshua
Ezek 16:3; Dt 26:5 My father was an Aramean (Syrian)
YHVH promised Abraham, our father in the faith, that his children (his descendants) would go down to a land not theirs, and there become slaves. At Passover we remember that God kept His promise to deliver our fathers, the children of Israel, from Egypt, and to bring us out that we would worship YHVH in the land of promise – the Land of Canaan, now the Land of Israel. When we read in Genesis and in Deuteronomy where Jacob/Israel described his sons, and Moses described the tribes of the sons of Israel, we notice how different each was while yet of one large and extended family. They were also joined together by the covenant which God cut with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, by the redemption from out of Egypt, and by the Law of the covenant which YHVH gave them all together.
All of us have ancestors. We all have a past – both personal and as a family, a tribe, or as a people. We see from the Bible that God knows us and He calls us by name. (Those who are born-again by the Holy Spirit know this experientially.) Many people today are interested in finding their roots, tracing their family lineages back as far as they can in the hope of gaining a stronger sense of their identity, of who they are. (The apostle Paul advises us not to waste too much time or effort in this because it is not profitable. Tit 3:9) It is more relevant to know who are our near and distant relatives in the Spirit – in the faith – than merely of which family in the flesh. For this reason the New Testament gives only the genealogy of Jesus, showing Him to be the promised Seed of the woman, and of Abraham and David, as well as God’s Son. After Him, one is either born-again into the redeemed family of God in Christ, or else remains dead in His trespasses and sins as an unsaved son of Adam. Continue reading “UNITY — WE AND OUR FATHERS – 18 Apr 1998”
Mt 5:4/Lk 6:21 “Blessed are they who mourn/weep now, for they shall be comforted/laugh.”
Within the past month, members of this congregation have experienced mourning and weeping. With the death of two family members, loved ones and friends had a personal and family experience of weeping and mourning. And now this week, we have joined with the nation that weeps for her children, the 73 young men – soldiers – who died without warning or expectation; not at the hand of their enemies, but in a collision of two helicopters of our own.
Who among us did not cry before the Lord when we heard the news? Who did not feel the pain of the families and close friends? Who among the children of God the Father in Heaven does not pray from his heart, “Until when LORD?!; Thy Kingdom come!; Blessed is He who comes in the name of YHVH!; Come, Lord Jesus!”? Continue reading “THE CROSS”
John 17:17-26 sanctify by truth; the Father’s love for us is as His love for Jesus
Heb. 2:10-12 Jesus (Yeshua) not ashamed to call us His brethren
God loves us! Our Father in Heaven loves us, and He loves us as much as He loves His only-begotten Son Yeshua! It’s understandable that we should know and believe that God the Father loves Yeshua the Son, because Yeshua always did what pleased His Father; He always –even from His youth– did what was good and right in His Father’s eyes. He always lived and walked by faith according to the Spirit of Holiness. He always trusted and obeyed His Father, and he honored His earthly mother and father.
It is more difficult for us to grasp the love of the truth that God our Father really loves us. Our experiences, our feelings, our enemies (devil, world, self, iniquity) all conspire to tell us that God does not –even cannot– love someone like me or you or us or them. And certainly if He does, it isn’t like His love for someone else: I’m not worthy, or that person has advantages that make him or her easier to love; or, I’m not pretty or handsome –so many things which make us feel less love. Of course, there are always those who think that they deserve all the love they have, and it’s not their concern if another feels a love deficit. Continue reading “OUR BROTHER YESHUA”
Recently I was walking down the street and singing the chorus to the song, “Peace Like A River” – ‘it is well with my soul’ – and the Lord by His Spirit had me rejoicing in my spirit and giving thanks to God that it is true: it is well with my soul! And yet, I considered how annoyed and impatient I can be; how I am not considered by others for good works particularly; how I have to fight so many unclean thoughts. So what is it then that I can be singing in truth that it is well with my soul?! It is because Jesus is my guilt (trespass) offering, and I have peace and security in my relationship to God as my Father through Messiah. And if I know that I have acceptance with my Creator and Redeemer, then I can also relate to my brothers and sisters in the Lord, as well as to people still of this world, on the basis of that reality. When my heart condemns me – which it does at times for those very things mentioned above – God is greater than my heart. Continue reading “OUR GUILT OFFERING”
(Eve of formal appointment as Elder)
Does anyone here tonight want to be changed from what you are and the way you now are – even as a believer – because of hearing the Word of God to you?
Is anyone here tonight a changed/different (hopefully better!) person since believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior than what you were before believing the gospel of God?
These two questions – with their positive answers – give a basis for continual hope and growth in the life of any person and Christian – old or young, male or female, wise or simple, Jew or Gentile, . . . . Continue reading “REPENTANCE LEADS TO CONVERSION: LIFE-CHANGING/CHARACTER-CHANGING”
2Cor 11:2 Engaged to the Lord
2Pt 1:4 Promises of God to escape worldly corruption and to partake of divine nature
Gen 24:50-58 Rebecca’s betrothal (engagement) to Isaac
When any person – whether Jew or Gentile – is born-again through repentance and faith in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, he enters into a new, covenantal relationship with God as Father, who gives him/her the Holy Spirit, and the believer knows that he is joined to the Lord.
God gives us His great and precious promises not only to realize them in the world to come, but also to affect our lives here today: that we would set them before us and allow the living hope of them to work in us to transform and cleanse our souls and our lives. These promises are not for any particular individual alone, but rather to all members of the Church, the Body of Christ.
One of these wonderful promises God gives to those in Messiah is to become His Bride! We become engaged to the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, when we believe on Him as Savior and Lord. This is a profound mystery: the union of Messiah and the Church (all Christians collectively), of which Adam and Eve – the first man and wife (woman) – are a type. Continue reading “BETROTHED TO YESHUA – 2 Mar 1991”
It is joy to speak of Him who is perfect and harmless, and also of His Kingdom. It is amazing, given the state of the world, the rampant unbelief in any particular god (or belief in every kind of god), and the widespread rejection, in truth, of the LORD God and His Anointed, that most people, when asked, think that God is too good to send people to hell at all, not to mention forever! So we heard last week from Olavi. This only confirms the Scripture that says even God’s enemies will praise Him. What sovereign wisdom He has to accomplish this! Continue reading “SOVEREIGNTY AND WISDOM OF GOD – 8 Apr 1989”