Reflecting Pool Archive

272 Replies to “Reflecting Pool Archive”

  1. Pastor or Rabbi? Tues 3 Apr 18:56

    Howard,
    Interestingly I was lead to mention this same violation of calling leaders Rabbi, in my message two weeks ago. I called Paul a Dr. Dr. Paul …..

    One of the members started giggling. I stopped and asked him why are you giggling….. Then came the punch line:
    Why do we giggle when Paul is called a Dr. But we stay at ease when he is called a Rabbi?
    D

  2. (All of the comments on this reflection till now, 17 April, 11:29am, are from exchanges within the Israeli Messianic community.)

    PASTOR OR RABBI? – 3 Apr 2012

    How is it that so many spiritual leaders in the Messianic community who believe in Messiah Yeshua would take upon themselves, or accept it being given to them, the title of Rabbi, when Yeshua Himself, the Messiah of God to Israel and the Jewish people first of all, says not to? (The same question can be asked of those in the Roman Catholic community who go by the name Father.)

    Mt 23: 8-12 “But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Master Teacher, the Messiah/Christ, and you are all brethren. . . .”

    Instead, the Jewish Messiah, speaking to and teaching His Jewish Israeli apostles and disciples, says to Peter (who perhaps could be called the first Pastor) three times: “Feed My lambs.”; “Tend My sheep.”; “Feed My sheep.” (Jn 21:15-17) This was after Jesus had already warned and prepared Peter for his denial of Him, when He said to Peter, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:31-32)

    A pastor is a shepherd. Yeshua is the Good and Great Shepherd of the sheep. In Ezek 34, YHVH rebukes the false shepherds, and promises Himself to be the Shepherd who seeks and finds the lost sheep of the House of Israel to care for them, to tend them, to feed them, to strengthen them — exactly what Yeshua commissioned Peter to do, and Paul and Peter the elders of the church. (Acts 20:27-31a; 1Pt 5:1-4)

    When we think of a ‘pastoral scene’, we picture an open field, with rolling grassy hillsides, a watering hole, and sheep and goats grazing freely and safely. It is pastoral because it is the ideal of a shepherd’s beautiful landscape. The Hebrew word for shepherd is the same as that used for a congregational overseer of the flock: ro’eh. He looks after them, as a brother is his brother’s keeper; as a father lovingly cares for His children.

    Pastor is a good Jewish word; it is Hebraic; it is Biblical; it is Messianic; it is from God.

    “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Master made ruler over His household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his Master, when He comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that He will make him ruler over all His goods.” (Mt 24:45-47)

  3. STREAMS IN THE NEGEV AND THE RETURN OF THE JEWS TO ISRAEL – 26 Mar 2012

    “Return our exiles, O Lord, like watercourses in the Negev. Those who sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy. He who goes along weeping, carrying the seedbag, shall come back with songs of joy, carrying his sheaves” (Psalm 126:4-6).

    In this beautiful and beloved psalm, the return of the exiles to Israel is compared to the “watercourses in the Negev. “Why the Negev and not simply “the desert”? The Negev streams come from collecting basins incomparably larger than those of the Judean Desert. When rain falls on the Negev mountains, water begins to flow into hundreds of tiny rivulets that drain into dozens of larger watercourses. These carry the water, in ever-growing strength, to larger streams that can reach several hundred meters in width.

    This picture––myriad tiny rivulets coming together from distant areas to form powerful streams–is surely what inspired the psalmist to pray for the ingathering of the exiles from the four corners of the earth “like watercourses in the Negev.” (See Nogah Hareuveni, Desert and Shepherd in Our Biblical Heritage, p.89-90.)

    Those who “sow in tears and reap with songs of joy” is a parallel image. The sowers put each tiny, precious seed into the ground, not knowing whether or not there would be a harvest. And if the blessing of the harvest does come, each seed will have multiplied itself many dozens of times-like the tiny rivulets in the Negev that, together, form rushing streams.

    (from website of Neot Kedumim
    http://www.n-k.org.il/public/english/what/newsletter/2005/donor.htm

  4. HARD CHOICES – 26 Mar 2012

    When it comes to voting for a political candidate for high office, often times we hear from evangelical believers that the position on Israel should be determinant.

    But what if a strong Israel supporter also supports abortion? What if a non-supporter of Israel is against abortion?

    What is a voter to do when neither the candidates nor the voter can discern between their right hand and their left? When do we begin to call upon the Lord to come — even as we continue to obey Yeshua with faith until that time — to punish workers of iniquity who refuse to repent from their evil deeds, and to save His people from their own sins?

  5. IN MESSIAH/CHRIST/ANOINTED ONE, AND MESSIAH IN US – 16 Mar 2012

    The anointing of persons in the Old Testament was with oil, essentially to consecrate someone for service unto YHVH. This was normally restricted and applied to Aaronic priests for religious service(Ex 28:41); to kings of Israel to lead and to victoriously deliver the people, judging the nation in righteousness and justice (1Sam 9:16; Ps 89:14; Gen 18:19); and to prophets of YHVH, who were to keep the people, including the kings and priests, accountable to God. (1Kg 19:16; Is 61:1-3)

    Yeshua/Jesus is THE Anointed One/THE Christ/THE Messiah.(Mt 16:16; Lk 4:17-21) His anointing was by the Holy Spirit. (Jn 1:32-34)

    All born-again believers in Jesus Christ are born-again by the Holy Spirit, who indwells and consecrates the believer unto God through and in Messiah; and every believer has the anointing to know God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Jn 3:3-8; 2Cor 1:21-22; 1Jn 2:20-28)

    So as ‘anointed’ believers, as we are conformed to the image of the Son of God, in Messiah we ought to be demonstrating that for which the anointing is given, maturing in these qualities and responsibilities; and recognizing that each of us may tend more toward one anointed office or another, so we need to both seek the wholeness and also accept the balancing which other believing ‘anointed ones’ in Christ have and contribute.

    We ought to be sympathetic priests, if not the High Priest, as we relate to other believers who are sinners saved by grace as we are, and also to unbelievers, since we were once, too. (Heb 4:14-16; Eph 2:4-10; 1Cor 6:9-11) As priests, we draw near to God, and the Lord Himself is our inheritance. (Heb 10:19-22; Ezek 44:23,28; Num 8:14; Dt 18:1-2; Rev 3:12)

    We ought to be prophetic, if not the Prophet, “for the Lord YHVH has spoken, and who can not but prophesy!” (Amos 3:8) And with that, we ought to be ‘prophesying’, speaking edification, exhortation, and comfort to all, especially within the Body of Messiah. (1Cor 14:3)

    We ought to be kingly, if not the King, ruling over our own spirits, living righteously, as we subject ourselves to the lordship of the Holy Spirit within us and of Yeshua over us, and overseeing the flock of our Shepherd King. (Prov 16:32; Gal 5:22-26; Eph 4:25-32; 1Tim 3:1-7; 1Pt 5:1-7)

    “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer each one.” (Col 4:6)

    With this anointing given to all who believe in Jesus as the Son of God (1Pt 2:9), we who are in Christ can look forward to that day when we will be priests of God on thrones, judging righteously the world, ruling and reigning with Him who is King of kings, and Lord of lords! (Rev 3:21; 20:4-6) Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!

  6. AND THE COMMON PEOPLE HEARD HIM GLADLY (Mk 12:37) – 12 Mar 2012

    It is like the Persians in Haman’s day, and Iran today with their leaders: many of the ‘common people’ could not understand why leaders wanted to destroy the Jewish people and nation, and were glad when the surprise victory came.

    So, too, the current situation in Israel and the Middle East: many of the political and religious leaders of the different Arab peoples stir up trouble to get people so upset with ‘the Jews/Israelis’, even to the point of wanting to see them killed off, or at least sent back into exile. But surely there are many ‘common people’ — the ‘salt of the earth’ — who wonder why this should be so and who inwardly rejoice when they see the Jewish people overcome yet again. They need to be encouraged to withstand threats and false accusations.

    Things do not change; history has a way of repeating itself, and the Bible isn’t being changed to meet ‘changing times’. It would help if we would learn from history, rather than ignoring it as a relic of its past.

  7. TRUTH MUST BE UPHELD – 28 Feb 2012

    Part of the problem, as I see it, is calling Islam one of the Abrahamic faiths, which it is not. (And neither is rabbinic Judaism, nor a faith-less Christianity.)

    Abraham is the father of the Israeli/Jewish people; can be said to be the father of Arab people through Ishmael, and also Esau/Edom, who married a daughter of Ishmael; and is the father of all who believe in his God, YHVH, and in His Son, Yeshua/Jesus/Yasu, as the Messiah, Son of the living God.

    Islam does not believe in this God, therefore Muslims are not sons of Abraham, and neither is their faith in the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob/Israel. Their God is not the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Yeshua said that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword, to the world. There is peace for all who repent and believe in Him. But His covenant divides families, nations, peoples — just as happened in the family case between Isaac and Ishmael, and between Jacob and Esau — and in the nations which have come out from them. Within those nations, there are those who do believe and those who do not. God is looking for faith in Him and His Word — in His righteousness — that all who believe may have His peace, even while the sword is still discomforting the others.

    The Bible must be our highest and ultimate authority for what is truth — otherwise there is just much confusion of faces — for it is the written and abiding Word of God who governs and judges all, and to Whom we will all give account. Distortion of truth needs to be refuted and repudiated in our battle to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

  8. WHAT WAS THEN WILL BE AGAIN – 27 Feb 2012

    Purim is coming, and the same God of yesterday is the same as always. The laws of Persia (Iran) can not be altered, and their leaders today are still hoping to annihilate the Jewish people. (see the Scroll of Esther) YHVH watches over His people and His interests to perform them by His zeal! Thank God, for we could not get it done without Him!

    The time is near for God Himself to act, to intervene — both in the affairs of men and nations, and also within the Body of Messiah/Christ — to put His fear in us all, that as many as will would turn to Him who alone is God Most High. Yeshua has received all authority in Heaven and on Earth.

    There are such impasses, and so many words have already been spoken over and over, and such fears and threatenings over our ‘sacred positions, that surely the time is near that Yeshua will straighten us all out that we might know what He approves, and be better prepared for the things yet to come.

  9. THE BLOOD OF THE CROSS – 7 Feb 2012

    Every human being who has ever been born or will be born has been redeemed by the sacrifice of God’s Son for sinners — all persons. The Man, Christ Jesus/Messiah Yeshua, is the Redeemer.

    Not everyone is saved. The Lord Jesus Christ/Yeshua Messiah is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

  10. MY PRAYER AND HOPE – 22 Jan 2012

    My prayer is that believers grasp by revelation and faith the reality of the new creation, the one new man, in Messiah (Eph 2:11-18; Gal 6:14-16; Phlp 3:7-16; Jn 17:20-23; Is 41:17-20).

    It is not just a matter of Jewish and Gentile believers worshipping the one true God together; that will be fully realized as a Millennial Kingdom reality when Israel and the nations will be ruled and reigned over by Yeshua and those holy and blessed ones who have part in the first resurrection. (Rev 20:6) It seems to me that that company of first resurrection saints are a set apart priesthood and Bride — the one new man reality prayed for by our Lord — whose inheritance is Yeshua, and the Father’s Kingdom with Him.

  11. SIGNIFICANCE OF BATTLE OF BEER SHEVA – 12 Jan 2012

    “That victory, which was accomplished not only by the Australlian Light Horse, but also by British infantry, as well as New Zealand horsemen, broke the Turkish-German line, and led ultimately to the British-led conquest of all of Palestine and the province of Syria. This in turn led to the collapse of the four hundred year old Turkish Empire.

    “Coupled with this great military event was the decision of the British Government on the very same day, 31 October 1917, to favour the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish National Home, which in time became the State of Israel. . . . In other words, what happened in Beersheba on 31 October 1917 had far-reaching historical importance. Without an Allied victory there, the land of Israel may have remained under Turkish Islamic control, and the Jewish people would not have had an internationally recognized legal framework under which to be restored. Also, five independent Arab nations (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia) may not have come into existence.

    “So we are not looking here at just an ordinary military victory. We are looking at something that had significant worldwide ramifications.”

    Quoted from the Introduction to the book, JOURNEY TO BEERSHEBA, by Kelvin Crombie, 2011
    kjcrombie09@bigpond.au

    (Here, you can listen to a wonderful sermon by Murray Dixon on The Battle For Beersheba:
    http://www.nevereverthesame.com/fridaysermons/the-battle-for-beer-sheba-sermon-murray-dixon-11-11-11-ellel-pierrepont.html )

  12. THE FAITH IN MESSIAH YESHUA DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHERS – 11 Jan 2012

    It is by personal faith in YHVH God and His Word that we are saved and in a vital union and fellowship with the Father and the Son, and with all others born-again by the Holy Spirit. Natural birth and culture may give privileges and honor, but do not guarantee acceptance. Many are called but few are chosen. Yeshua/Jesus alone has the words of eternal life.

    Acts 17:1-6 the world turned upside down: This suggests that the new and living way is no mere correction or fine-tuning; nor a re-newed covenant; but rather something new and radical which turns our world upside down, a very significant thing.

    Mt 16:13-18; 1Jn 2:22 belief that Jesus/Yeshua is the Messiah/Christ, the Son of the living God. The holy and righteous Creator God took on flesh and blood to redeem us human beings (whom He had created in His image and likeness) in order to restore us to Himself through the sacrificial death of the Son of God/Son of Man.

    Jer 31:31-34 (30-33 Heb) a new covenant; not like the old “You have heard it said, but I say. . . .”

    1Cor 3:16; Col 1:26-27; Jn 14:19-23; 2Cor 6:16; 1Jn 3:24; 4:12-16; Rev 3:20
    God is in us, not just for us, with us, upon us It has all to do with loving Jesus Christ/Yeshua Messiah and obeying Him.

    Acts 2:16-18 the Holy Spirit given to all believers, not only to Israelis, men, prophets, priests, kings

    Jn 15:4; 1Jn 2:24-25 in Messiah; in the Son and in the Father; not merely a cultural or a national religious affiliation This gives us the assurance of faith in the hope of the love of God in His promise to us — eternal life.

    Jn 1:12; Gal 4:6-7; 2Cor 6:18; 1Jn 3:1 we are sons and daughters of God, not merely slaves or servants: Such love! The world does not acknowledge us as children of God, for it does not know [the true] God. This was our own condition before we were saved and brought into the truth and the light.

    Mk 7:14-16; Acts 10:9-16; Rom 14:2-3,14,20; Heb 13:9 food and other social barriers broken down We are freed to eat with whomsoever — and them with us — wherever God may have us or send us!

    Heb 7:12; 1Pt 2:4-5 Law changed; priesthood of all believers–male and female–from any and all families, with direct access to the Father through our High Priest Jesus, by the Holy Spirit Requires no special ordination.

    Heb 7:20 – 8:6; 10:19-21; 1Jn 2:25 a better covenant with better promises
    –the priesthood; access to God through the veil
    –our sins and sinful nature totally forgiven, removed, and forgotten through shed blood of Messiah
    –we are a new creation; one new man
    –resurrection of the body for eternal life
    –all the other things mentioned above

    Gal 1:11-12; Rom 10:1-4; 1Cor 1:21; 11:23 the gospel is neither Jewish nor Greek; not of man, but by revelation from God in Messiah; not of religion or of science or of philosophy

    Gen 25:23b; Mt 20:24-28 the greater shall serve the lesser
    –to whom much is given (the birthright and blessing by sovereign will, wisdom, and grace), much is required
    Is 40:2; Rom 2:9-10 double honor and double judgment
    Rom 2:17-20; 3:1-2; 9:4; 11:24 for individuals and for nations

    Jn 13:12-17; Mt 20:28; Lk 12:37 Yeshua came to serve; He washed the disciples’ feet; He made them breakfast; He will serve us at the great supper; He cares for us each and every day.
    God can not deny Himself; He is who He is!

  13. LIKE IN THE DAYS OF SODOM – 7 Dec 2011

    The U.S. Secretary of State announced yesterday that the U.S. will begin to use diplomatic and foreign financial aid to push the legitimacy of homosexuality (of both sexes) and transgender people (sex-changed) in countries around the world.

    Once accepting that something unnatural is natural and a ‘universal’ human right, then willingness to engage in it can not be too far behind. After all, it is deemed ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ by those “who have exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and who worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever”. (Rom 1:25) Isn’t it interesting that the Hebrew word for ‘gay’, transliterated as a term for homosexual, is the same word for ‘pride’ — גאה, גאיים — ‘gay’ah‘; ‘gay’im‘ — in the singular and plural forms. This was the core of the sin of the sinners of Sodom, for which God judged them (Ezek 16:48-50; 2Pt 2:6; Jude 7) as an everlasting example known by all.

    This season marks the celebration of Jesus Christ coming into the world as a flesh and blood human being to save sinners. May many of the LBGT’s be convicted by the Holy Spirit of their unbelief and sinful nature, in the hope that they would call upon the name of the LORD — who has Himself established what is holy and profane, good and evil, clean and unclean — to save them in His great mercy and power. As a new creation in Christ, their shame in which they now glory will be turned to the praise of the God of Glory, who forgives, heals, delivers, and cleanses.

  14. THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATIONS – 15 Nov 2011

    Being now three generations in Israel, with the birth of our granddaughter, looking at the Bible and Israel’s history, we wonder if this, too, is not a ‘sign’ of the times foretelling about when the Lord Jesus Christ will return. There is one family that I can think of who represent four generations of Jewish believers in Yeshua here in the land.

    YHVH God refers to the 3rd and the 4th generations in significant ways to do a judgment, and a consequent redemptive work for those who stay with Him, or else repent and return to Him. (Gen 15:12-16; Ex 20:4-6; 34:6-7) The third generation is still a ‘living link’ to what the first generation went through (the grandchildren of the first generation; whereas, the fourth generation either ‘believes’ the report and identifies in a healthy way after all the trauma; or, they believe the account and are bitter regarding their history; or, they are apathetic and cut themselves off from their own family’s and nation’s history. (This is a simplistic and generalized analysis.)

    Where are we. . . as the Judge stands at the door, and the only wise God and Savior is preparing to intervene in powerful ways to make His order out of the prevailing chaos within His own household, and among His own people and nation, and in the wider world which He created and made?

  15. THE PERFECT BABY – 5 Nov 2011

    We are newly-grandparents!

    The conception of Jesus the Messiah was miraculous, being that it was by the Holy Spirit and the young virgin maiden, Mary (Miriam).

    His birth was completely natural, like our baby granddaughter. Praise God for this amazing and incredible reality and truth!

    Jesus Christ is the only person ever born without a sinful nature; therefore, He knew no sin; did no sin; sin was not in Him: He was truly God with us — Immanuel — God manifested in the flesh! We were all born in sin; Yeshua was not. He took on the likeness of sinful flesh, that He might be tempted in all things as we are, yet the Son of Man showed Himself to be also the Son of the Highest.

    This being so, Jesus/Yeshua was the perfect baby. All things natural for a baby to do, He would have done. Yet. . .He was without sin. All of His ‘babiness’ would also have been distinguished by sinlessness, by no self-ishness. His body systems would have been in perfect working order for normal functions and normal stimulus responses, but without showing indications of some measure or sympton of ‘sickness’.

    Can you consider how the Perfect Person — outwardly and inwardly, naturally and spiritually — throughout His life from beginning to end — when He became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him — would be seen as ‘other’, as holy, in all things in every way? It is a bit difficult for me, a sinner saved by grace with sin still evident, to reflect with much wisdom on such high and wonderful things.

    Glory to God!

  16. JACOB’s PRAYER – 14 Sep 2011

    ”Then Jacob said, ‘O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, YEHOVAH who said to me, “Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you”. ‘I am not worthy of the least of all the lovingkindnesses and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies. Deliver me, please, from the hand of my brother Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me, and the mother with the children. For You said, “I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude”.’ ” (Gen 32:9-12 [Eng])

    I believe that Jacob’s prayer about 3800 years ago needs to become Israel’s and the Jewish people’s prayer today: to honestly and humbly [re]turn with faith to YEHOVAH, the Everlasting God Who Is, acknowledging His faithfulness to keep His covenant promises regarding the land (and the return to it), the good things, the innumerable multitude of the people. And to confess sincerely their hope in Him, and their fear of their brother Esau (who also represents a nation Gen 25:23), whom Jacob/Israel has good reason to believe intends to kill him and the whole family. (Gen 27:41)

    This family history is playing out to its fruition in our day and time: the seed that was sown is bearing its fruit and showing its kind. Israel’s only hope is in returning to her God, who is also her Savior. Until now, Israel relies on his/their own abilities and power, rather than on the Spirit of YEHOVAH. (Zech 4:6)

    Israel and the Jewish people do not have a completely clean conscience, which keeps them from turning in contrition and in faith to ask God’s intervention on their behalf. The Lord knows how to bring even this to pass. Hallelu-Yah!

  17. THE CANAANITE IN THE LAND – 4 Sep 2011

    “In that day,there shall no longer be a Canaanite (‘merchant’) in the house of Yehovah of Hosts.” (Zech 14:21b; Jn 2:16-17)

    While Israel’s prophets prophesied the restoration of God’s kingdom to Israel, when all things will be HOLINESS TO YEHOVAH, we who already have been redeemed and saved can recognize that the particular reference to Jerusalem’s sanctity is also applicable to the whole of the people and land, and ultimately to the entire Earth and peoples. These things will be when the Lord Jesus Christ returns in great power and glory to establish God’s Kingdom on Earth. Then will the Father’s will be done on Earth as in Heaven.

    Meanwhile. . .the house/land of the LORD is filled with Canaanites, traders merchandizing religion at great profit to themselves. There is much use of the rich religious history here throughout the land of Israel to capitalize on the Biblical record, which is seen everywhere.

    Pedlars from all the religious interests here exploit what God has done here, having left a record written in the rocks and human structures lying in ruins as witnesses of the truths written in the Bible. Sceptics, cynics, opportunists, unbelievers in the God of the Bible make money off His fame; business men and women come up with schemes to capture the wealth of the nations; religionists sell their versions of history and truth in competition with the others. Praise the Lord for those who serve Him with meekness and integrity!

    It is wonderful to travel around Israel and see so much evidence of the events recorded in the Old Testament and in the New. Our faith is not based on fables, but on concrete eyewitness accounts, and on the witness of the Holy Spirit. (2Pt 1:16)

    For those in Messiah now, we are the field and the House and Temple of God. Are we selling ourselves and enriching our own selves and houses, or are we faithfully representing and serving the Lord Yeshua/Jesus with holy zeal for the Father’s honor and glory?

    “…You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Mt 6:24)
    “For the love of money is a root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1Tim 6:10)

    May we see in our generation the cleansing of YHVH’s House, His land, His people! Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!

  18. PURSUERS OF PEACE – 17 Aug 2011

    On Sunday, we went to an evangelical Palestinian church in Bethlehem, ‘dropping in’ to the surprise of our friend the pastor. We came in a bit late, having to find our own way to where the church meets (with a little help from some friendly taxi drivers). When the pastor noticed us, he asked me to come up to pray for the Lord’s Supper which was about to be served following the worship in song. This is something which very much blessed a number of members of that church — most of whom would probably be in favor of a new country called Palestine. I mentioned to the pastor later in his home that should that happen, what took place that day will probably not be able to happen again. There will be a heavy loss of fellowship if the world is allowed to have its way, and for those who would consent. There will always be a heavy price to pay as long as people — especially Jewish and Christian — insist on ‘ a way that seems good to a man, but its end leads to death’. It is my firm conviction that the Lord will use whatever takes place over the course of the next month to serve His own purposes, including bringing even more of His people back to Him through Jesus, and to bring many others to new birth by the Holy Spirit through repentance and faith in the gospel.

  19. DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS – 7 Aug 2011

    We have been to four weddings in the last month-and-a-half. Some have been Jewish, or a combination between Jewish and Gentile believers; another has been Arab. They have each been different. One thing that particularly concerns me about our young people — and about those who have assumed spiritual authority over them — is that too many times the wedding ceremony (or some other event) may be Messianic/Christian, but the “party” following is definitely not. Why shouldn’t the celebration also be clearly discernible as being of the Holy Spirit just as we confess in our vows and in the words of exhortation to the new couple? Speaking as a Jewish believer, it seems that sometimes we are more concerned with whether there is a chuppa (wedding canopy), a kippa (yarmulke; skull cap), or a tallit (modern prayer shawl), or a glass to break with the foot than we are with the substance of what it is to honor what is taking place and the spirit that manifests once the formalities are concluded. Is this only an issue with me, or in Israel among too many believers, or do others of you in your own countries also worry and grieve over this? The Scriptures clearly teach that discerning between good and evil is an indicator of spiritual maturity (Heb 5:14), is the responsibility of the priesthood (Ezek 44:23), and reflects the character of God (Gen 3:22). Let there be music; let there be dance! But let us know the difference between Mordecai and Haman; our right hand from our left (Jonah 4:11). Let all that we do be unto the Lord, and not what the Bible calls idolatry. (1Cor 10:6-11)

  20. REALITY CHECK – 1 Aug 2011

    For those of us living here, we too often complain about things. But for a visitor from Africa, he sees a great deal to be thankful for. Victor’s first impression after being picked up from the airport is the quality of the road and highway systems. Where he lives, and what we have experienced in the few African countries we have visited, roads are hugely neglected, and often a rutted and gutted dirt path is what is called a ‘road’. He sees fields ripe for the natural harvest, full of food and available to the people. There is drinkable running water from the tap in every city, town, and village. We live in a land of plenty — to the glory of the God of Israel — a testimony and pledge of the fruitfulness that will come when Yeshua returns to His own people when they call on HIM with a cry of ‘Hosanna’, ‘Save us’.

    Victor has seen that the reports he hears from the media back home are NOT representing the reality of his on-site eyewitness. He expected the Israelis to be unfriendly, but that has not been so with him. He expected a violent people, but that has not been what he has felt. (And he knows what violent people are like, coming out of African culture.) He has seen Arabs and Jews intermingling freely. In short, he has seen a nation that ‘stands alone’ — a ‘land’ surrounded by ‘seas’ of Gentile nations. It is a testimony of GOD keeping covenant BECAUSE Messiah Jesus has died — and risen again — to CONFIRM the promises made to the fathers. There are some Jewish sects that do not recognize the State of Israel! Why? Because, they say, the Messiah has not come! But He has, and that is WHY Israel is being re-established back in the very land which YHVH promised! O for that day when He comes again!

  21. THE FIRST PARABLE: THE KEY TO ALL THE PARABLES – 30 July 2011

    According to Messiah Himself, knowing and understanding the first of His parables is crucial to understanding all the rest of His parables. It is the privilege of His disciples to know them, whereas the multitude does not. The parables of Yeshua help us understand the ways of the Kingdom of Heaven as God works in the world today.

    Some key points to get hold of from the first parable (Mk 4:1-20):

    Everyone hears the Word of the Voice of God: Ps 19 1-4a (5a Heb); Rom 1:18-23; 10:14-18;

    Not all who hear receive, accept, believe, obey: Is 53:1; James 1:22-24; 2:18-19; Is 29:10-13; Heb 3:14-15

    There is eternal security for the believer: Ps 16:8-11; Rom 10:9-13; Heb 3:14-15

    The Lord knows His own, and all who call upon His name will depart from iniquity: 2Tim 2:19

    The parables of Jesus help us understand the way of God with His people – both Israel and the Body of Messiah. When Jesus gave the apostle John His letters to the seven churches that are in the Book of Revelation, He evaluates the condition of the believers based partly on what He taught His disciples in His parables. Let us in the fear of YHVH gain knowledge, understanding, and wisdom for the times in which we live so that we are walking in the Spirit of Truth with our God and Savior. God has a plan and is carrying it out by His Spirit according to His Word and covenants.

    The Kingdom of Heaven governs our lives. Our attitudes and relationship to it and to the Word of the Lord determine the quality of our life – both in this world and in the world to come.

  22. 70/30 – 28 July 2011

    The Earth is ~70% water and 30% land.

    The human body is ~70% water and 30% solids.

    Isn’t it interesting to ponder that the Creator of the heavens and the Earth made the first man from the dust of the ground, and is of the earth — 70/30?

    Israel’s present physical state reflects an interesting present spiritual reality: ~70% desert and 30% green.

    Let us look with faith and hope to that day when “the desert and wasteland shall be glad, and the wilderness shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of YHVH, the excellency of our God”. “For YHVH will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her desert like Eden, and her wilderness like the Garden of YHVH. Joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.” (Is 35:1-2; 51:3)

  23. WATER THAT REVIVES AND REFRESHES – 20 July 2011

    Israel has four bodies of water — the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba, the Dead Sea, and the Sea of Galilee. Plus it has the famous Jordan River, the Yarkon River, the Kishon River, and the Yarmuk River. At other times, the wadis (dry river beds) become filled with flowing streams. Israel has a rainy season (or two, depending on which reckoning one uses), and it snows on its mountains, most critically on Mt. Hermon on the borders of Lebanon and Syria. For all this, Israel lacks water — both natural and spiritual.

    As the Holy Spirit prompts us to pray for revival within us, so, too, He wants to revive and refresh His Land. It begins with us who believe in hope of the coming of the Lord, who will transform even the Negev Desert into the Garden of Eden, the Garden of YHVH. (Is 51:3) Then, the world that He returns to, that He made, will know Him. Then, His own, to whom He will come, will receive Him. For all that have thirsted, it will be finished!

  24. MANIFEST SONS OF GOD – 17 July 2011

    Yeshua’s first words to the question by His disciples regarding the last days were, “Take heed that no one deceives you!”. ‘No one’ can be human, angelic, or demonic. (2Cor 11:1-15; Gal 1:8)

    One of the clearly false teachings of these days (although not a new teaching) goes by the name of “Dominion Theology”, or “Kingdom Now”, or some such variant of the idea. The main thrust is that Christians — and a special elite group at that — are to rule over the world before Jesus returns, if He returns at all. These will be the manifest sons of God, some special ‘Joel’s Army’ that is more than willing to bring down fire from heaven on those who do not “walk with us”. Yeshua rebuked His apostles who considered that an option. (Lk 9:51-56) Notice that this took place as Yeshua set His face to go to Jerusalem, knowing His time was coming to be crucified in His love for His Father first of all. This fire from heaven that even some of His closest fellows wanted to call down in emulation of the power of Elijah is not the same fire that Jesus will baptize us with. (Mt 3:11) How is it that the gospel is going to bring forth a huge harvest of living saints to present the Kingdom of God to the returning King of kings and Lord of lords, when the Lord Himself says that unless He returns, no flesh would be left alive?! (Mt 24:21-25; Rev 6:9-11)

    We know that Yeshua was the Son of God/Son of Man before He was born and took on flesh and blood. He is God with us, the express image of the invisible God. Yet, it was by His resurrection that He was declared with power to be the Son of God! (Rom 1:4; Ps 2:7)

    So will it be for us. The revelation of the sons of God for which the whole creation groans and waits will be manifested at the first resurrection. Those who are holy and blessed to have part in that resurrection will be declared with power to be the brothers and sisters of Jesus, who hear the Word of God and do it, and have overcome through repentance and faith to be the Bride of Messiah, who will sit with her Husband on His throne to rule and reign with Yeshua for 1000 years over Israel and the other nations. (Rom 8; Rev 20:6; Lk 8:21; Rev 3:20-22)

    Many of those caught up knowingly or not in this aberrant teaching think that God is going to culminate His great plan of redemption in them. The U.S. — or the “victorious” Church in the U.S. — seems to still hold the prominent place in their thinking, therefore replacing Israel as God’s chosen nation destined to become the head when they finally accept Jesus/Yeshua as Lord and Messiah. This is just another manifestation of replacement theology, even though many of these deceived Christians who are deceiving others are supporters of Israel! (2Tim 3:13) I thank God for all those who stand with Israel from God-fearing motives, but ‘Israel’ is (mis-)understood in all manner of ways by all manner of believers and unbelievers. The strength of deception is that, if we are, we do not know it. We do have a present responsibility to be overcomers in the face of the wiles of the devil, doing what is possible now to promote righteousness, even as we anticipate with longing for that blessed hope of the Lord’s return.

    The writer of the letter to the Hebrews helps us see our place in God’s sovereign plan of redemptive history: “And all these [great cloud of witnesses], having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.” (emphasis added Heb 11:39-40)

    God is creating one new man in Messiah Yeshua. It is a corporate thing, a body thing, made up of countless individual living stones who have put their hope in the promises of YHVH God throughout history. Those who are that by His marvelous grace will inherit together whatever God has planned for the next 1000 years or so, when He completes His purposes for this very good creation in anticipation for that which is perfect to come.

    We certainly do need a revival within the Body of Christ — not to have a military spiritual coup, but to get right with Jesus, and demonstrate that we are sons and daughters of God His Father.

  25. HOMING INSTINCT – 10 July 2011

    There is no place like home! Vacations are usually nice; traveling to other cities and countries can be very interesting and exciting; but there is no place like home.

    The ‘prodigal son’ came to realize that it is much better to be ‘home’, than on his own, doing his own thing, in rebellion against his father, family, and home. One does not necessarily need be physically away from ‘home’ to be ‘not home’. Although Abraham was in the land which God promised him for an everlasting possession, he, nonetheless, looked for a permanent home, an eternal dwelling place with God, where he would no longer be a stranger and sojourner in the land, in the world, but forever home.

    When my wife and I married, we considered moving away from my hometown city of Richmond, Virginia, where we also met. At that time, it did not matter that much to me where I lived, and my wife thought she would prefer somewhere else after having lived there for about five years already. We took a bicycle trip after our wedding — a cyclelogical odyssey — looking for a ‘home’. As we considered other cities as possibilities, we became more aware that each one had its own pros and cons, and Richmond began looking better to my wife. While on the U.S. west coast, we saw for the first time coffee shop bookstores. (This was back in 1980.) That struck a chord with me, and where better to open one if not in my own city where I was familiar with the neighborhoods, and I would at least have some initial customers: family members and friends!

    Psalm 137 speaks of the heart of the Israeli Jew: it needed/needs to be in Jerusalem , the physical and spiritual center for the home land of the children of Israel. One may be in physical exile, but the heart needs to know where it’s home is, if the soul is to know any hope and joy. The Lord Jesus says that where our treasure is, there will our heart be also. I had come twice to Israel in my early 20’s: once as a tourist; once as a volunteer on a kibbutz in the afternmath of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Israel was important to me; it was “our” country. But. . .I still felt that the U.S. was my home: my family was there; my friends; my comforts; my freedom to travel. I was at ‘home’ in exile, but, praise God, He was also working on that!

    While still on our cycling journey, in the first nano-seconds of being born again by the Holy Spirit, the Word of God spoke to me, “Go to Israel.” Jesus made Israel HOME on Earth for me! Not Richmond; not the U.S. We arrived seven months later. I have a Palestinian pastor friend, who thinks that ‘the occupation’ began in 1948 (!). I told him that Jesus brought me home. These are obviously two opposing ‘worldviews’ for the present age. What we do agree on, though, is what the Holy Spirit needed to do to convict me that I was a sinner: Yeshua died for me, and because of me and my sins, and has brought me home to my Father in Heaven.

    May we all, who know God the Father and Yeshua, whom He sent, earnestly look for that eternal day of great joy in the Father’s house when all His children are rejoicing together at home in His love.

  26. BEER SHEVA — WELL OF THE SEVENFOLD OATH – 7 July 2011

    Gen 21:27-31

    And Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and both of them cut a covenant. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. And Abimelech said to Abraham, What are these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves? And he said, For you shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, so that they may be a witness to me that I have dug this well. This is why he called that place Beer-sheba, because they swore, both of them, there.

    (taken from The Bible Wheel, p. 208, by Richard Amiel McGough) “The Hebrew idea of an oath is the fullness and completeness of commitment. An oath is not an oath if it is anything less than a complete and perfect assent to whatever terms and conditions are stated. The symbolic power of the Number Seven therefore combines the ideas of fullness, completeness, the giving of one’s word, the making of an oath. . . .God marked the Bible with the Number Seven as a sign that it is the fully sealed, completely finished, and perfect revelation of His sevenfold oath, His covenant, His promise to us. It is God’s numerical signature to show us that He has fully given us His Word.”

    God has given us who live in Beer Sheva — a desert oasis — a significant place to bear witness to His covenant promises and oath which He gave to our Fathers, and which He is bringing to pass in these last days through His Son by the outworking (working out) of the Holy Spirit. Even as YHVH has made Abraham the father of all who believe in Yeshua/Jesus, Beer Sheva remains a prophetic place of destiny for the redemption and restoration of the national Israel of God. May the hearts of the fathers be turned to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, as the Day of the LORD nears.

  27. FROM THE DEEP – 6 July 2011

    Bassoon: the choice instrument of a particular variety of excellent low-toned fish

  28. JULY THE FOURTH – 4 July 2011

    On this U.S. Independence Day celebration, isn’t it wonderful to know that, as her light is fast waning and gross darkness is encroaching upon the Earth, “we have the prophetic word confirmed, which [we] do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in [our] hearts”! (2Pt 1:19)

  29. WHEN IS THE RAPTURE? – 10 June 2011

    Messiah Jesus plainly says in Mt 24:36-37:

    But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of Heaven, but My Father only. But, as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

    It does the cause of the truth no good whatsoever, as it regards the gospel and the Kingdom of God, when some one claims that he knows or that the Bible guarantees a specific day and hour. YHVH is the God of Hosts (Armies), and knows how to wage war and to keep certain necessary things secret. There is an enemy who could figure it out, too, if it were revealed to any one else.

    The Lord Jesus also rebukes His people, especially those who are given to rule and lead, in Mt 16:3a:

    . . .Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.

    So, there are signs of the times, and if the sons of Issachar could discern the times and have understanding as to what Israel should do (1Chr 12:23, 32) without the Holy Spirit dwelling within them, how much more should we who do have that promise of the Father through the risen Savior understand our own times in this generation which God has given us to live in!?

    Jesus/Yeshua bemoans His rejection by His own people, in Mt 23:38-39:

    Behold! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, You shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of YHVH’!

    In other words, “Blessed are You, Lord Jesus Christ!” “Save us, Lord Jesus, Son of David!”

    Thank God for His ‘untils‘!

    The Apostle Paul writes by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in Rom 11:25:

    For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

    Another sign of the times and a clue as to the timing of the taking up of those alive and remaining in Christ until His coming (1Thes 4:15-18) is given us by our Savior in Lk 21:24b:

    . . .And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

    The victory and capture of Jerusalem by Israel in the June 1967 Six-Day War did not bring to fulfillment the times of the Gentiles nor their fullness into the Body of Messiah. Jerusalem is still being trampled under foot by various Gentile agencies: the Temple Mount has a Gentile temple upon it; East Jerusalem, which is the Biblical part of today’s Jerusalem, is mostly populated by non-Jews, and has long been considered as a possible concession to them should there be a Palestinian state; the Vatican and the United Nations all claim and insist that Jerusalem, in some form or other, be under international control rather than under Israeli sovereignty. Clearly, the ‘untils‘ have not yet occurred.

    So, it seems that the rapture will not occur until individual Jewish believers and the time and the fullness of the Gentiles have been completed –for the Bride is made up of both Jewish and Gentile believers as one new man– and until the Jewish people as the nation of Israel call out desperately for Jesus/Yeshua to save them. No one can predict or prophesy the day and hour for all this to concur, but we are to be discerning of the times we live in, watchful and prayful as we continue in His business until that day does surely come.

  30. WHAT…WHO…IS A JEW? – 16 May 2011

    I was once asked by a Christian believer whether I considered myself a Jewish American or an American Jew? Not long after, I was asked by another Christian, “What’s a Jew?”, in reply to my query regarding the Jews being the Chosen People. Both questions were appropriate and provocative, and interestingly enough, my wife and I immigrated (made aliyah) within a year of those questions.

    Whether the debate is about authentic Jewish thought, the Law of Return, legitimate Jewish faith and religion, valid conversions, the status and relevance of the Bible, or even anti-missionary activities, the answer to “What/Who is a Jew?” remains elusive. Who has ultimate sovereign authority to say? By our own internal quarreling and judgments, both within the State of Israel and in the dispersion abroad, we, the children of Israel, give credence to the New Testament Christian understanding (who have similar crises of defining identity and belonging) that not all Israel is of Israel, and not all of Abraham’s natural descendants through Isaac and Jacob are truly Jews/Israelis.

    My own answer to the two questions I was asked — “I’m a Jew!” — was no more conclusive than those being given now in the nation’s search for true identity with integrity. What is it that makes a person a Jew, and not merely Jew-ish? One does not necessarily have to be a Jew in the full sense in order to do things ‘Jewishly’, especially when living in Israel.

    I once heard a Talmud teacher answer a question I put to him following a public lecture that to seek the truth is a mitzvah (a commandment; a good deed), but to find it is a sin! Please, let us not so dishonor the God of our fathers with such vain and futile unbelief.

  31. WHERE LIES THE TRUTH? – 10 May 2011

    YHVH God says though Moses to the children of Israel, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. (Lev 19:18)

    Golden Rules
    Judaism – Talmud, Shabbat 31a

    “What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary.”

    Christianity – Matthew 7:12 (New Testament)

    “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

    Islam – Number 13 of Imam “Al-Nawawi’s Forty Hadiths”.

    “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother (i.e., fellow Muslim) what he wishes for himself.”

    God and Christ/Messiah (Prophet, King, Priest)
    Judaism says that YHVH God is a Father, and there is a Messiah, but that Jesus is not God’s unique and only begotten Son, nor is He the Messiah and King of Israel.

    Islam says that God is not a Father, and so He has no Son (or any children), and that Mohammed is the Prophet of their God.

    Christianity says that Jesus/Yeshua is the Christ/Messiah, the Son of the Living God. (Mt 16:16; 1Jn 2:22-23)

  32. WILL THEY SEE NOW? – 1 May 2011

    As the NATO forces fight in Libya and witness and complain about the fact that the Muslim forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi use mosques, hospitals, schools as places from which to fight and to store weapons; as they use women and children as shields; as they call for ‘truce’ but believe that the jihadists will simply use it to re-group….will these same NATO and other nations continue to blame and to condemn Israel when she must fight to defend herself against the same ‘unfair’ rules played by those who do not recognize the rules of the game — I mean of the war!?

  33. YESHUA IS ALIVE! – 25 Apr 2011

    Yeshua is alive! From His resurrection and the emptying of His grave, He began — as the omer (the sheaves of wheat waved before God each of the 50 days by the priests beginning the day after the Sabbath during Passover week as proof by faith of the coming harvest) — to show Himself alive with many infallible proofs to Mary and to His apostles and on to the other of His disciples — all together about 500 people. Not that many, and far less than the eyewitnesses at Mt. Sinai when YHVH manifested His presence to Moses and the children of Israel. Once again we see that numbers are not crucial with the living God to change a people or to do His works. Israel was not chosen to be His ‘peculiar’ people because of their great number, and certainly not because of any inherent righteousness; yet…through Israel He has given a microcosm of all humanity for an example to the Church — to all people everywhere anywhere at all times who come to the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob through the Messiah Yeshua of the Tribe of Judah, yet Who is also the representative Son of Man and also the express image of the invisible God. What a God! What a Savior!

    So we press on to enter into that blessed hope of our own resurrection or rapture, and towards the great harvest to come as the fullness of the Gentiles comes into the Kingdom, and the salvation of all Israel, with an innumerable multitude of sheep nations to serve Yeshua, the King of Israel and the Jews.

  34. THE HIGH CALLING AND THE SHORTENED DAYS – 7 Apr 2011

    In his letter to the Phillipians, the Apostle Paul speaks of the high calling in Messiah Yeshua. He lived his life in such a manner that he might obtain that for which he was called and chosen. He wanted to live so that he might attain to the resurrection from among the dead.

    Paul is not here referring to the general resurrection of the dead, which even the unbelievers and condemned will experience, but, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he writes regarding the better resurrection, the first resurrection, the one which the Lord Himself speaks of in the Revelation as being ‘blessed and holy are all those having part’ in it.

    What would be such a life that would ‘qualify’ us for that blessed hope at the Lord’s coming? Certainly, we would say we must love others as ourselves. Perhaps Yeshua would take us beyond and require that we love [the brethren] in Christ as He has loved us.

    As Paul, none of us would confess that “I” have attained, or that “I” am already perfected. But are we pressing on? Is the high calling, this resurrection in our sights, our vision? Is being the Bride of the Lamb, co-rulers with the King of kings, loving His appearing as dear to us as it very much seems to be to Him? Are we making choices, and concerned how our attitudes, motives, actions stemming from those choices affect others in a way that reflects on the name of Jesus/Yeshua, and on other believers? In other words, are we loving Him above all, and loving others as ourselves regarding the consequences of what we do or not, and why we are doing it or not?

    With Passover drawing near, many of us see in the appointed feasts/holy days of the LORD as not only actual historical events, but also redemptive and prophetic. When Yeshua came the first time. . . and was killed, buried, resurrected, appeared to many, ascended to Heaven, and gave the Holy Spirit as the promise of the Father. . .all these took place right on time and within the timing of the calendar days. Should we not apply the same thinking and interpretation of the same Scriptures speaking of the upcoming appointed times, which prophetically and redemptively speak of the end-times in anticipation of the Lord’s return and the establishing of the Kingdom of God here? That is, these will be fulfilled right on time and within the timing of the calendar days. Even so, the day and hour of the Lord’s return can not be known, but as children of the resurrection, we can be secure in faith that the Holy Spirit will help us in whatever way necessary that we can be prepared and ready as we understand the times in which we live.

    Thank God! May He have mercy on us all, and may we encourage one another, provoking one another to love and good works, especially as the day nears.

  35. A VOICE CRYING IN THE DESERT – 5 Apr 2011

    The unrest and uprisings in N. Africa and the Middle East have western Christianized nations speaking out of their own imaginations of democracy finding expression in the results of the overthrows of the existing oppressive regimes. Democracy has become almost a mantra, and certainly an idol to praise and bow down to. Yet isn’t it evident that its most inspiring expression, as seen in the United States of America, is shorter-lived than the major historic empires of history?

    In Israel, where government is more democratic than in the Islamic world surrounding it, there are also elements which reject democracy as their model. The ultra-religious admit that Judaism and democracy conflict: Israel can not be a Jewish nation concurrently with democracy, which deteriorates to everyone doing what is right in his own eyes. Messiah Yeshua intends to restore the Kingdom of God back to His people whom He has chosen to be His inheritance, and the first-born of many other nations. This is not democracy, yet, being the King whose throne is established in righteousness and [righteous] judgment, there will be much freedom for those subject to His rule.

    The prophetic voice calls for repentance back to YHVH God, and for mercy and justice to the poor and needy in society — both for the native born and for the stranger who has joined himself to the people. We are called to be salt in the world, and to maintain the salt of the covenant. If this salt becomes saltless, Yeshua teaches that it is then good for nothing but to be thrown out. Yeshua is coming back!

  36. HAMAN IS OUR DISTANT RELATIVE – 23 Mar 2011

    With Purim just past, and as we were studying from the book of Genesis this evening, it dawned on me that Haman is our (Jewish people’s) distant relative! How can that be?!, you may be saying.

    Let’s trace it out; it won’t really take that long:

    Gen 25:23 Esau and Jacob are fraternal twin brothers/two nations
    in their mother Rebecca’s womb; and the older would serve the younger.

    Dt 23:7a; 14:1-3

    You (children of YHVH God) shall not abhor an Edomite (another name for a descendant of Esau), for he is your brother.

    Gen 36:15-16

    These are the chiefs of the sons of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz, the firstborn of Esau, were . . . Chief Amalek . . . in the land of Edom….

    1Sam 15:8

    [King Saul] also took Agag, king of the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt.

    Esth 3:1

    After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him.

    So, Haman is a son of Agag, son of Amelek, son of Esau, the brother of Jacob, the son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham!

    The verse in Dt 23:7 in the Law of Moses prepares us who believe, by the grace of God, in the Lord Yeshua as Messiah and Savior to seek God for an increase of faith perhaps to fulfill the New Covenant commandment to love one’s enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us, that we may be sons of our Father in Heaven…. (Mt 5:44-45a)

    Passions and murderous grudges run deepest within families, especially when one feels cheated out of an inheritance or blessing, even if beforehand those same gifts were of little value to them. (Heb 12:14-17; Mt 10:34-36; Mic 7:5-7)

    Our present suffering cannot compare to the glory to be revealed! Vengeance is the Lord’s!

    Dt 25:17-19 Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall be, when YHVH your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which YHVH your God is giving you to possess an an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.

  37. YESHUA UNSEEN, BUT SEEN IN US – 20 Mar 2011

    The God who sovereignly and ‘secretly’ superintended and oversaw events in the days of Mordecai and Queen Esther, is the same God today who is still going about His business, even if most of His own people in Israel and within the Church do not acknowledge it and give Him honor. For example, is Israel today of God, or of man? Is Yeshua bringing to fulfillment all that is written in the Law and the Prophets, or has God broken or annulled them now that Messiah has already come once? God is still hiding His face, but do we who know Him in Messiah ‘see Him’ in all the things taking place?

    Believers in Yeshua must deeply root ourselves in the matter of the integrity of our lives and testimony: when people see us, they are thinking about Jesus! Who and what are they seeing that reflects back on God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ? What is our manner of life and the use of the members of our bodies?

  38. YHVH THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND FOREVER – 27 Feb 2011

    Is 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure!

    Num 23:18-23 Then [Balaam] took up his oracle and said:

    Rise up, Balak, and hear! Listen to me, son of Zippor!!

    God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that he should regret. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Behold, I have received [from YHVH] to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it!

    He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. YHVH his God is with him, and the shout of a King is among them. God brings them out of Egypt; He has strength like a wild ox.

    For there is no sorcery against Jacob, nor any divination against Israel. It now must be said of Jacob and of Israel, “Oh, what God has done!”

    Is 54:17 ‘No weapon formed against you shall succeed, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of YHVH, and their righteousness is from Me,’ says YHVH.

    Jer 31:31,34 Behold, the days come, says YHVH, that I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel, and with the House of Judah. . . .No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know YHVH!’, for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says YHVH: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    Jer 50:20 In those days and at that time, says YHVH, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought, but there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found: for I will forgive those whom I preserve [as a remnant].

    Jer 51:5 For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, by his God, YHVH of Hosts, though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.

    Mt 1:21 And [Mary] will bring forth a son, and you shall call His name Yeshua (Jesus), for He will save His people from their sins.

    Mt 16:16-18 . . .on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades/Sheol shall not prevail against it!

    Rom 11:1,11 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not!. . . I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.

    Eph 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Messiah also loved the Church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with washing of water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

    Rev 3:19-22 As many as I love I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent! Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

    He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches!

    Rev 1:8 “I am the Alpha (Aleph) and the Omega (Tav), the Beginnng and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

  39. AS IN THE DAYS OF LOT – 22 Feb 2011

    Lk 17:28-30 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

    As we were studying Genesis in our Bible study some weeks ago, a verse spoke out loudly to me concerning these days leading up to final things:

    Gen 19:9 And [the men of Sodom] said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to live here, and he keeps acting like a judge; now we will deal worse with you[, Lot,] than with [your male guests].”

    How long had Lot been living in Sodom from the time he separated from his uncle Abram/Abraham? The record isn’t too clear, but it seems like it had certainly been some good number of years. The Apostle Peter lets us know by the Holy Spirit that Lot was a righteous man, who was daily vexed in his soul by the wicked and filthy lawlessness of the city where he resided. (2Pt 2:6-10) Yet for all of Lot’s years and life there — growing and raising a family, engaged in his work — the moment of truth came when he took a righteous stand for godliness (Mt 5:10): “Who are you to come here to judge us!?”

    What struck me here was the truth that when God sets His face to bring judgment on a people, a city, the world, it is because their iniquity has become full. (Gen 15:16) What the Lord Jesus says about His deliverance and His judgments at the end of the age being like as in the days of Lot, He is also telling us that we, or anyone or anything else, can not prevent it. Those of the world will not accept us who are no longer of the world. (1Jn 4:4-6) For the cleansing of a people, a city, a land, righteous judgment is necessary to bring inner defilement to an end. (Ezek 36:16-36)

    The gospel is the power of God to save! It is the gospel that we have received that causes us to go out ‘to make a better world’. But the Scriptures have given us Lot as an example to know that there are set limits to our efforts, or to the world’s appreciation of those efforts: Who are you to come here and judge us?!

    We can not ultimately impose God’s righteousness on a fallen, rebellious world. Satan is still the god of this world, and will be so till the Lord returns and puts him away. Israel is still the enemy of the gospel, and will be so till they bless Yeshua who alone comes in the name of YHVH. Until these two issues have been resolved by the coming of the Lord, the world will not be a ‘better place’ to live and fulfill God’s purposes from His eternal perspective. We are pilgrims and sojourners here — strangers — which is how the ungodly men of Sodom considered Lot when he admonished them for their wickedness: “This one has come here to live and makes himself our judge.” We are ambassadors of another King and another Kingdom — of Messiah.

    2Tim 2:4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who who enlisted him as a soldier.

    Are we serving as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, or have we become entangled with the world order that is opposed to Him? (Mt 26:52-54; 13:22)

    1Cor 5:11-13 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. For what do I have to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person”.

    Our primary sphere of influence for righteous living is within the Body of Messiah. Our lives should be such that those outside have no legitimate accusation against us, even though they may not believe the truth of who Yeshua is. (1Pt 2:11-12) Our good works outside done in the name of Yeshua are our light to bring honor and glory to Him and the Father. (Mt 6:1-4) And as the Lord Himself teaches His disciples, we want to guard against over publicizing our good deeds, lest we wind up with that being our reward, and not receiving a far better one from our Father. Doctrine helps in making us strong believers; applying doctrine in our life should give us a fragrance of Messiah. (2Tim 3:16; 2Cor 2:14-17)

    Ja 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

    We are challenged to maintain the integrity of the gospel of God and the uniqueness of Yeshua as being the only Savior and way to real life which God has prepared for those who love Him. It becomes an entanglement, a snare, to unequally yoke ourselves with unbelievers, or with those named brethren who are not walking in the light, in matters of business, politics, etc., if we must leave Jesus out to do so. (2Cor 6:14 – 7:1)

    As it was in the days of Lot, even so will it be in the day of the revelation of Jesus Christ. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

  40. WHAT GOES ROUND COMES ROUND – 9 Feb 2011

    Relegating Israel to the dustbin of history, by either hoping or believing that God has rejected or else replaced her, is not something that only began with Gentile Christian history. God’s dealings with His people have perplexed other people for millennia up until these end times of the last days. Hear what the LORD let Jeremiah know about 700 years before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD:

    Jer 33:23-26 Moreover the word of YHVH came to Jeremiah, saying, “Have you not considered what these people have spoken, saying, ‘The two families (i.e., David’s for the kingship, and the Levites for the priesthood) which YHVH has chosen, He has also cast them off!‘? Thus they have despised My people, as if they should no more be a nation before them.

    “Thus says YHVH: ‘If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and Earth, then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, so that I will not take any of his descendants to be rulers over the the descendants of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. For I will cause their captives to return, and will have mercy on them.'”

  41. WILDERNESS OF THE PEOPLES – 23 Jan 2011

    In Ezek 20:33-38, the Lord YHVH expresses His dissatisfaction (could be an understatement) with His people, and speaks of gathering them out of the countries where they (we Jewish children of Israel) are scattered, and bringing us into the ‘wilderness of the peoples’dealing with us “face to face” as He did with our fathers in the wilderness of Egypt. The word translated as ‘wilderness’ here (midbar) is better translated ‘desert‘. This land that is the ancestral home for the Chosen People of God had lain a desolate and dry wasteland for all the intervening centuries of the dispersion of the Jewish people, and only with their return here over the past century or so has it begun to show its potential for regeneration.

    As believers in Yeshua, we know that Israel today — representing most of the world — is a spiritual desert, with a few oases located here and there. The shepherd’s job and responsibility is to lead his flock to these pastures of food and drink on the way to being the final resting placeZion.

    Yeshua is dealing with His people ‘face-to-face’ in our own land, yet it is but a desert/wilderness. They/we have not yet entered the promised land which YHVH covenanted with an oath to give to the descendants of Jacob. The promise land is called here the Land of Israel. The Lord will not bring the rebels against Him and His covenant into that inheritance, which encompasses far more territory than now “possessed”, and where/when He will rule over them!

    Israel finds herself vis a vis the nations similarly to the believers in Yeshua/Jesus here find ourselves vis a vis Israel: little or nothing they or we do to explain, defend, justify themselves/ourselves is taken to heart as sufficiently acceptable to change the envy and hatred without a cause towards either Israel in the eyes of the rest of the world, or of Yeshua and those who believe the gospel in the eyes of the powers that be in Israel. When we are not walking in obedience to the Word of God, our moral strength of conviction of HIS righteousness is weakened (2Cor 10:3-6). God is squeezing us all into a tight and narrow road that we will feel the pressure, either bringing about a humility of love for those we are mutually pressing and for the Lord Himself, or bringing about an unloving and self-preservation attitude from within the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.

    If Israel today is a desert of the peoples, how much more so the spiritual reality in lands not chosen to be “the Holy Land“?

  42. GOD’s STANDARD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS – 19 Dec 2010

    Many Jews and Christians teach that the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Law from Sinai, given by YHVH through Moses for Israel, are God’s righteous standard — that they reflect the full righteous character of God for human beings to live up to. Many churches and Messianic congregations display the 10 Commandments, or have a Torah scroll in a special cabinet, as if to maintain God’s standard before the congregations. (Why shouldn’t believers in Yeshua/Jesus as Messiah/Christ, the Son of God, have the whole Bible in view?!)

    I believe that that the New Testament/New Covenant shows us and requires of us a much higher standard of God’s righteousness (which is further testimony that the New Covenant is new, not re-newed).

    Here are a just a few examples of this much higher standard of righteousness than that which the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Law (Torah) demand — similar to a standard for children or for slaves being raised even higher for more mature sons and daughters, and for real friends:

    1. Mt 5:21-22 [Messiah Yeshua says], You have heard that it was
    said to those of old, You shall not murder, and whoever
    murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you
    that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall
    be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his
    brother, ‘Raca!’, shall be in danger of the council. And who-
    ever says, ‘You fool!’, shall be in danger of hell fire.

    2. Mt 5:27-29 You have heard that it was said to those of
    old, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that
    whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already
    committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye
    causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for
    it is more profitable for you that one of your members
    perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

    3. Mt 5:31-32 Furthermore, it has been said, Whoever divorces
    his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce. But I
    say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason
    except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and
    whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

    4. Mt 5:43-45a You have heard that it was said, You shall love
    your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love
    your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who
    hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and
    persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven. .

    5. Mt 6:15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses,
    neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.

    6. Mk 7:14-16 When He had called all the multitude to Himself,
    He said to them, Hear Me, everyone, and understand: there is
    nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him;
    but the things which come out of him, those are the things
    that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!

    7. Jn 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love
    one another: as I have loved you, so you also love one
    another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if
    you have love for one another.

    8. Rom 3:21-22 But now the righteousness of God apart from the
    Law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
    even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ,
    to all and upon all who believe. . . .

    It is often said that Jesus/Yeshua kept the Torah perfectly, and some want to try to do the same themselves now that they believe in Him and have the Holy Spirit. Yet, there are many requirements in the Law that Yeshua did not have to do: the Law is for sinners; Yeshua was not a sinner, but God Himself in flesh and blood! He lived a higher standard of righteousness than what the Torah recognized, but did point to. For what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Rom 8:3-4)

    God is love (a noun): He does not merely love (as a verb). YHVH’s thoughts and ways are far above ours. His wisdom is inherent in Himself; we must ask wisdom from above when we are aware we lack it. The Word of God (who is Yeshua) “is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart“. God is perfect; He does not need to be perfected. Our ‘perfection’ will only become realized in the resurrection, and even then, we will forever glory in the wondrous greatness of our Father God and Savior!

    Legislated law — however excellent — can never change the heart of persons. We must be born again by the Holy Spirit, through faith in the gospel of the death and resurrection of the Son of God/Son of Man for our sinful natures and our sins, and receive a new heart and a new Spirit. Even so, ‘Come, Lord Jesus, to bring the righteous Kingdom of God to this Earth!’

  43. PRAYER FOR RAIN – 28 Nov 2010

    Jer 3:1-5 They say, If a man puts away his wife, and she goes from him and will be for another man, will he return to her again? Would not that land be greatly defiled? But you play the harlot with many lovers; yet come back to Me, says Jehovah! (2) Lift up your eyes to the high places, and see. Where have you not been lain with? By the highways you have sat for them, like the Arabian in the wilderness; and you have defiled the land with your fornications and with your wickedness. (3) Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain; and you had a harlot’s forehead, you refused to be ashamed. (4) Will you not from this time cry to Me, My Father, You are the guide of my youth? (5) Will He keep His anger forever? Will He keep it to the end? Behold, you have spoken and done all the evil things you could do.

    John 16:8-11 8 And when He (the Holy Spirit) is come , He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me (Yeshua/Jesus); 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world (Satan) is judged.

    _ _ _ _ __

    Shalom to all who stand in the gap for the sake of the gospel and the name of the Lord — Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ!

    As the prayers for rain are called for and go upward, I’ve been wondering what will we do when the two witnesses are here and given authority and power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy. (Rev 11:6) All of us want needed rain, not only for ourselves, but also for plants and animals, and for seedtime and harvest. Yet there come times when God withholds His mercies and blessings in order to work repentance in His own people first of all — believers in Yeshua first of all, and also His chosen first-born nation, Israel.

  44. OPENED EYES AND SELF-JUDGMENT – 27 Oct 2010

    With much justifiable criticism of recent statements by representatives of the Roman Catholic Church by Israelis and Jews, Jewish believers in Yeshua/Jesus need to be as clear about the doctrines and practices of Talmudic/Rabbinic, traditional Judaism as former Catholics about the Roman version of the universal Christian faith and religion.

  45. WHAT KIND OF STATE? – 27 Sept 2010

    There are many who are concerned about what KIND of country the State of Israel is supposed to be regarding race (we are all human) and religious practice. Even among Jewish believers there is dispute on this issue.

    The Balfour Proclamation of Nov 2, 1917, proclaimed the position that Israel (Palestine) was to become a homeland for the Jewish people. The United Nations vote in November 1947 called for a Jewish state alongside an Arab Palestinian one (which the Arabs rejected). The religious Zionist (those who accept the legitimacy of the right of the Jewish people to live in this sovereign nation) Jewish community wants a country where rabbinic Jewish law and practice are the defining factors as to the kind of Jewish homeland for the Jewish people.

    What do the Scriptures say? YHVH, God of Israel, is going to restore all Israel — a remnant from all the tribes who will return to Him through repentance and faith in the gospel (Rom 11:25-27). The 10 northern tribes of the divided kingdom had long ago rejected the house of David (and of Judah) as having received the dominion over the nation (1Kg 12:16-20). The southern kingdom of Judah has also long rejected YHVH and His Son Yeshua — the Son of David — — from being their God and King (Jn 19:15).

    Many who are returning to the land may well be descendants of the “lost tribes” (not ‘Gentiles’), but who were never really “Jewish” in the Judaistic and rabbinic sense, and they still resist coming under rabbinic Jewish interpretations, even though Jesus gave the scribes and the Pharisees the authority to interpret the Law of Moses for the Jewish people who do not believe in Yeshua as being the Messiah (Mt 23).

    God will restore Ephraim and Judah as one stick (Ezek 37:15-28)– as a reunited people and nation under His rule, and take away the hostility between them (Is 11:13). He will also give an equal inheritance to those “strangers” (Gentiles) who live among the children of Israel in their tribal inheritances (Ezek 47:21-23). When Yeshua returns to judge and to rule His people and the nations, what is considered “Jewish” now will not be the standard for what will be “Israeli” then.

    As Jewish and Gentile believers in Yeshua/Jesus now, we ought to be concerned with the salvation of Jews and Gentiles now, and have a prophetic vision through the Word and Spirit of God for what the Father has in His heart and mind to do. If we allow ourselves to become politicized, ‘religiousized’, nationalistic, or racial (in a racist sense), then we will make void the Word of God as we pursue our own futile and short-sighted agendas, and solutions to problems which only God has authorized Himself through His Son to solve. His thoughts and ways are far above ours, but He has given us the mind of Messiah. Praise to His holy name!

  46. STEADFAST LOVE – 23 Sept 2010

    The faithfulness and love of Christians and Jews and others towards Israel will be severely tested before the coming of the Lord.

    As Israel continues to tenaciously struggle for its identity and calling as The Chosen People by the Sovereign YHVH God, the steadfast love for the least of Yeshua’s brethren [in the flesh] — BECAUSE they are His nation to whom He is returning to restore the Kingdom of God — will become more and more politically incorrect in a world departing more and more from the God who made the world.

    As Israel increasingly shows itself as a nation — and as the Israeli and Jewish people show as a people — that they are the enemy of the gospel, the capacity of born-again believers in Jesus/Yeshua to maintain their faith in God’s purpose to redeem and to save His people is going to be strained to the uttermost.

    The faith of the friends of the Israeli Jewish believers is going to be tried in maintaining their love, for Yeshua’s sake, as we show ourselves imperfect in your expectations of us. The answer to the prayer of our Lord for our oneness and love will be answered supernaturally: it will not be according to any methodology on the part of believers; nor will it be merely ‘grown into’. It will require an intervention of the Holy Spirit as through groanings of labor and birth pains of a mother.

    Martin Luther was not a Jew, and he found us a burden too heavy to bear. The apostle Paul was a Jew, and although he, too, got exasperated with his own people for their unbelief and hardness of heart, it was the very fact that he never gave up his identity and love for his people that he managed to bear such a burden — with the help of the grace and power of God.

    The love of Israeli and Jewish believers in Yeshua towards our Gentile brothers and sisters — and for the Church, the Body of Messiah — will be likewise tested as we see them falter just as we have and do.

  47. AFFLICTION OF THE SOUL – 19 Sept 2010

    The Day of Atonements is over (Lev 16 and 23). Most of those who observe the day in Israel emphasize the fast — abstaining from eating. The Word of YHVH emphasizes the requirement to afflict one’s soul (Lev 23:27,29) for our sin against Him (Zech 12:10-14). The eating or not eating may affect the body, but will not afflict the soul over sin. If our soul is afflicted, then we will not feel like eating! (2Sam 12:13-17)

    In our family, we shared the moment — if we have had one — when the Holy Spirit broke in on us regarding our sin and sins that brought a response from us that broke the heart and made our spirit contrite. It is this breaking which forever changes one’s life from within as well as without.

    For revival in the church, it is going require, I believe, such a move of the Spirit of God that the meaning of the cross becomes ever more real in our own life.

    The affliction of soul is first of all toward God and the Lord Jesus Christ. But my own personal experience just these last few days brings me to believe that it is also going to be required in our offenses against our brothers and sisters. The second commandment is not much different from the first, Yeshua tells us. And we may still suffer unpleasant consequences for our sin, even though we may be forgiven by the one sinned against.

    Praise God for His mercies and grace, and that our sins are forgiven. May we quickly learn to be forgiving of one another when we are offended, so that our Father in Heaven will forgive us when we are the cause of the offense.

    All glory to the Lamb of God, who looked like a goat (in the likeness of sinful flesh) to His own, and who is still the Scapegoat for sinners.

  48. NEW RELIGION FOR ALL BELIEVERS IN JESUS – 24 Aug 2010

    Below is an exchange of e-mails (beginning from the bottom of the entry) on a topic which was contentious in the beginning of the last days nearly 2000 years ago, and is still contentious as the end of the age is nearing. The two views were not and are not compatible towards expressing the truth of the one new man created in Messiah Yeshua/Christ Jesus. A crucial question, then, is which view is governed more by the reality of the new priesthood in Messiah during this age of the Great Commission?

    At 08:18 AM 8/24/2010 +1200, you wrote:
    Your talking about Covenant Change, How can I be with Yeshua and know were Not in New Religion, but better Covernant, I wish you well and Hope someday your realize our People need Yeshua so much that we must not be ashamed of our New Life, Yeshua is who Moses was told would come, and YHVH is The only truth, I disagree with your views on scripture, I guess you like Dr Arnold Fruiterburm >>>Incorrect spelling,sorry…he Teaches some great stuff, but again Misses the Point on Torah and who Torah is, and We are not wrong Thousands of Jews like myself, and some like you, do eat ham, dont think much of YHVHS Torah>>>I guess when YHVH tells me in His 10 Commandments, Not to steal, and commit adultery I took Him seriously< Grace is In torah!, Its heaalthy boubdries, and YHVH Still deems His Torah Very Important today......Salvation In Yeshua is our only Hope, yet how are we living in it?. Well thanks for sharing, I see where your heart is at, Blessings in Yeshua, J. Agree to Disagreee. I dont have time to cover all the ground, ONly Yeshua can open up your heart to see!. If Your come out Judaism in past your have some mind sets and walls in some scriptures, so I can only share in Love, YHVH will or not, GOd bless on your Walk! 22.8.10 Shalom J, Thanks for sharing your heart, and I appreciate your graciousness. Without going into the great amount of teaching from the Lord and His apostles in the New Testament Scriptures about our new and living way, I only want to mention a few points that govern many others: --The Law was given Israel as a tutor, to bring us to faith in the promised Messiah (The Prophet, the Great High Priest, the King of kings), the Son of God. Having come to faith in Yeshua, we see some significant differences and changes from what was to what is (when we read the last nine chapters of Ezekiel about the coming Messianic Kingdom, there are also some modifications to the Law of Moses): --Under the Law/Torah, only Israelis could be in covenant relationship with YHVH God. The Gentiles, as we read in Ephesians, did not have such a relationship. In Messiah and the New Covenant, both Jews and Gentiles can be in covenant relationship with the Creator and Redeemer. --Under the Old Covenant, only males were to be circumcised as a sign of that covenant made with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. Under the New Covenant, all persons who believe are immersed/baptized into Christ's death and burial, and raised with Him by faith in His resurrection. --Under the Law, only High Priest, Prophets, and Kings were anointed with oil for their calling and ministry. In Messiah, all believers are 'anointed' with the Holy Spirit. --Under the Law of the Old Covenant, the priesthood was given by God to the Levitical family of Aaron and his sons, and it was only for men. According to the letter to the Hebrews -- a book especially directed to Jewish believers -- the very fact that the priesthood has changed in Messiah necessarily changes the Law we live by, whether we are Jewish or Gentile believers. In Messiah, all believers -- male and female from any family among Jews or Gentiles -- are priests unto God according to a superior priesthood that already existed with God before the giving of the Law at Sinai. --YHVH God promised through Moses to raise up a Prophet similar to him, but also greater than Moses, and God told Israel that He would require us to listen to whatever He says. Jesus came, and said a number of things by saying "you have heard, but I say", and some of these things touch on issues of the Torah itself, not only on wrong interpretations of it. --When YHVH gave Moses instructions for Israel concerning His appointed times/feasts in Lev 23, He also spoke twice concerning the 'day after the Sabbath', which is also fulfilled in the resurrection of the Lord, and in the giving of the Holy Spirit on Shavuot/Pentecost. --Yeshua made all foods clean. Clean foods were already clean; therefore, He has also made unclean foods clean to eat. This one consequence of the gospel has broken down a huge social barrier (a wall of enmity) between Jews and Gentiles who believe, and also allows us to be sent by God anywhere in the world to any people group, and to be able to socialize with them around the table. We are not under obligation to eat everything or anything, but we are free to do so for the gospel's sake. --We are called to go outside the camp, where Yeshua is, and bear His reproach; to be a scapegoat with Him; to fellowship in His sufferings. Praise God for our common faith and salvation in Yeshua, and we do look for the salvation of more Jewish people, and many other Gentiles as well, so that the veil will be removed from Israel, and 'all Israel' will be saved of those in Jacob who turn from ungodliness. Many blessings, J, Howard 20.8 10 shalom Howard. thanks for sharing your views, and I actually find your spirit to be humble. I have not stood into believe in striving to live in Frame work of Torah observant life style, In Yeshua I have learnt to respect YHVHs Torah< as Paul was taught through HolySpirit to observant life in Yeshua as He is our Torah>Gentiles in Yeshua to understand. I am not here to denounce anyone but to speak in Yeshuas direction, as our Own people Jews deem us as betraying them as we follow Yeshua, Yet they only need to awake to Isaiah 53 and know Yeshua, as Israel will do some day. Anyway Howard I have a book to share (Torah REdiscovered,challenging Centuries of Misinterpretation and Neglect) by Ariel and Dvorah Berkowitz . YHVH had showed me Himself when I was 2 years old, and in 1972 I came to Yeshua. I have never not been with YHVH. I know now for many years the truth of the Gospel, Kingdom of YHVH and how Yeshua Did not start a new Religion called Christanity. Many more people I have met who have shared with me this truth too. At times I have felt like Elijah > the only Prophet of YHVH left, as I have been convicted about living outside of the Frame work of Torah, I have found I am now more respectful to myself and others especially YHVH. It is through Yeshua I have Salvation alone, and no good deeds, or Torah observant life could make me right before GOd YHVH Paul Observered Torah and he was so misunderstood in Galations, western church has missed Pauls Points, and taken it to extreme of Out with old Judaism, and Law>>>AS if thats a dirty word, and say they have Christ, cross, christanity> Jews off to hell!> Many Christians are now waking up on fire in Holyspirit, leading Jews to know Yeshua as they realize wrongs done on both sides as Christians honour their Messianic Judaism >>>Restored Biblical Judaism IN YESHUA>>>NOt man made Oral laws, and imposters in adding, to YHVHs HOLY PERFECT WORD< or taking away. Yeshua is Torah Fact< YHVH is not contradicting scripture, and we all have got much wrong lets work together in Preparing the Way of the Return of the KIng< show Israel we have found Our Messiah Lets agree we do not know or understand all in Torah, and NT Your faith is Jewish, we have Jewish King, and our Bible Is Jewish Book! I can give you much more facts and info on this important matter. But if you were to ask me if I follow Christanity, I would say NO>I follow Yeshua, Messanic Judaism is nearest I could translate it to you, I hounour Saturday>>>Shabbat, Feasts of YHVH< Torah encourage each other in Biblical Love and stay Holy for deeds of darkness will use all it can to denounce you, But your an Overcomer. Love in YHVH MIss J, daughter of Zion. 18 Aug 2010 Thanks, J, for being honest in your feed-back to what I said. It's important to know how I come across and what reactions or responses there are among the different people. The reason I say it is a different religion is maybe how I 'define' religion: doing, living what you believe. If someone is 'righteous' within his/her own community of faith (whatever that faith may be), then he/she will be known as someone who lives by his/her faith. The New Testament, based on the fact that Messiah has already come, and that He is Yeshua, and that He died and rose again for our sins, tells us that we are a new creation, no longer under a/the Law to obtain righteousness, but rather that God has imputed to us a righteousness through genuine faith in the gospel. Yeshua does fulfill the Torah, and also the Prophets, and He will fulfill everything that has been written in the whole of the Law and the Prophets and the Writings (the Old Testament). Under Judaism -- or any other religion and faith based upon righteousness by works of Law in that community or under whatever God they say they believe in -- people live to prove themselves righteous (self-righteousness); people are generally more concerned with the approval of other people rather than with pleasing God; we think we are better than others, because in the case of the Jewish people, God chose US and not some Gentile nation to be His first-born nation; and, with all these things, Judaism (and other religions which are similar to what I have just described, including even within Christianity) does not accept or believe that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of the living God -- in whom we say that we do believe (YHVH, the Creator and Redeemer of the heavens and the Earth). Anyway, this is what I mean when I say that Messianic Jews belong to a new religion. Our whole perspective on life and living has been changed, even while we are still Jews (if we are), the natural branches whom God by His grace has grafted back into His olive tree, and given us the spirit of adoption, so that we, too, call upon God as our Father in a personal way, and not just in some general way that Jewish people/Israel may say, and that even Greek philosophers acknowledge. God bless you, J, Howard At 11:28 AM 8/18/2010 +1200, you wrote: shalom and thank you for your news letter, I pray for you both, But must confess I disagree with your statement> about us Messianic Jews belong to New Religion, this word you shared in Tauranga, I feel your precious souls, But I live (in Restored Bibliical Judaism in Yeshua, ) I know He is Torah and has not changed, Salvation alone is in Yeshua Not torah, I know many Jews like myself know this, and I know when Yeshua returns Soon, He will Restore all areas of Israel, Love in Yeshua Miss J, amen.

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