MERGER OF LIKUD AND ISRAEL BEITANU PARTY LISTS – 30 Oct 2012

Yesterday the Likud central committee agreed to merge their party list with that of Israel Beitanu (Israel Our Home) for the upcoming elections scheduled on January 22, 2013.  The merger of these two nationalist parties is seen as a major political victory for Prime Minister Bibi (Benjamin) Netanyahu to strengthen his position to lead the country.  Israel Beitanu is led by Avigdor Liberman, the current Foreign Minister.

“Today we are voting for a strong Likud and a strong prime minister,” Netanyahu told the crowd to applause.  “The union will allow us to continue leading with strength [and] keep our party national and liberal – for Ashkenazim and Sephardim; traditional, religious and secular; new immigrants and old; minorities and majority; because Likud is everyone’s home.”

Netanyahu referred to rumors that Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman would succeed him, saying, “I heard talk of inheritances in recent days.”

“I have news for everyone: I plan to lead Israel for many more years, as will Likud,” he added. (emphasis mine)

Naturally speaking, this merger does not bode well for the Messianic community in Israel of believers in Yeshua/Jesus as Messiah; but, on the other hand, our God can use what may seem right in the sight of man to begin to open his eyes to spiritual realities.  Pride comes before a fall.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit”, declares YHVH of Hosts!  Israel’s hope is realized in the one to whom the kingdom belongs:

“A ruin, a ruin, I will make it.  This also will be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him!”  (Ezek 21:27 Eng; Gen 49:10; Ps 2)

The true heir of Israel’s leadership is Yeshua. (Mt 21:38; Mk  12:7; Lk 20:14)  Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!

A PRAYER FOR THE SALVATION OF ISRAEL

Our Father in Heaven, thank-you for your goodness and long-suffering to your people Israel.  You have sent the Holy Spirit to the world to convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.  Sin is not believing in Your Son, Yeshua, as the Messiah.  Our people still harden their hearts and stubbornly stiffen their necks against the truth of the gospel, despite all that we have done till now.

The New Covenant in the blood of Yeshua is the basis for the promise that You will save the full remnant of your people, as you have promised in many ways and places throughout the Scriptures, by forgiving their sins.

Act on behalf of your holy Name’s sake to show to the Jewish people everywhere in the world, and to the enemies of Israel round about Israel and anywhere else, that there is still a God in Israel!  Why should the nations say, Where is your God?!  Put Your fear in your own beloved people, and in those who would seek her destruction, that they would fear YEHOVAH, the God of Israel, God Most High.  Break the pride in Your chosen people regarding their being chosen as the first-born among the nations.  Bring them to see the futility of trying to justify themselves by their own works, rather than returning in humble confession to You in the way You have provided.  In wrath, remember mercy, O God!

Until the fullness of Gentiles comes in, You say that Israel will remain partially blinded.  Save more, and more, and more individual Israeli Jewish people now, Lord, until that day.  Save more of the Gentiles, especially round about Israel — the Arabs, Muslims — to bring us closer to that day when all Israel will be saved!  Give them a new heart, a new spirit through their repentance and faith in the gospel, that they would provoke Israel to jealousy and show mercy to Israel, rather than seek vengeance and her destruction.

Bring more Israelis to repentance for their unfaithfulness against You and Your covenant with them, in their heart’s desire to be like the Gentiles, a thing which You say will not be!  Work, LORD, for Your holy Name’s sake, through all the political power struggles and religious corruption that more and more of your people would become fed up with being like the Gentiles, who lord it over one another, and would begin to return to You; for You, YHVH God, to be King over them once again; for Your Kingdom to come — Your righteousness and Your true peace.

Act on behalf of your holy Name’s sake within the Body of Messiah here in Israel, that You would break through the impasse preventing us from going on in the truth of the one new man, in spiritual unity in love and in truth, that our testimony would be faithful to the truth of Your love and grace to us who believe in Jesus, whom You sent.  We plead, our Father, that our people would see something GOOD within the congregation and life of believers, that would draw them towards You. . .and You would run towards them.

Act, O Lord, for Your Name’s sake, that believers would feel the need for You, Lord Jesus, to come back, and that the Jewish people would begin to cry out, Blessed is He who comes in the name of YEHOVAH!  Let them see Him whom they have pierced, and afflict their souls in mourning for all their hatred without a cause towards Him — even as we have by Your lovingkindness.  Take away the curse out of their mouths, and bring them to call upon the only Savior:  Blessed are You, Lord Yeshua!  And heal them, and cleanse them — the people whom You love, and have chosen to be Your holy people, and for Yeshua to be the King of Israel, King of the Jews.

Thank-you, Father, for Your faithfulness,  in Yeshua’s name.  Amen.

O, Maker of peace in the high places,      (Oseh shalom bam’romim,
You will make peace upon us,                   (Ata ta’aseh shalom aleinu,
and upon all of Israel.                                   (ve’al kol Israel

And all say, say Amen.                                 (Ve’imru, imru Amen.

Make peace, make peace,                            (Ta’aseh shalom, ta’aseh shalom,
Peace upon us, and upon all Israel!        (Shalom aleinu, ve’al kol Israel!)

THE NEGEV IS ‘HOT’; VISIT IN 2013 – 26 Oct 2012

According to the Lonely Planet Travel Guide, the southern region of Israel is worth visiting.  They have rated the Negev as the second best region in the world to tour in 2013, before it becomes over-developed, and to enjoy what is already available for travelers. 

You can read the full story here:  http://www.lonelyplanet.com/themes/best-in-travel-2013/top-10-regions/#ixzz2AJC9CbUV 

Imagine what it will be like after the Lord Yeshua returns and the desert is turned into a veritable Garden of Eden! (Is 51:3)

PARASHAT VAYIKRA – Leviticus 1:1 – 6:7 (Eng); Isaiah 43:21 – 44:23

(Written for Israel Bible Society project) 14 Oct 2012

The third book of Moses — of the Torah — is Leviticus, and its central theme is the sacrificial system which YHVH God provided for His chosen people Israel, in order that He could dwell in the midst of a holy people, cleansed from all their transgression, sins, and iniquity against Him.  The responsibility for mediating this system of reconciling sinful people to God was the privilege of the priestly tribe of Levi, especially through the family of Aaron, the appointed and anointed High Priest.

For those who know Yeshua to be the Rock, Messiah – the Son of God and Anointed One of YHVH to be Israel’s Prophet, High Priest, and King – we see Him throughout the specified sacrifices required by the God of Israel for His people to become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation unto Him. (Ps 40:6-7 Eng; Heb 10:5-7; Jn 5:39)

Firstly, in the goodness and love of God our Father, He provided a substitute to pay the deadly price of each person’s, and the whole nation’s, sin.  These substitutes all needed to be without spot or blemish; they needed to be “without sin”.  Yeshua is that sinless substitute whom God gave so that Jewish people (and Gentiles) can live in His presence:  “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2Cor 5:21)

Each of the substitutionary offerings commanded by YHVH for Israelis to bring to be sacrificed by the priests speaks in some measure of Messiah’s character, and of His life and death.  The bull speaks of service; rams of consecration (remember, God provided a ram in place of Isaac for Abraham to sacrifice); lambs remind us of redemption, especially at Passover; goats of our particular substitute, in that it is an animal worthy for sacrifice, but with an independent character unsuitable for people created in the image of God, our Shepherd King.  Yeshua came in “the likeness of sinful flesh” to be our Atonement. (Rom 8:3; Lev 16); doves and young pigeons symbolize “heavenly” birds of peace.

The five offerings which YHVH spoke to Moses to give to Israel point to the necessity and reality of Yeshua’s sinless life unto God, demonstrating Him to be the all-encompassing acceptable sacrifice for sin to reconcile the holy God to a redeemed people for Himself (Is 43:25):  

the whole burnt offering — Yeshua gave His whole being to God in sacrifice — both in His life and in His death on the cross — and was ‘burned up in full’ as He suffered the wrath of God and the separation from His Father while He bore our sins upon Himself on the cross;

the grain offering — Yeshua lived a pure, sinless, uncorrupted life; the only perfect Man.  No blood sacrifice was ever needed for Him to offer. There was no malice or hypocrisy in His character, nor did He enjoy the natural sweetness of the pleasures which this life can offer, but which detract from the single-eyed purpose of God to sanctify and glorify His Name.  No grain offering, or any offering by any Israeli under the Law could be offered with leaven or with honey. (Lev 2:11; but see Lev 23:17)  All the grain offerings required seasoning with salt, which preserves against corruption and impurity.  Yeshua’s life was wholly consecrated to God to preserve His covenantal purpose and promises for His people and creation:  Holiness to YHVH! 

the sin offering — Jesus bore on the cross the sinfulness of our nature, and the sin of the whole world in its contrariness to God;

the trespass/guilt offering — Jesus bore our guilt, uncleanness, and shame for our sins.  We are saved by grace, and are [justified] sinners through faith till the end of our life;

the peace offering — On the basis of the previous sacrifices — and upon Yeshua’s one, comprehensive,  sacrificial death — we have peace with God, with ourselves, and with others.  Only of the peace offering could both the priest and the sinner eat, and if a thank offering, it also included leaven along with the unleavened bread.

(The Lord’s Supper, given to the Church, is the remembrance of all that Jesus has accomplished unto God and for us in His sacrificial atoning death. (Lk 22:19-20)  At the last supper, He, the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, shared the bread and the wine (the reminders of the flesh and blood of the sacrificial Passover Lamb) with His sinful apostles in anticipation of the peace of reconciliation He was making for them, and leaving with them.) 

The truth of guilt upon a people because of the sins of its religious leaders – even unintentional sins through ignorance – and its transference through the generations until there is repentance, is written in the Law of YHVH God to Israel. (Lev 4:1-3, 13-14)   In the haftarah reading from the prophet Isaiah, YHVH God says that Jacob and Israel have not brought Him the sacrifices He has called for to honor Him; therefore He will give Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches. (Is 43:23, 28)  If Yeshua be the true Holy One of Israel sent by the Father of Israel to redeem His people, then the false witness and unjust condemnation by the High Priest Caiaphas of this innocent Man has, according to the Law, brought guilt upon all the people of Israel, which the Holy Spirit is bringing to our knowledge, that repentance and restitution be granted to the people of YHVH God’s inheritance. (Lev 26:40-42; Mt 26:56-66; 27:20-25; Acts 5:24-32)  

All of the multitude of animal sacrifices under the Law and the Levitical priesthood could not succeed in making the people depart from iniquity and to love righteousness. (Rom 8:3)  Something more was needed for that, and God had already planned for this from before the foundation of the world.  “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.”  And again He says, “Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?  You are My witnesses [,Jacob,]:  Is there a God besides Me?  Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one!”; YHVH declares further, “Remember these, O Jacob, and Israel, My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!  I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and, like a cloud, your sins.  Return to Me, for I have redeemed you!” (Is 43:25;  44:8, 21-22)

“But Messiah came as High Priest of the good things to come. . ., having obtained eternal redemption.  For if the blood of bulls and goats . . . sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God!  And for this reason [Yeshua] is the Mediator of the New Covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” (Heb 9:11-15)

SANCTIFICATION OF GOD’S NAME – 20 Oct 2012

Ex 20:1-7  no other gods ‘above’ YHVH; do not carry YHVH’s name in vain

Ps 8:1   YeHoVaH, our God, how excellent is Your Name in all the Earth . . . .!

Everyone has received a name from his/her mother and/or father.  We who are parents have given names to our children.
Ex 20:12   Honor your father and your mother:  sanctify their names by honoring them in our
own name as their children.
–hearts of fathers to the children, and of the children’s hearts to the fathers:  functional, healthy family

Who of you want people to think well of you when they hear your name?
Who of you do not want people to think well of you when they speak your name?
Who of you do not care whether others think well of you or not when your name is mentioned?

The Holy Spirit through the Scriptures tells us that “a [good] name is to be chosen than great wealth . . . .” (Pr 22:1a)  For those desiring to be a leader in the church, he “must have a good name among those who are outside . . .” (1Tim 3:7)

YEHOVAH, God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, is a jealous God. (Ex 20:5; 3:14-15)  In fact, one of His names is Jealous. (Ex 34:14)  He alone is YHVH, and He will not give His glory to another.  He is Jealous for His holy name’s sake; He is Jealous for the sake of His Good Name.

What distinguishes the God of Israel from all other gods is that He is a Living God, and He is Holy.  He is “other”, different, set apart.  There is NONE like Him. (Lev 11:45)  He alone is eternal.  He alone is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  He alone is Creator of all, and the Redeemer of His own creation.  He alone makes and cuts covenants, and also fulfills His promises.

When Israel asked for a king like the other nations have, they received from Yehovah God what they asked for:  a sinner like themselves who also disobeyed and rejected YHVH from being King over them.  Yehovah is holy, judging not only the outward deeds like we do, but also the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  YHVH wants a holy people without and within.  He alone redeems a people for Himself through mighty deeds to deliver us from bondage, and through the death and resurrection of His only begotten Son, whom He loves.  He is holy, and He will inherit a holy people to be a kingdom of [holy] priests.

Dt 32:14   Yehovah our God is great, perfect, just, truth, righteous, upright!

When we speak His Name; when we meditate on His Name; when we live our lives . . . is His Name precious to us – excellent – above all other names?  Are we jealous for His good and holy Name’s sake?  Do we love Him above all?  Or, are we carrying His name in vain? (Ex 20:7; Num 6:22-27; Jn 17:11-12)

What light can Jewish people or Christians be if we do not know, or else are afraid to say, Who He is that has chosen us to be His witnesses and people!?  What is the Name of HaShem (The Name)?  It is a superstitious fear that prevents Jews from pronouncing the Name of YHVH, going even beyond that by not pronouncing or writing even the Hebrew pronunciation of Elohim or Adonai, neither of which are even personal names of God.  This gets carried over to some believers writing in English God as G-d, and Lord as L-rd; again, neither of them either being proper names.  But Yeshua or Jesus they will write out!

Yeshua said that we must confess His name before men.  Our good works must be done in His Name, if we want our Father in Heaven to be glorified.  We are not giving HIM glory or sanctifying HIS name unless less we speak (or write) it!

Num 23 – 24   YHVH gave the false prophet Balaam to see the end of His work in Israel, and not the present reality (Is 41:1-4,21-24)

Ps 83:16-18 (17-19 Heb)   A prayer of a priest for Yehovah, God of Israel, to act on behalf of His own people in a manner that the enemies will know that He alone has the name YHVH, and is Most High over all the Earth.  He is God of gods!

Ezek 36:20-23   YHVH is telling His people that He must act for His Holy Name’s sake, because we have made His name a reproach among the nations.

Ezek 38:23   YHVH will magnify and sanctify His Holy Name when He brings Gog against Israel in the last days, and defeats him and all his armies on the mountains ofIsrael.  Gog and all the nations — including Israel — will know that His Holy Name is YEHOVAH!

Who is YHVH, that we who believe in Jesus/Yeshua should be so concerned with Him in His determination to sanctify and to glorify His good name?:

Mt 6:9   Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name . . .
–Yeshua brings the revelation of God as the Father in a personal way (2Sam 7:14), and brings us “home”.
–Father to Israel (Ex 4:22; Is 64:8)
–Replacement theology rejects God’s relationship to Israel as the Father who loves them
–orphans, or else a father who rejects His children (Ishmael and Esau), which can produce a bitter root
–In these end-times of the last days, the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ becomes even more “praying in the Spirit” when all our own  talking and righteousnesses become still a hindrance to genuine unity and love.
–sanctified by the truth (Jn 17:17-19)

Jn 12:34-41; Is 6:3   Yeshua, Yehovah of HostsHoly, holy, holy is He, and His glory fills the whole Earth!

Acts 4:12   There is no other Name under Heaven given among men by which we may be saved, other than through the Name of Jesus/Yeshua, Lord and Messiah/Christ!

Until today in Israel, and in many nations of the world, the Holy and Good Name of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ is cursed and blasphemed. (1Cor 12:3)  As sons and daughters of God, and as those who have been saved from sin and death by the precious blood of Jesus, it should matter very much to us that we live our daily lives – whether ‘in the world’ or ‘in the church’ – in such a way that believers and unbelievers will think well of our great God and Savior when they hear His Name.

Phlp 2:10-11; Is 45:21-25; Jn 12:26-28   Every knee will bow . . . and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD/YEHOVAH – the Name above all names – to the glory of God the Father!

Sanctify and glorify Your Name, O Lord our God!

And in that day, YHVH shall be one, and His Name one. (Zech 14:9)

RELIGIOUS POLITICAL LEADERS TODAY AS YESTERDAY – 18 Oct 2012

As in the days of Yeshua’s ministry in Israel about 2000 years ago, when the religious political authorities were led by Annanias and Caiaphas, so today the coalition-maker SHAS party, whose spiritual leader is Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and political leaders Eli Yishai and Arieh Deri, reflect the corrupting influence of violent men who would take the kingdom by force.

On a Channel 2 television interview this evening, Deri and Yishai were interviewed together.  This was a momentous occasion, for both these men were cooperating for the first time in 13 years since Deri was convicted of bribery in his political office of cabinet minister, and served a three-year prison sentence from 2000.  Whether these two men will be able to maintain the conciliatory air presented publicly now remains to be seen.  Deri said that he saw Shas as a party representing the “have nots” in a country whose social gaps were widening out of control.  Both emphasized in the interview that they have compromised their personal viewpoints for the sake of party unity and the upcoming elections, now scheduled for January 22, 2013.

For those who have taken an interest in the Messianic community in Beer Sheva, the Chief Rabbi of Beer Sheva is Yehuda Deri, the brother of Arieh.  The Israeli Police Chief responsible for Arieh’s indictment for bribery in 1993 was Yaakov Terner, who became the Mayor of Beer Sheva in 1998, the same year that Yehuda Deri became the Chief Rabbi.  In November of that year, the Beer Sheva Chief Rabbi, with the help of Yad L’Achim (an anti-Messianic organization) organized an attack against the Nachalat Yeshua Messianic Congregation in Beer Sheva.

Will the leading Israeli political figures continue to make their pilgrimage to Rav Ovadia Yosef, now that he has brought back an unrepentant convicted criminal to the top of Israel’s power-brokers?  Will the major political parties, led by the Likud, continue to seek SHAS participation a government coalition in the event of a political victory in the upcoming elections?  Will the Israeli voters protest the corruption at the top — and not only of SHAS — in their choices in the next election?  Will  Messianic believers in Yeshua continue to find hope in such a state of affairs, or will we look to the One whom has been appointed by God as His choice of King in Zion?  Jesus says that all who come before Him [to presume to take His rightful place] is a thief and a robber.  May the true Son of the Father return in our days!

ARAB SPRING AND THE ISRAELI ENEMY – 17 Oct 2012

On the online Arab News, Middle East section, date-line of Saturday, October 6, 2012, (the Islamic year of 1433), Abdulateef Al-Mulhim wrote an opinion piece comparing Israel with the Arab nations.  You can read it here:  http://www.arabnews.com/arab-spring-and-israeli-enemy .  Al-Mulhim is a retired Commodore of the Royal Saudi Navy.

May God Most High shine more of His light into many more of the families of Ishmael and of Esau, as He continues to break through the hostility in the minds of those who have felt excluded from His covenantal goodness.  The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob continues to bring in the fullness of Gentiles towards His own people Israel’s salvation.