TRUMPETS ARE SOUNDING – 18 Sep 2011

New Week greetings,

As the Jewish New Year approaches next week, it is good to remember that Biblically, it is actually the beginning of the seventh month given by God to Israel, and is actually called a Memorial of the Blowing/Shout of Trumpets (see Lev 23).  It is His redemptive calendar within His comprehensive year.  We who have been born-again and are now seated with Yeshua in heavenly places are given a view of the whole of what YHVH is doing within time, which still has another 1000 years or so (see Is 65:17-25 in light of Rev 20.  Isaiah is referring to a ‘born-again/regenerated’  perfectly “very good” new heavens and new earth, a ‘new creation’, just as we are now; and in both there is still sin and death.  John’s view of the New Heavens and New Earth is the eternal one following the final judgment, and there is no more sin with its consequences in that “perfect” which is to come (1Cor 13:10).)

Being the 7th month of redemption, God is finishing up His work, not beginning it.  The appointed times/holy days of this Hebrew month are collectively called the Celebration of Ingathering the harvest (Ex23:16; 34:22), especially as related to the redemption and salvation of Israel and the Jewish people, and through Messiah Jesus, that of other nations and Gentiles.  Trumpets begin to regather the people; seeing Yeshua whom we/they have pierced is the day of salvation for ‘all Israel’ (the full remnant from all the tribes), and judgment of the Lord’s enemies, both within and without; and Booths/Tabernacles is the presence of the Lord literally dwelling amongst His forgiven and cleansed people Israel during the Kingdom of God on Earth.  May He come speedily in our generation:  Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!

Tuning the ears for the sound of the right trumpet sound. . . .

ISRAEL 2015: THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE MESSIANIC BODY

(Shared at opening of new TOS church center in Tubingen, Germany, Sept 9, 2011)

It is difficult to know what will be tomorrow, so I will speak of what I believe to be God’s purpose as we look ahead to what will be four years from now within the Messianic Body in Israel.

1.  God, as a Father, is regathering His scattered children – both geographically and also spiritually.  He is bringing His dysfunctional family into order.  Jewish people are called Children of Israel; Israel is the first-born of nations; Abraham is the father of many nations, and of all who believe; we who believe in Yeshua are children of God through redemption, and Yeshua/Jesus is the first-born of many brothers and sisters. (Eph 3:14-15)  The Holy Spirit will be carrying this out through to the last trumpet.

2.  The Holy Spirit is fulfilling the Word of God, and will continue to do so through to the end, with 2015 falling somewhere in between.  This is extremely important to let sink well into our hearts and  minds.  We may have our own thoughts and ideas, but the Holy Spirit has completely the mind of God and of Christ/Messiah.  We know only in part, and that part as through a cloudy glass.

3.  The Holy Spirit will be working in the Messianic Body in Israel – and everywhere else, too, in the world – to bring not only more persons to repentance and faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God, but also to bring the believers to full maturity – to the fullness of the reality of the one new man in Messiah, the image and likeness of the Son of God(Eph 4:11-16; Col 1:19-23; Gal 6:14-15; Eph 2:14-16)  We are a new creation, and are being sanctified and purified.

4.  God is not going back to the first century, but finishing what He has begun:  bringing to full maturity; bringing in the full harvest at the end of the age; preparing the Bride for the Lamb; preparing us to endure the sufferings and the shame of the cross; answering the prayer of Yeshua for full union and love within those who are hid with Messiah in God (Phlp 1:6; Col 1:28; Mt 13:39; Rev 19:6-9; 1Cor 1:23-25; Heb 13:13; Jn 17:20-26; Is 41:17-20; Col 3:3-4)  Our boast is to be in the cross of our Lord and Savior, not buying into the world’s ambitions.

5.  The Holy Spirit is preparing the believers and the people of Israel for the hope of the coming of Yeshua.
    –Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!
    –Blessed is He who comes in the name of YEHOVAH!
       — Gentiles still treading down Jerusalem so that the Jews’ heart-cry and hope is only in Him who comes in the  name of YEHOVAH/Yeshua/Jesus to save them (Mt 23:37-39; Lk 21:24; Ps 137:4-6; Acts 4:10-12)
    — The whole creation is groaning for this:  are we groaning?!
    –God’s peace plan is the shed blood of His Son on the cross.

6.  Unity through tribulation, a purifying baptism of fire from the Lord (Acts 14:22; Phlp 3:8-15; Rev 3:18-22)
   –Troubles bring us together.
   –Endure to the end and overcome by faith.
   –The word for the ‘narrow’ road and  for ‘trouble/tribulation’ is the same in Hebrew:  tzara.  The Holy Spirit will bring us all into that narrow road that leads to life, and cause us to love one another through this unity of purpose.

QUESTIONS – 4 Sep 2011

Is the Bible — the Old and the New Testaments — true, or is the Koran?

Is the God of Israel the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth — of the Universe?

Is YHVH (YEHOVAH or YAHWEH) the name of the one true God, or is some other god with another name?

Is the true God a Father with a Son and a people (other children)?  Or is the true God not a father and childless?

Was Abraham a Muslim prophet who served the god of Islam?  Or was Abraham a Hebrew, who worshiped YHVH, the Everlasting God Almighty?

Did Abraham take Isaac, his covenant son, to offer him a sacrifice to YHVH, who intervened to prevent it?  Or did Abraham take Ishmael to offer as a sacrifice?

Is Yeshua/Jesus the Son of God, or merely a prophet?

Did Jesus/Yeshua die for our sins on the cross, or did He not?

Did Jesus rise from among the dead, or did He not?

Did the God of the Bible, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, covenant with an oath to give the descendants of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel a specific land for an inheritance, within the whole of the nations with boundaries which He has determined?

Is the Lord Jesus Christ coming again physically to establish the Kingdom of God on this Earth for 1000 years?

Who is your God?  Are you saved?

MATURITY UNTO GODLINESS: CHOOSING THE GOOD

We spoke last week that God intends for us to be judges.  We should be wise and able to judge matters between believers; and we will be judging the world, and even angels. (1Cor 6:2-5)  Obviously, for such responsibility, we need to become mature, and conformed to the character of our Father God, and of His Son, Jesus Christ.  This is godliness.  

I want to address two issues regarding the Godly knowledge that there is both good and evil, our discerning the difference by the Word and Spirit of God, and of our responsibility as maturing sons and daughters of God to choose the good so that we glorify our Creator and Redeemer.  

Psa 119:9-16  With what shall a young man cleanse his way?  By taking heed according to Your word.  With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments.  I have hidden Your word in my heart, so that I might not sin against You.  Blessed are You, O YEHOVAH; teach me Your precepts.  With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth.  I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.  I will think on Your commandments and have respect to Your ways.  I will delight myself in Your precepts; I will not forget Your word.  

Zec 3:7  So says YEHOVAH of Hosts: If you will walk in My ways, and if you will keep My charge, then you shall also judge My house, and shall also keep My courts, and I will give you places to walk among these who stand by.    

Walk in Yeshua’s ways, and keep His commandments.  

–Here is a simple example of God’s thoughts compared to many of ours, to show how far we are sometimes in judging a matter as ‘good’ or as ‘evil’:  

1Ti 4:1-5  But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons,  speaking lies in hypocrisy, being seared in their own conscience,  forbidding to marry, saying to abstain from foods which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  For every creation of God is   good, and nothing to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving.  For it is sanctified through the Word of God and prayer.  

The Holy Spirit – God – is telling us through the apostle Paul, that in the last days part of the falling away from the faith is to forbid marriage, and certain foods.  He calls this teachings of deceiving spirits and of demons!  This does not sound ‘good’, but rather ‘evil’!  We usually say it it is not very important.  The issue is not whether or not we marry or choose not to eat certain foods, but why we do not:  if it is a simple matter of preference, we have liberty according to the Word of God. (Rom 14)  But if it is because we, or someone else, forbids these things – and makes it a matter of conscience, or of righteousness or holiness, or morality – then the Word of God tells us here in Timothy that these are lies in hypocrisy.   Such teachings dishonor the Lord and the New Testament teachings for us in being faithful witnesses to the truth of God in Messiah.  

–Here is a more difficult area for us:  how to keep ourselves from willfully sinning?
Mat 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil.  For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.

Ja 1:12-15  Blessed is the man who endures temptation, because having been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  Let no one being tempted say, I am tempted from God. For God is not tempted by evils, and He tempts no one.  But each one is tempted by his lusts, being drawn away and seduced by them.  Then when  lust has conceived, it brings forth sin. And sin, when it is fully formed, brings forth death.   

1Co 15:33-34  Do not be deceived; evil companionships corrupt good habits.  Be righteously awake, and sin not; for some have ignorance of God. I speak this to your shame.
     –avoid people and places which would put you in a weakened state
     –do not let thoughts and imagination linger on what the Word of God calls sin:  we can look ‘good’ on the outside, but be full of evil on the inside (Mt 23:27-28)

OF BREAKING OF COVENANTS AND TREATIES – 1 Sep 2011

Israel and her supporters will be disappointed with the results of the vote in the United Nations scheduled for September 20 regarding either a mere upgrade of Palestinian status at the UN, or else the recognition of an independent Palestinian state.  This vote is despite, and in spite of, all international agreements previous regarding rules of war and of guarantees for a sovereign Jewish nation.  It will mark a significant retreat of human support for Israel.

Should believers in Yeshua/Jesus as Lord, Messiah, Son of God, Savior be disappointed . . . or should the state of affairs be a wake-up call.  In Hebrew, the word for someone ‘waking up’ is the same word for ‘revival’:  revival is for those who are alive, but drowsy or sleeping.  Are we alert to the times in which we are living, or are we just as uncertain as those in whom the Spirit of God is not dwelling?

When Yeshua was asked to state plainly by what authority He was doing what He was, He asked those who should have known by then to answer Him first:  ‘The baptism of John, where was it from?  Was it from Heaven, or from men?’ (Mt 21:25) This is the question that needs to be answered also concerning Israel today.  The viewpoint one takes on this issue will obviously greatly affect how we relate to her.  Jesus would wish that we were hot or cold, and not sit on the fence. (Rev 3:14-15)  When Jesus was being crucified, the rulers and leaders of the nation mocked Him, saying, “. . .He trusted in God; let Him deliver him now, if He will have him; for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”. . .  “The rest said, ‘Leave him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save him!’” (Mt 27:41-49)

Israel claims to be the chosen people and nation of God, and many nations and peoples are watching and observing to see whether or not this is true.

God has given Israel as an example to the Church, and what happens towardsIsraelwill also happen towards the Church:  first the natural; then the spiritual.  If people want to makeIsraelthe scapegoat for all the world’s troubles, they will also make Christians scapegoats.  And they will be ‘justified’ by the false teaching that if only believers would pray and intercede more; engage in more effective spiritual warfare; take over the reigns of society, then the world would be a better place.  Yet it is clear that the world is becoming increasingly lawless, stressful, and nervous.

A ‘Pharoah spirit’ is rising.  One that does not know Yeshua nor the Father.  And it is making life more arduous for those who fear YHVH and for those who know Him personally.  This anti-christ spirit attacks all who are called by the name of God – whether they be Jewish or Christian.  Judgments from God will come, and He will save and deliver His people.  YHVH cuts (makes) and keeps His covenants, and He is a Savior to those whose trust is whole-heartedly in Him.  Our hearts deceive us, and He gives us a new heart as a promise of the New Covenant in the blood of His Son, which we are to guard. (Jer 17:9-10; 31:33; Ezek 36:26; Mt 15:18-19)  According to God’s covenants, He will bless those who bless the seed of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, and He will curse him who makes light of them.  This also would apply to how Jewish people (the House of Jacob) consider especially Christian believers, who are also of the seed of Abraham through faith.

The UN vote on Sept. 20 will be used by God towards bringingIsraeland the Jewish people to call upon Him, leading more to repentance towards God.  And further, to bring more Jewish people and others who are genuinely concerned for their well-being to the redemption through the Redeemer, the Lamb of God who died – was slaughtered – to confirm YHVH God’s promises to the fathers and to their descendants, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy. (Rom 15:8-9)

If Israel has broken God’s covenants, why should it be a wonder that the nations will break their human treaties and agreements concerning Israel?!

As the nations seem more and more willing to sacrifice one nation so that not all the nations should perish from religious and nationalistic terrorists, and from others ‘doing what is right in their own eyes’, Bible-believing Christians should show mercy, and stand with the beloved enemy Israel for Jesus’ sake, as a nation back in [part of] the land promised to be an everlasting possession from YHVH, whose land it is, as is the whole Earth. (Rom 11:25-36)

OF BREAKING COVENANTS AND TREATIES – 1 Sept 2011

Israel and her supporters will be disappointed with the results of the vote in the United Nations scheduled for September 20 regarding either a mere upgrade of Palestinian status at the UN, or else the recognition of an independent Palestinian state.  This vote is despite, and in spite of, all previous international agreements regarding rules of war and of guarantees for a sovereign Jewish nation.  It will mark a significant retreat of human support for Israel.

Should believers in Yeshua/Jesus as Lord, Messiah, Son of God, Savior be disappointed . . . or should the state of affairs be a wake-up call?  In Hebrew, the word for someone ‘waking up’ is the same word for ‘revival’:  revival is for those who are alive, but drowsy or sleeping.  Are we alert to the times in which we are living, or are we just as uncertain as those in whom the Spirit of God is not dwelling?

When Yeshua was asked to state plainly by what authority He was doing what He was, He asked those who should have known by then to answer Him first:  ‘The baptism of John, where was it from?  Was it from Heaven, or from men?’ (Mt 21:25) This is the question that needs to be answered also concerning Israel today.  The viewpoint one takes on this issue will obviously greatly affect how we relate to her.  Jesus would wish that we were hot or cold, and not sit on the fence. (Rev 3:14-15)  When Jesus was being crucified, the rulers and leaders of the nation mocked Him, saying, “. . .He trusted in God; let Him deliver him now, if He will have him; for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”. . .  “The rest said, ‘Leave him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save him!’” (Mt 27:41-49

Israel claims to be the chosen people and nation of God, and many nations and peoples are watching and observing to see whether or not this is true.

God has given Israel as an example to the Church, and what happens towards Israel will also happen towards the Church:  first the natural; then the spiritual.  If people want to make Israel the scapegoat for all the world’s troubles, they will also make Christians scapegoats.  And they will be ‘justified’ by the false teaching that if only believers would pray and intercede more; engage in more effective spiritual warfare; take over the reigns of society, then the world would be a better place.  Yet it is clear that the world is becoming increasingly lawless, stressful, and nervous.

A ‘Pharoah spirit’ is rising.  One that does not know Yeshua or the Father.  And it is making life more arduous for those who fear YHVH and for those who know Him personally.  This anti-christ spirit attacks all who are called by the name of God – whether they be Jewish or Christian.  Judgments from God will come, and He will save and deliver His people.  YHVH cuts (makes) and keeps His covenants, and He is a Savior to those whose trust is whole-heartedly in Him.  Our hearts deceive us, and He gives us a new heart as a promise of the New Covenant in the blood of His Son, which we are to guard. (Jer 17:9-10; 31:33; Ezek 36:26; Mt 15:18-19)  According to God’s covenants, He will bless those who bless the seed of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, and He will curse him who makes light of them.  This also would apply to how Jewish people (the House of Jacob) consider especially Christian believers, who are also of the seed of Abraham through faith.

The UN vote on Sept. 20 will be used by God towards bringing Israel and the Jewish people to call upon Him, leading more to repentance towards God.  And further, to bring more Jewish people and others who are genuinely concerned for their well-being to the redemption through the Redeemer, the Lamb of God who died – was slaughtered – to confirm YHVH God’s promises to the fathers and to their descendants, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy. (Rom 15:8-9)

 If Israel has broken God’s covenants, why should it be a wonder that the nations will break their human treaties and agreements concerning Israel?!

As the nations seem more and more willing to sacrifice one nation so that not all the nations should perish from religious and nationalistic terrorists, and from others ‘doing what is right in their own eyes’, Bible-believing Christians should show mercy, and stand with the beloved enemy Israel for Jesus’ sake, as a nation back in [part of] the land promised to be an everlasting possession from YHVH, whose land it is, as is the whole Earth. (Rom 11:25-36)