LAMECH, AMALEK, ‘YESHU’, INTIFADA, YAD L’ACHIM – Nov 2007

(Delivered at Israel Conf.:  “Eschatological Convictions”,  Langensteinbacherhohe, Karlsruhe, Germany, 20-25 Nov 2007)

The Church, Israel, and Islam
Gen 4:4Abel:  the righteousness which offers an acceptable sacrifice through faith
Gen 4:10–his blood cries out for justice
Heb 12:24–Yeshua’s blood speaks better things – forgiveness and salvation
Mt 18:21-22–Christians commanded to forgive 70×7 times per day

Gen 4:3-9Cain:  out of envy, murders his innocent brother and refuses YHVH’s way back to God
Gen 4:10-14–unwilling and unable to carry the chastening and punishment for his guilt
4:15–the gracious and compassionate true God who desires that sinners come to repentance promises to protect Cain and to avenge his blood – should anyone kill him – seven times
4:16-17–Cain goes out in his own way to prove his capabilities and his own sense of worth and     righteousness, without accepting God’s favor upon his brother

Gen 4:19-24Lamech:  arrogant self-righteousness
–takes for himself multiple wives
–knowing the truth about Cain and Abel and YHVH – claiming for himself the justification of killing a     young man for injuring him, and daring anyone from acting justly against him by threatening     vengeance 77 times
Ex 5:2; Ps 83:16-18–Who is YHVH, that I should fear and obey Him?

Gen 27:41Esau:  wants to kill his brother Jacob, out of envy and a bitter root and take back the    inheritance, which he despised

1Jn 2:22–Judaism rejects Yeshua as Messiah and as the Son of God (with all that that implies).
1Jn 2:22–Islam denies God as Father and therefore as having any Son or children.  (Could it be that   Lamech killed one of his own sons?)
–Jews and Christians carry much responsibility for the strength of Islam:  we are His witnesses!
–unbelief in the Bible as the Word of God
–unbelief in YHVH as the only true God, excluding all others
–unbelief in the truth of Messiah as being only in Jesus (anointed Prophet, High Priest, King of kings)
–unbelief in salvation by any other way other than God’s grace through the sacrifice of His Son

Lamech   Gen 4:19-24   spirit of vengeance and self-importance

Amalek   Num 24:20; Dt 25:17-19   a strong nation and spirit that preys on the tired and weary people of
YHVH God; once first among the nations, but will be last till he perishes
–a descendant of Esau, one of the two nations, two peoples — and being referred to as the                   stronger one — in Rebecca’s womb.

‘Yeshu’    Talmudic acronym curse against Yeshua, meaning, “may His name and memory be blotted out”

Intifada   Gen 27:40; Ps 83:2-4 (Eng)   uprising to overthrow the yoke;  ‘let us cut off the name of Israel      from being a nation anymore’
in last days, this began to come to the surface following the Balfour Declaration in 1917
Ps 83:5-8 (Eng)–Islamic nations today

Yad L’Achim   motivated by Dt 13; Mt 26:59-66   false prophet and blasphemer deserving of death, and
also to those who follow after him or who try to get others to follow after him to worship other gods; ‘Yeshu’

What, then, do we and the world have to look forward to, given that everyone – YHVH, Edomites, Jews, Muslims – has declared their intention to blot out the name and memory of their enemy and/or their fellow man?:

Mt 24:21-25   For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the    world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved.  But for the elect’s sake, those days will be shortened. . . .See, I (Yeshua) have told you    beforehand.

We are commissioned with taking the gospel to all peoples, and we have also been called to share/fellowship in the sufferings of Messiah in the power of His resurrection.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

GLORY HIDDEN TO BE REVEALED

(Israel Conference – Langensteinbacherhohe:  “Eschatological Convictions”, Nov 20- 25, 2007)

Jn 1:10-14   He came, and His glory was beheld by only a few

Jn 16:8-11   And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of Judgment:  of sin, because they do not believe on Me (Jesus); of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

Rev 1:1a   The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants – things which must shortly take place. . . .

Rom 7:21 – 8:25   this creation subjected by God to futility until the revelation of the glory of God in Messiah, the Son of God, and in the sons of God

I read in an Israeli newspaper recently about a survey taken amongst Israelis.  The question was, “What would you want to do if you thought that the world would end next week?”  (or something similar to that).  Most of the answers were of the sort:  more sex, more eating, and stealing and other crime.  Some of those who took part in the survey live what would be considered normal lives now.  But the results of the survey show that the nature of man is sinful.  For many, there is no fear of God or of judgment; no faith or hope of resurrection to stand before the Holy God; no vision for godliness.  People of this sort are very much like Esau who, thinking he would soon die (and he didn’t), demonstrated he had no real interest or belief in the living God, in His promises, or for his own children’s future.  From this survey we get a little glimpse of what things will increasingly be like in these last days leading up to the return in great power and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.  As the bride of Messiah, we are to sanctify ourselves for Him who is holy and pure.

As the Word of God says, we need a vision of God’s Kingdom if we as believers are going to overcome by faith the world and the circumstances we live in.  The Apostle Paul gives us in this passage we read reason for hope to enable us to persevere because GOD HAS PUT INTO HIS CREATION THE LIVING HOPE OF REDEMPTION, OF LIFE VICTORIOUS OVER DEATH THAT IS AT WORK NOW IN US AND THROUGHOUT THIS CREATION.

Rom 8:20   The creation was subjected to vanity (futility, disappointment, misery), not of its own will. . .

God is presently – even before sin came into the Garden of Eden (Rev 13:8; Gen 2:15-17) – acting contrary to and against what the creation at every level wants.  When YHVH God eventually has what He wants – when everything is according to and suited to His nature and character (that is, to His Name) – there will be glory! (taken from T. Austin-Sparks) Meanwhile, by God Himself subjecting His own creation to disappointment and vanity, it is impossible for us or for the rest of the universe to realize the GLORY OF GOD.

Paul, though, does say that there is a work going on in the creation now:  v. 22  It is groaning and travailing.  God the Father has put the seed of life into the creation so that in its anguish there is the expectancy of something to be brought forth.  There is going to be a birth of something from God, and there is this war in the cosmos and in our own flesh against keeping faith and hope that it is coming…and will come!  “The WHOLE creation groans and travails!”  Birth pains, labor pains…tribulation, great tribulation…birth and joy!

v. 23   Not only that, but WE, WHO HAVE THE FIRST-FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT, WE OURSELVES GROAN WITHIN OURSELVES. . . EAGERLY WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION, THE RESURRECTION OF OUR BODY!

v. 18-19  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaits for the revealing of the sons of God.

v. 24-25   For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Philp 2:5-11   The Holy Spirit is working in the world till all will worship Jesus, the Son of God, to the glory of the Father.  This includes those who believe, of course, but also those who will not.

1Cor 13:10; 2Pt 3:13; Rev 21:1-5   We look beyond the millennial reign of Messiah to the perfect new Creation (cp God’s own expression for this present creation Gen 1:31).

We are called to THAT EXPECTATION of our Father in Heaven!

GOOD NEWS

(Israel Conference – Langensteinbacherhohe:  “Eschatological Convictions”, Nov 20- 25, 2007)

Acts 2:36-41   Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Yeshua, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah!. . .Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.. . .Be saved from this perverse generation.  Then those who gladly received this word were baptized. . . .

Heb 6:1-3   Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Messiah let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Lk 18:6-8   God will avenge His own; will the Son of Man really find faith when He returns?

Rev 6:9-11   When [Jesus the Lamb] opened the fifth seal, I (John) saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the Earth?”  . . .it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
      —Gen 3:15   the Word of God to the devil in the Garden of Eden that Messiah will bruise his head
      —Gen 18:25   Abraham knew YHVH God is the righteous Judge of all the Earth
      —Ps 94:1-3   How long, O Judge of the Earth, until You punish the wicked!?
      —Rev 19:1-9   After these things. . .Hallelu-Yah!  God has avenged and judged ungodly people and their ungodly deeds.  The Lord God reignsThe Bride has made herself ready – pure, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing!

                                                                 IT IS THE CRY OF THE RIGHTEOUS!

 1Cor 15: 1-28   Christ is risen from the dead, and is the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep in Him at His (this same Jesus who rose) coming.  He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet.  Then the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power (or, till that which is perfect is come (1Cor 13:10).
      –the very good Millennial Kingdom precedes the perfect New Heavens and New Earth, where rule and authority are not needed, as love – as God – is all and in all.

Dan 9:24; Lev 23;23-36   the last of YHVH’s Appointed Times will be fulfilled literally just as the first of His set times (holy days) were, and they will fulfill God’s plan of redemption           

Part of the good news of the Kingdom of God is that there is an end to unrighteousness.  There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, indeed for the whole creation!  The Millennial Kingdom of God in and over Israel and the nations is the 7th 1000-year day of this created order (Rev 20; Is 65:17-23).

2Pt 3:11-15a; Rev 21:1-5   Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new Earth in which righteousness dwells!  Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation…

The only message we have is God’s good news:  salvation through repentance and faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Let us evangelize our people that they can hear the hard sayings of God in the beauty of His mercy and love for them…for us.

RAISED UP ON THE LAST DAY

(Israel Conference – Langensteinbacherhohe:  “Eschatological Convictions”, Nov 20- 25, 2007)

I was saved almost 27 years ago now.  I was saved by grace through faith in the good news of God in Jesus Christ, not even yet convicted of being a sinner despite my sins.  And I was saved in hope:  Jesus was God’s plan for making the world right!  The Lord Jesus Christ is going to come back to bring righteousness and peace to this world, and with that, there will be joy in the Holy Spirit.  And I thought and hoped that He would come back even that very year!  He didn’t, but I still hope and think He will come back during my generation. 

As I began to read the Bible, along with my perception of history, it was clear that Christians/the Church were doing no better with their call unto God in Messiah than the Jews/Israel had done with theirs.  Now that I am a Jew and a Christian, I can relate to both – as well as to all humanity as children of Adam.  The Word of God is true, and is the truth.  In those days of 1981, there was an excitement and an anticipation that the Lord might actually come for His own that year during the Autumn Jewish holy days.  This was according to certain teachings and calculations of many evangelical dispensational believers in their interpretation of prophesy.  All the teaching I received, and all the books I was given to read, and the study Bible I had then – they all taught what is called the pre-tribulation rapture and pre-millennial return of Messiah, who would reign over Israel and the nations with the saints.  My initial understanding when I was born-again and received the Holy Spirit was that Jesus was indeed coming back to restore the Kingdom of God to Israel and to the entire world.  Upon hearing all the teaching on the pre-trib rapture, my instinct was both to hope that it might be true, but also that the Christians did not deserve to be spared the tribulation.  Every time I read the Bible, I saw that the Scriptures seem to teach that the Church would go through tribulation and great tribulation – in other words, the 70th week of Daniel, the last seven years of this age.  But all the teaching I was getting said that God would take up His saints before this last period of much suffering and judgments would begin.

My view and understanding of the Word of God and of His ways leads me to believe that the Body of Christ will be on Earth during the final period of testing and purging, and will be raised on the last day (Jn 6:39-40).  The Church is promised by God to be saved from His wrath; He has also promised that we will suffer tribulation; and the Scriptures are clear in both the Old and New Testaments that Satan will war against the saints and overcome them (Dan 7:21-22; Rev 13:7).  The apostle Paul warns the believers – us – against being deceived, saying that the appointed day of being gathered together to Him will not come until after the falling away/apostasy and the man of sin/the antichrist is revealed(2Thes 2:1-5). 

Paul had previously written to the believers in Thessalonica (1Thes 4:15-18) to comfort them and us “that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. . . .the dead in Christ will rise first (the first resurrection [Rev 20:4-6]).  Then we who remain alive shall be caught up (the rapture) together with them to meet the Lord in the air. . . .  Elsewhere (1Cor 15:51-52) Paul writes that at the last trumpet the dead and the living in Christ will be raised and changed.  The apostle John writes by the same inspired Spirit of the last and seventh trumpet (Rev 11:15-19) through which the Lord takes the Kingdom from the rulers of this world, and there is judgment and reward according to one’s relationship with Messiah.  All these passages together speak with one voice and of the same time and events.  

The Holy Spirit expressly warns (1Tim 4:1) that in latter times some will depart from the faith/falling away/apostasy, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. . . .  The Lord Jesus Himself warns His disciples (Mk 13:24-27) that the enemy will seek to deceive even the elect, if possible.  Yeshua goes on to say in the same passage , “in those days, after that tribulation, . . .they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds. . .and He will. . .gather together His elect . . .”

We are not saved by our own understanding, but by our faith in who Jesus Christ is and what He accomplished for our salvation by His sacrificial death on the cross and His resurrection from among the dead.  Yet we are warned many times against being deceived and deceiving others.  Our Father in Heaven and our Lord Jesus Christ wants us to be ready for, anticipating, loving His appearing and return.  There is much danger if we hold to a false teaching which does not properly prepare our hearts and minds for that day, especially, of course, should we be alive during these times we are discussing.  If we hold to a teaching that says we will not be here when the antichrist is revealed, then we will not be prepared – except that God graciously straightens us out in time, which we should not simply take for granted, whatever our confidence in His love for us and in our salvation – when he actually is manifested and begins his terror campaign against the believers/the saints.  More dangerous still is if we believe that we will not be here when the mark is imposed, then we may – except that God graciously and providentially prevents it – take the mark, thinking  that it is not the mark; for the Word of God plainly says (Rev 14:9-11) that anyone who worships the beast or receives his mark, whatever it may actually be, is doomed.

All of the prophets of God look towards the last days and to the righteous judgments of God on evil and on evil doers, and the establishment of the righteous rule and reign of YHVH’s appointed Priest-King Messiah.  The Day of YHVH is a prominent theme in nearly all the prophetic outlook, a day of judgment upon the unbelieving, upon the hypocrites, even upon cowards, and also a day of salvation and deliverance for those whom the Lord declares righteous, and upon whom He chooses to show mercy and compassion.  The letters to the churches by Jesus Himself carry the church/the believers through to the end.  He who endures to the end shall be saved.

The Scriptures can not be broken (Jn 10:35).  It is important to know the one true God and His Son Jesus Christ by believing what Moses wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit concerning things of the beginning that only God could know and make known.  It is important also to believe what the apostles by the same inspiration write us concerning the things of the end.  “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”