PREPARING FOR THE INHERITANCE – 23 Oct 2004

 Ezek 20:33-44   in the “desert/wilderness of the peoples”
Is 43:1-7   God will give other nations for a ransom in order to have Israel
Rom 11:25-27  God will take away their/our sins

Last week we spoke of being Yeshua’s inheritance.  To be God’s inheritance we saw that our sins must be forgiven.  Our salvation and hope are based on redemption, not on creation only.  We must be born again through repentance and faith in the gospel.  In these last days of the kingdoms of the world, the enemy of Messiah is doing much to confuse and deceive the world – and even, if possible, the believers – to choose the ways which seem right but actually lead to death, rather than to choose the straight and narrow – the only – way which leads to life.  But praise the Lord for His sovereign wisdom and grace to save sinners like me and you, as well as sinful nations like Israel and Egypt.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow forever!

In the passage from Ezekiel, we read the interesting expression in v.35, the “wilderness/desert of the peoples” (מדבר העמים) .  From the context it appears to refer to this land in which we are living!  YHVH God is not referring to this country now as the”Promised Land”, or the “Holy Land”, both of which describe positively God’s thoughts and plans.  No, here He is calling it a “desert of the peoples” – a place of trial, of pain, of sorrows.  It is a place to test the hearts of His people, and to bring them to repentance from sin against Him, against their neighbors, against even their enemies.

Next Sunday (31 Oct) is ANZAC Day in Beer Sheva.  Very little attention is given it by the schools, but it is a very significant memorial on the road of redemption which is written about by the prophet Ezekiel.  Soldiers from the farthest lands/islands away from Israel fought a significant battle here in Beer Sheva, which defeated the Turks and Moslems, and opened the way for the British, Christians, and ministers of the gospel to come in or to return here.  God was acting and intervening to bring the scattered children of Israel out from the peoples in other countries and restore them here in this land to plead with them “face to face”.  BECAUSE IN ORDER TO INHERIT THE LAND OF ISRAEL ACCORDING TO THE PROMISE, ISRAELIS MUST LEARN THAT THEY ARE THE CHOSEN PEOPLE TO SERVE AND WORSHIP YHVH GOD ONLY IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUTH.

God has ways and has thoughts not like ours.  In our passage from Isaiah, we se that God will give other nations to feel like they are not loved in order for them and Israel to know His love for His people (v.3-4).  Many Australians and New Zealanders, and even Turks and Germans, lost their lives so that we could live here today.  Even this “Old House” was a witness, and served as a hospital during the battle for Beer Sheva.  There is always sacrifice in order to overcome evil by good.  Only afterwards could the missionaries return and seek to bring Arabs and Jews into the inheritance of eternal life. 

This past Monday we heard how to develop the love of God.  The “master key” is to keep the commandments of Jesus (Jn 14:15).  When Keith wanted to show the Lord how much he loved Him by keeping whatever commandment that Jesus had for Him, the first thing the Lord and Savior required was for him to deal with, and repent from, sin that was not helpful to build up the lives of others or of the church.

In Romans we learn again that the Holy Spirit is bringing Israel to confess her sins in preparation for receiving her inheritance of salvation and peace.  And He is doing the same with us so that we will be overcomers in our trials and tribulation, knowing this:  the Lord knows those are His, and, Let everyone who names the name of Messiah depart from iniquity (2Tim 2:19).  There is victory when we stand on the sure foundation for the time to come and lay hold on eternal life, our inheritance with Yeshua in the Kingdom of God.  We hear the Holy Spirit say to us through the letter to the church in Philadelphia that the Lord Jesus will come quickly, and that we are to hold fast to what we have, that no one may take your/my crown.  The Kingdom of God is within us now.

God is speaking with us in a personal way – face to face.  Messiah has come and is coming again.  The Holy Spirit is working in us to take away every form of rebellion to His rule.  Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  As we love Jesus more and keep His commandments, we are preparing ourselves for the inheritance, and God is preparing us for it.  Many people have felt ‘left-out’ as God shows that He loves us; many believers and unbelievers have given their lives so that we can live in God’s Kingdom even today.  We can overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of testimony that by HIM our sins are forgiven.  Let us press on for all that our great God and Savior has for us.

NACHALAT YESHUA/YESHUA’S INHERITANCE CONGREGATION – 16 Oct 2004

Ex 34:9  . . .pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance 

Is 53:10-11  Yet it pleased YHVH to crush Him, putting Him to grief.  If You would make His soul a guilt offering, He shall see seed; He will prolong days, and the good pleasure of YHVH shall prosper in His hand.  He shall see the labor of His soul and be satisfied.  By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.

1Pet 2:9-10  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

The Lord Jesus Christ gave his life unto death on the cross and rose again from among the dead in order that we who believe could receive the forgiveness of our sins and become righteous in God’s sight.  With this great love, we can live forever in His presence as His children and not die.  This was God’s plan and purpose from before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:3-14).  Yeshua told His disciples that all things that the Father has are His (Jn 16:15), including us whom He also received from God His Father (Jn 17:3).  In other words, we are Yeshua’s Inheritance according to the will and testament of God (Heb 9:15).

Yeshua is heir of all things, and the whole Earth and universe have been given Him by the Father.  All the nations are His.  We who have been saved from death in order to be His Bride have a special place in His heart.  It is for us He came into the world He made and died on the cross.  We are created in God’s image, and Messiah redeemed us with His own blood to serve Him with all our hearts in love.  You remember that YHVH God separated the tribe of Levi to be priests and to bless the people of Israel.  The LORD did not give them any portion of the Promised Land for an inheritance, but rather He Himself is to be their inheritance (Dt 10:8-9).  Levi was scattered throughout all the land and among each of the other tribes.  In this way, God made them, as a tribe, inheritors of the whole land and not of only a portion like the rest of the people!

How much more then have we, as priests to God in Messiah, received for an inheritance than the Levites even hope for at the present?!  Believers in Yeshua as Lord and Messiah have inherited eternal life in the new heavens and new earth which God will create at the end of time!  For now, we are God’s field and His building (1Cor 3:9).  Yeshua told the parable of buying the field with treasure, and then of even selling the treasure in order to have the one pearl of great price (Mt 13:44-46).  This is who we are in His sight to the point of giving up all that was His by rights so that we would know His everlasting love for us!  Consider, too, that God has made our bodies a holy temple – a house —  for His dwelling place.  The Holy Spirit lives in us (1Cor 6:19-20).  God has given our entire being as an inheritance to Yeshua, and the Church is His Body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.  What a prize we have in the high calling of God in Messiah Jesus! (Phlp 3:12-14)  If we would apprehend with our hearts and our minds our identity and destiny as Christians – whether Jew or gentile – our whole disposition would be changed and we would bear much good fruit as we abide in the true vine.

As we have spoken here many times, we come from different streams of life, and from different streams within the Body of Messiah.  Yet it is the prayer of our Lord and Great High Priest that we should be united with Him and with each other even as He is with the Father.  He has reconciled us all to God in one body through the cross, making peace where naturally there is not (Eph 2:16).  We are His inheritance to the praise of His glory, and out from us are to flow rivers of living water to bless His land and His people.  With such a great and precious promise and future of inheriting all things together with the Lord, let this revive our faith, hope, and love to live up to such a joyful expectation already now, and at the last day and the resurrection. 

We are Nachalat Yeshua/ Yeshua’s Inheritance!  Let God be glorified in the joy of the Lord!

The Joy of Fellowship in the Truth of God’s Love – 1 Oct 2004

1Pet 1:3-9 we rejoice greatly in Him whom we love for saving our souls

On the Day of Atonements last Shabbat, the Jewish believers amongst us then did a very significant thing (Neh 9:2):  we accepted and confessed our sin and rebellion against YHVH our God (Lev 26:40) and against His Son, the Messiah Jesus (Mt 27:25).

As priests of God in Christ – and as sons of our fathers, whether in the time of Moses or whether in the days of Yeshua – we have a responsibility to accept our personal and collective guilt for our iniquity, transgressions, and sins against God and against our fellow man (Lev 16:11,15,17,21).  We are connected to our people both in promises and in judgment, according to God’s covenants with us.  God has an historic plan of redemption throughout the generations and history of man to bring about His purposes to live with all those who love His Son, Jesus Christ, and know Him as Savior and Lord.

All of the appointed times of YHVH – Sabbath, Passover, Shavuot, Succot – remind Jews (and Christians) that the Creator redeemed and delivered His people Israel from bondage in Egypt (Dt 16:6,12; Lev 23:43).  They are also based upon sacrifices of blood, the blood of covenant with God and His people.

As I have mentioned times before, the Passover was a sacrifice and a deliverance by grace and power, apart from the reckoning of sin.  But it did require faith and obedience on the part of the Israelis in Egypt to put the blood of the slaughtered lambs upon their door posts and remain inside their homes.  From Shavuot, with the giving of the Law, the people became aware of the holiness and righteousness of the great God and Savior who had saved them and promised to give them the land which He promised to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob and to their descendants.  The people of Israel “became” sinners, who had to offer all kinds of sacrifices in acknowledgement of his or her sin and guilt and defilement.  The Day of Atonements was the national day of corporate cleansing by the Holy God through the sacrifice of the goat to YHVH and the sending away to live in the wilderness the other goat to Azazel, laden with all the sins of the children of Israel.  This, too, is all of grace, but requiring the personal application of the Israeli to him-/herself, lest he/she disqualify himself from inclusion as a member of the family of God.

Now we come to the Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated with great rejoicing (Dt 16:13-15), because not only is the final harvest of fruit gathered, but God Himself will dwell in the midst of His people! (Ezek 37:21-28; Lev 26:11-13).  The sacrifice has been accepted, and the people rejoicing in the goodness and love of the Lord!

For us now as believers in Jesus, we have a better sacrifice and already enjoy the pledge of the fullness of God’s presence with us.  The Holy Spirit dwells within us, and there is great joy in the love of the Father when we live with thanksgiving by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross when He died for our sins.  There is great joy to know God’s power working on our behalf, and of His righteous ways.  The blood of the Son of God cleanses our conscience, which all the blood of animals could not and will not accomplish.

The booth (succa) reminds us of our temporary life here, both in the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land, and in our actual lives as we anticipate the redemption of our bodies in the resurrection.  Through it all, God keeps us and provides for us as we look up at His wondrous creation and consider the ultimate expression of love in giving us His Son for the propitiation of our sins.  The Kingdom of God is presently within us, yet there is joy.  How much more so when the Lord Yeshua returns to bring the Kingdom to Earth, and with it righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit!  All the nations which survive along with the remnant of Israel will be blessed by the presence of the Lord in their midst.  And to demonstrate this – and their understanding that this is all of the one true God – all the nations will come up to Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles to worship the King, YHVH of Hosts!

As we celebrate today Succot, we also celebrate with the Lord’s Supper, which is a prophetic reminder that the Lamb who was slain, and for doing so has received all power and authority and blessing and honor and a Name above every name. . . this same Yeshua who ascended up into Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father will Himself return to establish God’s Kingdom in Israel and over the whole Earth and universe!

Come, Lord Jesus!