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”

ISSUE OF THE HEART: ” As if”

Have you ever listened to Israelis speaking in Hebrew and noticed that some of them us the word k’ilu”?  It’s become a word that is used so much as just a ‘filler’ that it is difficult to know when the speaker really means “as if” or not.  

As I prepared my lesson for our house group a few weeks ago, I came upon the Hebrew word l’kachesh that is found in Dt 33:29; 2Sam 2:45; Ps 66:3; 81:15 (16 Heb), for examples.  The word kechash means deceiver or liar.  Kakhashoot is similar to kafira and effikoresoot:  someone who is unfaithful to the truth, especially with respect to God and the principles of the faith; an infidel.  L’kachesh suggests someone or a group or a nation which pretends or feigns submission or obedience or loyalty to God or to a faith or to a nation or to an agreement, but in their heart they are not sincere or truthful.  I was reminded just this morning that nations will be making a covenant with Israel – and vice versa – as IF they accept her, but then Gog and Magog will attack a people at rest in unwalled villages, but. . .Israel will prevail by the power and grace of the faithful and true God and Savior.  Hallelu-Yah!   Continue reading “ISSUE OF THE HEART: ” As if””

ALL NATIONS WILL WORSHIP YHVH GOD – 6 Oct 2006

Zech 14:16-19   And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came againstJerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, YHVH of Hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths.  And it shall be that whichever of the families of the Earth do not come up toJerusalem to worship the King, YHVH of Hosts, on them there will be no rain.  If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall not have rain; they shall receive the plague with which YHVH strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Booths.  This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Booths.

There is a battle in the spiritual realm over the nations.  Continue reading “ALL NATIONS WILL WORSHIP YHVH GOD – 6 Oct 2006”

THE DISCIPLINE AND ENDURANCE FOR THE PRIZE

1 Cor 9:24-27   Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  Therefore I run thus:  not with uncertainty.  Thus I fight:  not as one beating the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
             –What value do we place upon our prize – our crown?  What are we willing to do in order to obtain it?
             –Paul was certain about his salvation, and because he knew God’s forgiveness, Paul loved Him greatly.
            –temperate (moderate) in food, drink, bodily exercise, sufficient sleep, controlling one’s eyes and tongue   Continue reading “THE DISCIPLINE AND ENDURANCE FOR THE PRIZE”

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”

HATED FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE

We previously looked at striving together in prayer for the sake of the gospel; zeal for the sake of God’s covenant; regathering and salvation of Israel for the sake of YHVH’s holy name 

Mt 5:11-12   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.     WITHIN ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH

Mt 10:21-22   Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.  And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.  But he who endures to the end will be saved.     WITHIN FAMILY; CIVIL WAR 

Jn 15:18-21   If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own.  Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’  If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.  If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.  But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake because they do not know Him who sent Me.   WORLD-AT-LARGE AND ALSO AMONGST PEOPLE OF GOD   Continue reading “HATED FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE”

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)”

Worship God in Spirit and Truth – 20 Dec 2003

(Modified Dec 15, 2017)

Jude 3 – contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints
Mt 5:14-16  we are light to be seen, and to honor the true Light source
–light to be seen publicly
–draws attention for friend and foe

The Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) reminds us of the battle within Israel amongst the Jewish people over the worship of God in the Temple.  This was about 160 years before Jesus was born.  The LORD helped the Maccabees win the victory to re-establish the worship of God according to the truth as understood under the Law and the Prophets.  And the LORD was with them in the victory!  But the Maccabees, too, were but men like us, and before long, the decline reached to the point of no return.  There remained a remnant that sought true freedom, not only from the Roman powers which the Maccabees invited into Israel, but freedom to worship God with all their hearts, soul, mind, and strength, and to see Israel redeemed from all her unrighteousness. Continue reading “Worship God in Spirit and Truth – 20 Dec 2003”