Prayers and Vision

We are praying specifically:

 — that the membership would grow into maturity  and be equipped with a mind to serve;  also for the Lord to bring to Beer Sheva mature people who can serve in ministry and leadership.

 — that the teaching would be of practical value and relevant to the lives of the believers.

 — that intercessory prayer would be understood and undertaken, and that we would know how to apply this type of praying .

— for an understanding of praise and worship that would lead to unity and a freedom in praise and worship from amongst the fellowship.

 — for all of us to persevere in good works towards one another and a willingness to receive and minister to others in the fellowship who are in Beer Sheva, even temporarily.

— for families to grow together in love and unity, with Yeshua as their Lord.

— that we continually learn what it is to be under the Lordship of the Holy Spirit that allows liberty with  order and decency.

— to be free from any controlling spirit, and to be led by God’s Holy Spirit, particularly in the worship meeting and in private lives.

— for a release from fear of man, and courage to see our own blind spots in private lives, as well as in the life of the fellowship.

 — that in all areas that we would love each other and express that love, based in Yeshua, in action and

VISION OF THE GLORY: THE PRESENCE AND KINGDOM OF GOD

(Israel Conference at Langensteinbacherhohe, Karlsruhe, Germany:  “Radicalism and The Testimony of Christ in Israel”, 22-28 Oct 1999)

Hebrews 9:27-28

Radicalism is sustained by a utopian spirit which believes and works toward the vision of a future qualitatively different than the present.  It will often look to the past for its inspiration, for example naive notions of the Garden of Eden or of a former “golden age”.  Or as in the case of the “utopia” of computerized virtual reality, radicals are escaping from reality to an unreality of their own making.  As the faith and hope fail and the vision is lost, a significant number of the people will cast off restraint and self-control (Prov. 29:18) and resort to unjust behavior and lawlessness–displaying unwarranted fear, hatred, and envy towards those not “with” them or “of” them in spirit.  In the history of this world, there have been many efforts–some quiet and others filled with blood–to “make a better world” in the image of someone’s imagination.  Most religions have described for its believers and followers a future state, which to them is described as being better than the present life.  But where is the King of Glory?!

The prophets of the LORD to Israel had a vision of the glory, of a world where the LORD would be King.  And Yeshua came proclaiming the Kingdom in Himself, and said that unless one is born again by the Spirit from above, you can neither see nor enter the Kingdom of God.

Those of us here who have been blessed with a revelation from God the Father that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God (Mt. 16:16-17), have also been given to see by the Word and Spirit of God that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to come again, subduing evil and bringing in everlasting righteousness and peace.  The Apostle Peter carries us even beyond this when he says that we look for a new heavens and a new earth wherein righteousness dwells (2 Pet. 3:13-14), where we live in eternity with God in the fullness of His glory.  God will be all in all (1Cor. 15:28)!

Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and the prayer which the Lord taught His disciples and spiritual family to pray all speak of the future glory of God when the Lord Jesus returns to establish throughout His creation the Kingdom of God which shall not pass away.  All the redeemed who suffer for His sake now will also be glorified and reign with Him.  Perseverance in the faith, in hope, and in love till the end make the vision of the Kingdom of God sure to the believer.  Christ in us…the hope of glory!  Perhaps now we see like the blind man first saw when Yeshua began to give him sight. . .trees walking.  If we can admit this to the Lord, then He will give us clearer and fuller sight.

Our Lord admonishes us to always watch and pray so that we will not be deceived nor fall to temptation (Mt. 24:4; 26:41).  He wants us to be ready when the time of His return comes (Mt. 24:42), and He does not want us to grow weary and lose heart (Lk. 18:1-8; Heb. 12:1-13).  The Holy Spirit works within us that we will be found worthy to stand before the Son of Man at His coming (Lk. 21:36).

In Israel there is a danger of being too Israel-minded at the expense of losing sight and heart for the soon coming of the Lord Yeshua.  Yet we are to look for and love His appearing (2Tim 4:8).  There is a set time that nothing can change, and God knows how to see to it that the great commission is fulfilled beforehand (Mt. 24:14,36)!  Jesus wants to return.  He told the Jews who would not receive Him who came in the Name of His Father that they would receive another who comes in his own name  (John 5:43), who will be the anti-christ.  Yet God is working out His plan of redemption and salvation in such a way as to bring the Jewish people to cry out from the depths of their beings–out of a deep sense of need and desperation–Blessed is He who comes in the Name of YEHOVAH!  For Christians who know who it is that will answer such a heart cry, the last prayer of the Bible is, Even so, come Lord Jesus!   Is that your groan of the Holy Spirit in you, that the Bridegroom should come for His Bride who has made herself ready?

Our Father in Heaven is seeking those who worship Him in Spirit and truth.  God is love and His Kingdom is ruled by love.  Our Father loves everyone and has no delight that even the wicked should have to die and spend eternity existing in hell, the place where God is not there (Ezek. 18:23; Mt. 25:41).  When we see Him as He is, we are changed into His likeness (2Cor. 3:18).  Stephen saw the Lord Yeshua in His exaltation and so was able to ask forgiveness for those who hated Messiah in him and stoned him to death.

The Church in Israel–and throughout the world–needs a Holy Spirit revival:  a revival which brings God’s people back to the doctrines of the apostles; a revival which reveals to us the Lord Jesus in His glory; a revival which unites the whole and true Body of Messiah as the people of God; a revival in which the joy of the LORD is our strength, even to confess and repent of sin; a revival in which our hearts are circumcised and our souls afflicted for our sins and transgressions and iniquities as saved and justified believers; a revival whereby we bless and thank God for His goodness despite our sense of unworthiness to be called His children; a revival in which we know the value of the blood of the Son of God shed for us and whereby our boast is in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; a revival which brings forth much good fruit to the glory and praise of the Holy Name of our great God and Savior.      

Our unity together in Christ is not only a testimony of who Jesus is–that He was indeed sent by God His Father–but also that God loves us even as He loved Jesus!  Remember that Jewish people do not think that God sent or loved Jesus. . .for after all, He was crucified (Is. 53:4; Mt. 27:35-49).  Yet this Holy Spirit  unity and love for one another by the members of God’s household is the crowning proof of the truth that  Jesus is our Lord, and not someone else (Ps. 133; John 13:34-35; 17:20-26; Eph. 4:21).  We are to fear God and to love Jesus more than we fear rejection by our own kinsmen in the flesh.  In this unity with Christ and the Father is the manifest presence of God reigning in the hearts of His redeemed people and adopted children.  The LORD is there!  This is eternal life. . .to know God and Jesus Christ whom He sent.

Jude 24-25    Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of His Glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever!  Amen.  

SUFFERING OUTSIDE THE CAMP

(Israel Conference at Langensteinbacherhohe, Karlsruhe, Germany:  “Radicalism and The Testimony of Christ in Israel”, 22-28 Oct 1999)

Mark 8:34-38; Hebrews 11:24-26; 13:13-14

In Israel the Supreme Court has determined that Jews who believe in Jesus/Yeshua as Lord and Savior are not entitled to immigrate to the State of Israel under the Law of Return.  Our faith in Jesus places us outside the Jewish camp of this world.

In Israel, what are we going to do as rulers and principalities in the nation-state of Israel increasingly persecute believers in Yeshua and those who would protect our well-being (Mt. 25:31-40)?  What are we believers going to do as the world–including perhaps Germany–increasingly comes against the purposes of God regarding Jerusalem and the regathering of His people back to the Land of Promise (Is. 62:6-7; Ezek. 36:19-29)?. . . We are to do good to all persons, but especially to those in the household of faith, that is, those outside the camps of this present world.

Jewish believers are caught in a dilemma:  The LORD Himself has separated Israel from the rest of the nations (Num. 23:9), and within the people of God, the LORD has further separated unto Himself a priesthood of those who whole-heartedly are to serve Him and represent the whole of the people (Num. 1:49; 3:12).  Unrepentant and unbelieving Israel has cast Yeshua outside the vineyard (Mt. 21:38-39), so it ought not amaze us when classical Judaism does not embrace Jewish believers in Jesus (Mt. 10:24-25).  Many churches, too, have put Jesus outside the sanctuary of worship and life, and He stands knocking on the door to be let in by whoever hears what the Spirit is saying (Rev. 3:14-22).

Fears and ignorance amongst the Jewish people have bred many superstitions.  The LORD says to Israel (and to Christians) through the prophet Isaiah,  Your iniquities have caused a separation between you and Me (Is. 59:2).  Evidence of sin is seen in broken personal relationships and fellowship (communion).  Our God grieves that false prophets cause His people to forget His Name because of the baalim (Ps. 44:20-21; Jer. 23:26-27).  Jewish people do not pronounce YHWH, but instead speak generally of God, Lord, Messiah.  The orthodox will even just say “HaShem”– The Name– or distort the Hebrew and refer to “Elokim”, all supposedly to avoid taking the name YEHOVAH in vain (Ex. 20:7), but really proof of having no personal knowledge or relationship with Him (Hos. 2:16-17). Isn’t  it an insult to someone when you keep calling him by any name other than what he prefers to be called?   The God of  Israel  has become as the Unknown God of the Athenians (Acts 17:23).

Do not many Christians do the same?  We can be more concerned with offending the sensitivities of those who do not believe with us that there is only one true Messiah, who is the very Son of God, than we are with offending the Lord Jesus Himself!  Perhaps we feel embarrassed or ashamed that we or our ancestors have not lived and spoken in a manner worthy of His Holy Name.  But we give credibility to the names of all the false gods and antichrists as we ourselves forsake the full and authoritative Word of God for all kinds of traditions and philosophies of men and of demons.  Perhaps we are uncertain that it is Jesus alone who is Lord and Christ!  We display a lack of fear of God and risk denying Him who has bought us with the price of His own blood.  Too many believers who love Israel and the Jewish people distinguish between the Jew Yeshua and the Greek Jesus, between the Jewish Messiah and the gentile Christ.  All of this indicates that the glory is departed, is not amongst us, is gone into exile (1Sam. 4:21), for God’s dwelling place is in the midst of His unified people.  The question is not, Whose side is the Lord on?, but, Whose camp are we in? (Josh. 5:13-15).  To side with YEHOVAH  is to place loyalty to Him over the partisan interests of our own camps.

In Israeli society, the word notzri (Heb.) or Christian is a negative term, much like Jew has been amongst Christians historically.  It is a name which is blasphemed amongst men, but a sweet smelling savor to God (1Pet. 4:14; James 2:7).  The word notzri or Christian simply means belonging to and a follower of Christ (Messiah), who is Jesus (Yeshua), the “netzer” or branch from out of the roots of Jesse (Is. 11:1).  Therefore, the term is messianic as a reference, amongst other things, to the Son of David.  While both Jews and Christians have made the name of God a reproach (Ezek. 36:19-20), yet Jesus identifies with both when He bore the verdict against Him on the cross, Yeshua haNotzri, Melech haYehudim (Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews)(John 19:19).  So we must humbly sanctify and honor His name upon us, and not be ashamed to be called Christian because of what has been done sinfully in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  (Similarly, for many centuries Jewish people wanted to conceal their identities because of shame or fears of rejection and hatred).  In Israel we are called to honor the name of YEHOVAH God and of the Lord Jesus Christ–in whatever language.

The New Testament calls each believer to examine and judge him/herself (1Cor. 11:28-32) and to be accountable for my own  sins and the sins of my fathers (Acts 7:50-53), as well as to our sins as a people and the sins of the fathers of our nations and cultures against the Creator and Redeemer God (Lev. 26:39-45).  The Bible is clear that there is personal and collective accountability for our histories and a need to repent of sins.  This is true for me as a human being in Adam, for me as a Jew in whose rulers and fathers we are guilty as a nation for the crucifixion of the Son of God, for you as Germans with respect to the Holocaust.  We all have received forgiveness through our confession of sin and faith in the blood of Jesus who bore all our guilt and shame and curses in His body on the tree.  God delivers us from the death sin works in us into the freedom to serve Him with a clean conscience in the joy of being accepted by Him in Jesus!

Today as we look back at and judge the bleak record of church history–often overlooking the many blessings by God’s own faithfulness to keep the covenants–we need to take heed, lest thinking we stand, we fall (Rom. 11:21; 1Cor. 10:12).  Jewish believers especially ought to be the last to condemn and the first to forgive and to show mercy and comfort to our Christian brothers and sisters, for we rejected and killed Jesus before there even was a gentile church history; not to mention that over this history Jesus was Lord and within the Body of Christ the Holy Spirit exalted Him.  Our sin will be the greater because we say that we see (John 9:40-41).  This too puts us outside the camp as we forgive those who have sinned against our people because of our Father forgiving me for my sin against Him and His Son.  When Jewish and Arab, or even Jewish and German believers can testify of the reconciliation we have through our common faith in Christ as our Savior and Lord, this will be a witness that peace agreements from within this world are unsatisfactory and unsatisfying, that we must find our peace in the righteousness of God.  His terms of peace are signed with the blood of His cross.

To be outside the camp is to suffer misunderstanding and rejection with Jesus and with all others who are outside with Him, willing to be scapegoats who also make intercession for those still inside.  Only as we grow in appreciation for the enormity of our own sinfulness which God in His love and righteousness forgave, and let our love for Jesus increase, can we guard against a hardening of our own hearts towards those who refuse the message of reconciliation.  It is outside the camp where we meet with God and worship Him in Spirit and truth (Ex. 33:7).  Pharoah wanted Moses to compromise and set his conditions for the Israelis to worship their God.  Flee from idolatry, my brothers and sisters.  God is a Spirit, and we must worship Him in spirit and in truth, looking to the New Jerusalem above, outside the camps of this world.

THREAT TO THE STATUS QUO: RADICAL NEW COVENANT CULTURE-CRUCIFIXION

(Israel Conference at Langensteinbacherhohe, Karlsruhe, Germany:  “Radicalism and The Testimony of Christ in Israel”, 22-28 Oct 1999)

Galatians 6:14-16; 1Corinthians 9:19-23

As light is different from darkness, so is the Kingdom of God different from this present world order.  The present world order is opposed to and separated from God’s Kingdom.  It does not recognize the Lordship of His Son Yeshua the Messiah.  The people of this world are separated from God because of sin, though they may not realize it.  Yet they are proud to be independent of God.  Separation from God and opposition to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is the status quo on the earth today.

But through Yeshua, God has been calling everyone to come out from the world into the Kingdom of Light.
“…the world  has been crucified to me and  I to the world.”  Has the world been crucified to you?  Have you been crucified to the world? 

The world is made up of many different cultures.  It’s not a natural thing to think of ourselves being crucified to our culture.  We tend to think of culture in terms of something we have a natural affinity for.   The cultures of the world, wherever we are, form the present world order or the status quo.   Paul is explaining that he has experienced a culture-crucifixion. This is something that is a threat to the status quo.  We have another King, the risen Lord Jesus! God wants to free us from the status quo, from the kingdom of darkness.  He wants to free us… 

from the culture of  Sodom which symbolizes immorality,
from the culture of Egypt which symbolizes bondage,
from the culture of  Babylon which symbolizes vain glory.

God Himself is a threat to the status quo.  When the Lord frees us to serve and worship Him, to be holy unto Him, He brings us out from the culture of this world.  And so it is that living for Him and letting Him live in us threatens the status quo.  God threatens the status quo of being separated from Him and opposed to Him when He offers an atonement for sin once and for all, removing our guilt against Him and His wrath towards us.

Whatever culture or society we are part of, the message of the New Testament is that we must come out from our status quo.   Accepting the gospel, moving from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light, is a life-changing and radical action that will separate you from the cultural norm.

One thing the gospel does is show us our origins or our natural culture from a new perspective.  Being drawn out of our culture is a process.  As revelation increases we see the truth of what Paul says.

Crucifixion is the key to being called out.   When we accept Yeshua, it is Messiah crucified that changes our lives.  Our old lives are crucified with Him.  Our old culture is crucified to ourselves and we ‘reckon it as dead’.

Here are some things that we are being called out from, each call threatening the status quo of this present world order and even threatening our own selves:
a)    All believers are called out from the idolatry of  heathenism and paganism,  and instead called to  serve the living God in all holiness and purity (Acts 15: 19-20, 28-29; 1 Thes. 1:9);

b)    We are all called out from seeking man’s approval through the keeping of customs (Mk. 7:9); instead we are called to seek God’s approval through faith and a personal relationship with Him (John 5:37-47; Rom. 2:29);

c)    We are called out of inequality to equality:  In the Messiah  gentiles are not above or below Jews;  in the Messiah men are not above or below women;  in Messiah the poor are with the  rich before God:  we are called  to be one body and co-heirs.  For this amazing truth of the gospel, the Chosen People sought to kill Paul (Acts 22:22; 1Cor. 12:13; Eph. 6:8);

d)    We are called out of  using wealth as a proof of approval from God (Mt. 19:23-26); it is the formation of God’s character in us which blesses us (Mt. 5:1; Lk. 6:20; Gal. 5:22; Col. 3:10-14);

e)    We are called out of letting food be a cultural and social barrier.  Under Yeshua, all foods are acceptable by prayer and thanksgiving and  the Word of God (Mk. 7:13-23; 1Tim. 4:3-5);

f)     We are called out from hating our enemies.  We are called to bless our enemies and to do good towards them; we are called to pray for them and to forgive them (Mt.5:44; 6:12; Rom. 12:20);

g)    We are called out of the old priesthood and Law into a  new priesthood and change of  lifestyle based on the New Covenant. (Jer. 31:31-32; Rom. 3:20-22; Philp. 3:8-9; Heb. 7:11-12);

h)    We are called to understand that the 7th day Sabbath is prophetically fulfilled in the life and death of Messiah, and the first day of the [new] week looks on to the “new creation”  (Gen.1:31; 1Cor. 13:10; 2Pet. 3:13).

The apostle Paul, through his faith in Yeshua , is a  prime example of one being called out . He was called out in priestly separation.  He was called to depart from iniquity and to live by the faith of the Son of God.  In these two aspects Paul was outside the mainstream of his culture and society as he strove to know Yeshua the Messiah and have part in the [first] resurrection (Philp. 3:2-11).

Yet through the gospel and in the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul was able to be all things to all people for the sake of their salvation (Prov.11:30; 1Cor.9:19-23).  Paul embodies the truth that through the seed of Abraham (specifically the Messiah) all the families of the earth would be blessed.  Paul, and his life of being called for the gospel’s sake, fulfills the word that Israel would be a light to the nations (the gentiles).  In breaking with the cultural norms of his society, Paul, the Jew and Israeli,  in the Way  of Yeshua, became a blessing to the nations, as was prophesied of Israel.

Today in Israel, the two main spiritual faiths of Judaism and Islam dominate the religious climate of the land and its people. Judaism rejects and denies the truth that the Messiah is in fact Yeshua; Islam denies that God is a Father, and therefore also that Yeshua is the Son of God (1John 2:22).  This rejection of Yeshua is a unifying element amongst the Jews and the Muslims.  You can understand how the Church, with its sure claim that God is Father and Yeshua is His Son, threatens the status quo throughout Israel and the Middle East.

Judaism, being the religion of the Jewish people, is law-based and culture-oriented.  It has varieties of laws, rituals, and ceremonies defined and determined as acceptable  (“kosher”) to the “traditions of the elders” (whether Ashkenazic, Sephardic, Ethiopian, etc.).  Much of Christianity is “Jewish” in a similar manner.  In Judaism adultery and divorce are being tolerated as a cultural norm.  Even agnostic and atheistic Jews will consider Judaism “theirs” as a way of validating their Jewishness and of belonging to the Jewish people, their customs and heritage.    What is true of Judaism is typical of every other religion and ethnic culture in that, in each one, things that have been taboo according to their law become–over time– tolerated and eventually legitimate.

Consequently, we all must look to what extent cultural norms become our norms as believers — in our personal lives and in the life of the Church.   Once norms of our society are tolerated in the Church the authority of the Word of God is undermined.  Obvious cultural norms that seek to enter the Church such as adultery, divorce, homosexuality will rob the Word of God of its full force and authority.  We will have no plumbline.   When this happens we will be robbing ourselves of life, by refusing to crucify our culture to the cross of our Lord, and ourselves to the present world order by the same cross.

With Judaism and Islam both vigorously claiming that Yeshua is not Lord, (and there are many who are called Christian who have turned away from the faith and deny the Lord who bought them), there is a clash of kingdoms.    The Christian assertion of Yeshua being the Messiah and of God being the Father is at the very foundation of  the Christian faith. Upon this rock Yeshua builds His church.  And so we see that believers and the testimony of Yeshua are a real threat to the status quo in Israel.  And the threat increases as the believers put off the old man and put on the new man in Messiah Yeshua.

We might ask what else is so threatening to the present world order?
What is so threatening about the culture of God’s kingdom?  It all has to do with the cross, doesn’t it?
We are a threat …
· when we die to ourselves, when we serve to please God rather than men;
· when we are not intimidated by our enemies;
· when we subdue pride and let God be honored;
· when we can accept the “shame” of believing in Yeshua;
· when we can be open with one another, confess sins to each other, pray for each other in brotherly love for Jesus’ sake.….

All this is a threat to the orientation of the present world order, because the crucified life is at the center of these actions.  The meek will inherit the earth.  It is the aim, naturally, of Jewish (and any other) radicalism to protect itself against these threats.

What are some of the attempts towards this end?  Here are a few that I see we are facing:
1)   Authorities will try to forbid the teaching or evangelizing in Yeshua’s name.
2)   There will be false accusations and incitement to violence against believers.
3)   Believers will be betrayed and suffer at the hands of family members.
4)   There will be intense effort to undermine faith through attacking the validity of the whole Bible and of the N.T. interpretation of the O.T.
5)   There will be general personal harassment, like standing at the entrance to meetings, personal threats, disturbing mail, phone tapping–all in an attempt to make us fearful in living out our faith.

This harassment and persecution may start through lawful means, but will degenerate to unrighteous means to justify the goal–of maintaining the status quo.  The cultures we are in want to keep their norms intact.  It can even sound good and righteous such as “guarding the sanctity of life, keeping the Shabbat, maintaining a prohibition against idolatry and blasphemy, preserving ethnic purity”, but can accelerate even to the point of killing in the belief that God will justify it.

Despite the seeming powerfulness of these measures, the challenge we have in Israel, for all the different congregations, is to keep our eyes on the Lord.  By His grace and the power of the blood we are to maintain our testimony in meekness despite the spirit of the age.

Closing:
So we see that there is an established world order wherever we go and that the kingdom of God with Yeshua as the Messiah is a living threat to this present darkness.

Once you trust Yeshua as God’s Anointed One though, you are being called out more and more from the world and the culture of the world, meaning even your own personal culture as we see with the apostle Paul. We are called as Paul to accept that the world has been crucified to us and we to the world.

We see that the Body of Messiah is challenged in resisting the cultural norms that are part of our surroundings.  It is necessary so that we will not be guilty of adding to or taking away from the plumbline of God.

In Israel we see the opposition to Yeshua coming from the two main religions, Judaism and Islam, with both opposing the truth of who Jesus really is.   Both of these religions are in a  ‘kingdom clash’ with the Sovereign LORD/YHVH.  As radicalism increases to protect itself against the perceived threat of the Lord Yeshua, real threats to our lives may come.

Finally, we know that as believers in Yeshua, we must persevere in an attitude of love, recognizing that God is longsuffering and good.  He is reaching out to the lost, desiring that as many as possible be saved before He must bring judgement.  So that should be our desire too.   By His grace and the blood of Jesus we are to maintain our testimony in a spirit of meekness despite the arrogant spirit of the age.  In this way we will overcome the world with Yeshua by our faith in Him.

GOD’S WILL: OUR CONFORMITY TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON (Rom 8:29)

(Israel Conference at Langensteinbacherhohe, Karlsruhe, Germany:  “Radicalism and The Testimony of Christ in Israel”, 22-28 Oct 1999)

God has a vision for usto change us and conform us to His Son’s image.  Now we know that Jesus was the express image of the invisible God, so God has in mind that we become like Himself.  This is wonderful, amazing, requiring the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives to accomplish this.  We need to recognize that this is His purpose for us.

Why does He want us to become more like Him?  Because we are being prepared like a bride, the Bible says, to be finally joined with the Lord.  Our challenge is to realize what He is doing in us and  in our brothers and sisters in the body. Our challenge is to persevere in participation as He leads us and takes us through life’s experiences.   Are you taking up the challenge to let Him change you, develop you, mature you and form you to be more like Him, our Father?

It sounds nice, doesn’t it:  being changed to be more like Jesus?

But we are also in the process of being rejected by the world, and this is not so pleasing to the natural man.  The Bible says that the people of Israel rejected and hated the Holy One of Israel because He trusted in and delighted in the LORD God His Father.  In other words the people hated Him without  cause (Ps. 22:7-8; 69:4-21; Is. 50:5-9).  So in being conformed to His image we may discover that we are rejected and hated by others.

It is common knowledge that in Israel  Jesus is not honored, especially among the Jews.  Even His Hebrew name is corrupted to ‘Yeshu’ instead of the proper Yeshua.  ‘Yeshu’ is an acronym meaning “let his name and memory be blotted out.”
   This expression of being blotted out is, in fact, what the Lord said He would do to Amalek and what the Arab/Islamic nations say regarding what they want to do to Israel (Deut. 25:19; Ps. 83:4).

ASIDE:  I want to add right here that some of you may feel that the Jewish people have a good reason to reject and hate Jesus because of what was done in His name by the church and Christians– including here in Germany–over the centuries even down to our own day.  As a Jew myself, who has lived in the shadow of this perception,  I want to say to you that we Jews did not accept Yeshua even before there was such a thing as a gentile-dominated church or Christianity. 

Our first sin was our own rebellion against our God, which is recorded for the whole world to see in the Bible.  We were also insensitive to God’s love for gentiles, for whom we are to be a light.  It is not the gentiles’ fault that God the Father took the Kingdom away from Israel “for many days” and has given it to others during this time (Hos. 3:4-5; Mt. 21:41-45).

It is for me to forgive you, and I do.
It is not for me to accuse and blame you for my people’s hardness of heart to the gospel.

I think if we are all honest, we will acknowledge and confess that we have all made the Name of our God and Savior a reproach in the world, and have made it hard for people to want to believe in Him.

In Israel believers can face radical opposition by ultra-orthodox religious or ultra-liberal, pluralistic democrats. Both sides have their own view of how to change the world.   Many believers around the world face radical opposition from groups who see Jesus as a threat to their own plans.  This type of opposition can result in some measure of personal, family, or community suffering and loss.  But while we experience these things, God ‘s desire is that these things would serve towards conforming us to His image.

Jesus, of course, is our primary example of one who learned obedience through the things which He suffered, according to Hebrews 5:8.   So likewise, the primary and essential way for us to learn obedience is apparently through suffering (1 John 4:17).  (Well, His thoughts are above ours!)

But whatever the source, suffering, from God’s point of view, should cause us to call upon Him;   then we too will learn to obey the voice of our great and good Shepherd (Ps. 95:7; John 10:1-17).  This obedience in faith to God causes us to be changed to being more like Him.  This is His will for us.

As we let the Lord change us through experiences of rejection or suffering that He may take us through, we are allowing Him to work towards goals and objectives that He has for us.  Here are some of the things I found– ways we can learn–as God conforms us to His image:  Radical opposition can be used by God to bring radical change in His children.

Here are some changes  that can take place under His grace:
We can learn to obey with faith and gladness and learn to become meek and lowly in heart, keeping pride covered (Mt. 11:38-30;  Job 33:17).

We can become trained to trust in the Lord, even when intimidated by others in front of authorities, and to turn the other cheek if struck (Mt. 10:17-20; 5:39).

We don’t have to revile back when we are reviled (spoken of hatefully) and instead, we can learn to bless or to keep silent Mt. 5:11-12; 1 Cor. 4:12; 1Pet. 2:23).

We can learn to overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21);  and,

We can lean to love our enemies and forgive them, so that we can be forgiven (Mt. 5:44; 6:14-15).

Suffering can also cause us to see more sharply the need to intercede for our people and nation (Hab. 3:2; Lk. 23:34; Acts 7:60).   Suffering for the sake of Jesus is redemptive.

While God works in us to change us to the image of His Son, He will keep us being salt and light.

You know that in Israel, good works from the hands of believers can result in believers being accused of trying to change the religion of the Jew to that of a Christian.  Nevertheless, despite false accusations (Mt. 5:10), the believers must continue in good works to please our Father in Heaven (Mt. 5:16; Rom. 2:7; Gal. 6:9).

Many blessings come as a result of obeying the Lord:  He blesses us when we fear Him more than our enemies (Mt. 10:28), and when we confess openly that Jesus is the Messiah, He is Lord (Mt. 10:32; Acts 2:36).

If we suffer for the Lord, we need to remember that it is for His sake.  It is not for our own glory.  Suffering for Him brings us to boast in the cross; it is the cross that unifies Christians.  In being conformed to His image we die and He lives in us.  This is seen on the cross, in baptism, in resurrection, all so that we can walk in newness of life.  Finally, we look forward to His return when God will be sanctified and glorified in His own people, and even in His enemies (Ezek.36:23; 38:16).

Jesus said that He knew the Father’s presence because He always did that which pleased Him (John 8:29).  We will be pleasing the Father if we are wanting to be like His beloved Son (John 5:22-25), and we too can know His presence.

What is the basis for this work of conformity?  Isn’t it love?  Just as God has poured out His love to us in giving us His only begotten Son, God desires us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. So he has also commanded us to love each other (2John 5).

In loving each other we are being converted into the image of Jesus, who loved us with the love of the Father

This multi-faceted command to love may be the biggest challenge we face in obedience and letting God conform us to His image.  Praise the Lord once again that He is with us by the Holy Spirit to help and strengthen us, but we must set our minds and hearts on it.  Our Heavenly Father delights to pour out His love for each one of us.  Are we delighting to love those around us?

In closing:
· Radical opposition to us because of  our living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ brings to light some of those who need our intercessions and need to see the love of God;
· The discomfort and suffering that radical opposition brings can help us be compassionate towards others who have suffered;
· And finally, suffering rejection that opposition brings can work in us a greater obedience with active faith to the things of God, the Way of the cross, enabling Him to accomplish all His purposes.

As we set our minds and hearts to letting ourselves be conformed to the image of God when we receive  difficult and trying experiences in our lives, we can rejoice in seeing the truth and good way of the Lord.

(Rom. 8:28)     “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, and are called according to His purpose.”

TO COVER OR NOT TO COVER – 3 July 1999

God our Father is constantly training us up and disciplining us with an aim to keep pride covered and to promote humility.  An important and necessary attribute of God’s children — those being conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ, who Himself is the express image of the invisible God — is righteous judgment; or to say it another way, not to judge unrighteously (Deut. 1:16; 1 Pet. 2:23), as Olavi taught last Shabbat.

There is a portion in the Bible that has the effect of touching on this very matter amongst believers.  It is a portion which both bothers and annoys many Christians, and it seems to touch a nerve that makes calm discussion difficult.  I myself have seen that this portion is prone to legalism, hypocrisy, and irrelevance in the manner of how different believers and congregations have interpreted and applied the teaching.  We have experienced all this even in our own congregation here.

This portion touches upon our attitude towards the Scriptures:  are they wholly the Word of God to us, fully inspired by the Holy Spirit?  Do we accept that they are written not only for those living at that time in the past, but also for us living at the end of the age, as it is written (Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:11)?  (Remember the example of John the Baptizer’s mother and father with respect to the way of God in their day [Lk. 1:5-6].  Also how the writers of the N.T. made use of the whole range of O.T. writings as the basis for the truth and relevance of  the new in  Messiah.)  Do we fear and love the LORD and His sayings, or do we belittle His way and wisdom in some sections of the Bible?

The apostle Paul was commissioned by the Lord Yeshua Himself to speak to the gentiles and also to Israel (Acts 9:15).  The apostle Peter was forced to admit that Paul had received the spirit of wisdom and revelation with respect to his teaching and interpretation of the things of God (2 Pet. 3:15-16; Eph. 1:17).

Let’s read together the text that by its very context — laying between the subjects of the Lord’s Table and the Lord’s Supper — ought at least to be carefully considered.  (This is also true of the chapters afterwards referring to the proper use and relevance of the spiritual gifts with love.)

1 Cor. 11:1-16

Paul addresses both men and women in the faith, both Jews and gentiles assembling together to worship God the Creator and Redeemer.  While true that the culture of the day influenced the imagery of Paul’s teaching (as also in the rest of the Bible), even so culture is not the basis for the teaching.  Rather Paul refers to priority in creation and to nature as proofs for what he is saying. ( This is similar to Yeshua and Paul speaking of the sanctity and mystery of marriage in connection with Adam and Eve, rather than merely the Law.)  As in all things, we are to sanctify ourselves for the sake of others, and as a testimony that Jesus is our Lord.

Do you remember Naaman the Syrian who was a great man and soldier, but had leprosy?  He came to the prophet of the Lord in Israel to be healed, but he got furious when Elisha told him to go do something small and simple for the healing.  Naaman’s servants understood that pride prevented Naaman to accept the gift and grace of God. When he humbled himself and obeyed, he was healed and cleansed, and gave glory to the true God, the God of Israel (2 Kings 5:13-15).  This passage in Corinthians reminds me of that, and so does the response to it of many believers.  All kinds of excuses and explanations are put forward — by both men and women — to nullify this rather lengthy reproof and correction from Paul to the church:  coverings for men is Jewish — the Levites did it (Lev. 8:9,13; ctr. Heb. 7:11-12); a cultural reference to prostitution then and there; equality of male and female in Christ; sufficiency of long hair for women; God answers prayers and gives prophecy also to those not complying; the wife submits to her husband; modest clothing is the principle.

While all these things are reasonable and suitable to the Messianic faith, Paul, the learned Jew, writing under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, does not relate to any of these excuses here, but rather speaks of dishonor and of glory, both to one’s “head” and to oneself.  The issue here is not salvation or acceptance, but one of humble submission to God and to His Word as given us by the apostles whom He appointed to teach sound doctrine and instruct in righteousness.  There is even a supernatural element here, for the angels have an interest in the matter! 

What shall we say then, and what policy should we have?  Verse 16 gives us the key, and the problem is that even this verse can be understood in two ways, and it has been.  One thing that is clear, though, is that contention over the matter is to be avoided.  Neither making a law for everyone nor judging one another (or another congregation) over this issue is to be tolerated.  There is to be liberty of conscience before God and man, but the import of the teaching is to definitely encourage compliance within the public worship service especially.  One has to ask him/herself what will please God our Father, and may have to give an account one day for the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  Let us not lightly dismiss this teaching nor those who honor the Lord by their faith and conduct.  May God help us to build up the church in love.   Amen.

YHVH’s Burden for Israel

To fulfill Israel’s sovereign and redemptive election God is working to:

–return the heart of His people to Jerusalem and His Word, offering as many who will repent and believe today for salvation through Messiah Yeshua the blessedness of the first resurrection;

–tread down Jerusalem so that the Jews’ heart-cry and hope is only in Him who comes in the name of YEHOVAH;

–convict of national and generational transgression, sin, and iniquity against the LORD and His covenant so that He can forgive, cleanse, heal each and all of His  people when the full remnant from every tribe looks upon Yeshua whom they have  pierced.

The Holocaust and the Salvation of Israel: “Be Reconciled to YHVH GOD”

Lev. 26: 40-45   Israel and Jewish people confessing personal and historic collective guilt for breaking YHVH’s covenants

There is a biblical principle whereby God holds the heads of a people accountable for the blessing or punishment of the people.  We see this with Pharaoh and the Egyptians with respect to the children of Israel at the time of the Passover and Exodus from Egypt.  We see it again with King David and his census of Israel, bringing the LORD’s judgment upon the people and the near destruction of Jerusalem (2Sam. 24).

The rulers of the people — whether kings or priests — represent the people before God, and by their example of faith and obedience — or the contrary — the nation is led.  Today, does not a nation of people go to war or make peace based upon the determinations of their leader(s)?  Are not nations judged in the eyes of others by their thoughts regarding the heads of government or of the religious authorities?  Do not Jews today insist that Germans living today confess their nation’s and their parents’ guilt for the Holocaust — that Germans and Germany are primarily responsible and guilty because of their evil leader who governed and represented them?; or to put it another way, in Hitler, the Germans living today — whether or not they were personally and directly involved — are reckoned as guilty and defiled by the Jewish people, even more than are Austrians and Poles who also bear their own iniquity.

Other Biblical examples of this living principle of divine justice covering generations for nations, tribes, and  peoples are:
1.      in Adam, all have sinned and all human beings inherit condemnation and death;

2.      in Abraham (Abram), Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek, signifying the preeminence of  the Priest Melchizedek over Aaron and the Levitical priesthood;

3.      in the Passover, Jews remember that we were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD brought us out;

4.      in Messiah, many are justified and made alive, inheriting righteousness and life.

 There are both  power in, and accountability for, our words which we speak or write, all the more so if we are in positions of authority (Mt. 12:36-37).

John 11:45-53    – Caiaphas the High Priest unknowingly prophesied that the one man Yeshua would die for the whole nation, and even for all the scattered children of God.

Mt. 27:25    – “all the people [of Israel] answered and said, ‘Let His [Yeshua’s] blood be on us and on our children’!

 Primary responsibility, with its guilt and historic consequences, is upon the leaders and people of Israel (John 19:11; Lev. 4:1-3, 13, 14, 22, 23; Acts 2; 4) — both before God and by our own words and agreement with our “fathers” — for the betrayal and death of Messiah.  Praise God that upon the cross, Yeshua/Jesus prayed that God His Father forgive us!

 YEHOVAH is the God of covenant, to which He is always faithful to fulfill His part, which includes His  promises to make the people of Israel a holy people for Himself.  Therefore He is working to remove from His people transgressions, sin, iniquity, and uncleanness — guilt and shame – – and to bring in everlasting righteousness.  The Holy Spirit is working to bring His people to an end of themselves, to stop trusting in themselves or in the arm of the flesh, so that they will call on the Name of Yeshua for salvation:  Blessed is He who comes in the Name YEHOVAH!  It is Yeshua whom God has given as a guilt offering (Is. 53:10), and His blood cleanses from all unrighteousness.

The Holocaust brings reproach to the Holy Name of the God of Israel and of the Lord Jesus Christ:
          –“These are the people chosen by God?!”

          –“Where was/is God?”

          –“How can a ‘good’ God allow such atrocities?”

          –“Maybe God is not strong enough to stop evil?!”

          –“God has forsaken and cast away the Jews!”

Remember Messianic brothers and sisters, Yeshua died a criminal’s death because of — and 
to take away — that evil unbelief and rebellion, the sin of the world!

Do we trust and love our God and Savior to honor His holy name in the face of such unbelief and mocking?  Many Christians risked, and even sacrificed their lives to save Jews from the death trains and camps.  In the unknowable ways of God, just as the crucifixion was necessary, so too was the Holocaust.  God’s judgments are past finding out!

 As many as are Jewish believers, we need to accept the truth of our primary responsibility for our history.  Let Gentile believers each examine and judge himself for their own personal and historic sins of your nations and churches against the Sovereign LORD and against the Jews and Christians.  Offenses there must necessarily be, but woe to those through whom they come!

The Lord Jesus says that the truth sets free and sanctifies.  Confession of our own and of our fathers’ sins is an act of humility, and it brings cleansing, freedom, blessedness — because by it we receive and know the righteousness of God who forgives us and accepts us.

The Lord promises to save His people from their sins.  The true gospel includes the cross of the Messiah and God’s righteous judgments against Israel, not to the exclusion of the other nations.  As has been spoken before, there is no glory for the Jewish people (or for any nominal Christian) apart from the faith in the death and resurrection of Yeshua, the Hope of Israel.  Let us who believe be sure of our own peace with God and acceptance of His ways and judgments so that we can speak the truth with love to the Jewish people, and to others.

2Cor. 5:11a, 18-21    in the fear of God, be reconciled to Him and be ministers of reconciliation

Amen!

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                            

             

THE HOLOCAUST AND THE SALVATION OF ISRAEL: BE RECONCILED TO YHVH GOD – 10 Apr 1999

Lev. 26: 40-45   – confessing personal and historic collective guilt for breaking the LORD’s covenant

There is a biblical principle whereby God holds the heads of a  people accountable for the blessing or punishment of the people.  We see this with Pharaoh and the Egyptians with respect to the children of Israel at the time of the Passover and Exodus from Egypt.  We see it again with King David and his census of Israel, bringing the LORD’s judgment upon the people and the near destruction ofJerusalem (2Sam. 24).

The rulers of the people–whether kings or priests–represent the people before God, and by their example of faith and obedience–or the contrary–the nation is led.  Today, does not a nation of people go to war or make peace based upon the determinations of their leader(s)?  Are not nations judged in the eyes of others by their thoughts regarding the heads of government or of the religious authorities?  Do not Jews today insist that Germans living today confess their nation’s and their parents’ guilt for the Holocaust–that Germans and Germany are primarily responsible and guilty because of their evil leader who governed and represented them?; or to put it another way:  in Hitler, the Germans living today–whether or not they were personally and directly involved — are reckoned as guilty and defiled by the Jewish people, even more than are Austrians and Poles who also bear their own iniquity.

Other Biblical examples of this living principle of divine justice covering generations for nations, tribes, and  peoples are:
1.  in Adam, all have sinned and all human beings inherit condemnation and death;
2.  in Abraham (Abram), Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek, signifying the preeminence of  the Priest Melchizedek;
3.  in the Passover, Jews remember that we were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD brought us out;
4.  in Messiah, many are justified and made alive, inheriting righteousness and life.

There are both  power in, and accountability for, our words which we speak or write, all the more if we are in positions of authority (Mt. 12:36-37).

John 11:45-53    Caiaphas the High Priest unknowingly prophesied that the one man Yeshua would die for the whole nation, and even for all the scattered children of God.

Mt. 27:25    “all the people [ofIsrael] answered and said, ‘Let His [Yeshua’s] blood be on us and on our children’!

Primary responsibility, with its guilt and historic consequences, is upon the leaders and people ofIsrael (John 19:11; Lev. 4:1-3, 13, 14, 22, 23; Acts 2; 4)–both before God and by our own words and agreement with our “fathers”–for the betrayal and death of Messiah.  Praise God that upon the cross, Jesus prayed that God His Father forgive us!

YHVH is the God of covenant, to which He is always faithful to fulfill His part, which includes His  promises to make the people of Israel a holy people.  Therefore He is working to remove from His people transgressions, sin, iniquity, and uncleanness — guilt and shame — and to bring in everlasting righteousness.  The Holy Spirit is working to bring His people to an end of themselves, to stop trusting in themselves or in the arm of the flesh, so that they will call on the Name of Yeshua for salvation:  Blessed is He who comes in the Name YEHOVAH!  It is Yeshua whom God has given as a guilt offering (Is. 53:10), and His blood cleanses from all unrighteousness.

The Holocaust brings reproach to the Holy Name of the God of Israel and of the Lord Jesus Christ:

–“These are the people chosen by God?!”
–“Where was/is God?”
–“How can a ‘good’ God allow such atrocities?”
–“Maybe God is not strong enough to stop evil?!”
–Remember Messianic brothers and sisters, Yeshua died a criminal’s death because of–and to atone for–that evil unbelief !

Do we trust and love our God and Savior to honor His holy name in the face of such unbelief and mocking?  Many Christians risked, and even sacrificed their lives to save Jews from the death trains and camps.  In the unknowable ways of God, just as the crucifixion was necessary, so too was the Holocaust.  God’s judgments are past finding out!

As many as are Jewish believers, we need to accept the truth of our primary responsibility for our history.  Let Gentile believers each examine and judge himself for their own personal and historic sins of your nations against the Sovereign LORD and against the Jews and Christians.  Offenses there must necessarily be, but woe to those through whom they come!

The Lord Jesus says that the truth sets free and sanctifies.  Confession of our own and of our fathers’ sins is an act of humility, and it brings cleansing, freedom, blessedness because by it we receive and know the righteousness of God who forgives us and accepts us.

The Lord promises to save His people from their sins.  The true gospel includes the cross of the Messiah and God’s righteous judgments against Israel, not to the exclusion of the other nations.  As has been spoken here before, there is no glory for the Jewish people (or for ourselves in Christ) apart from the faith in the death and resurrection of Yeshua, the Hope of Israel.  Let us who believe be sure of our own peace with God and acceptance of His ways and judgments so that we can speak the truth with love to the Jews.

2Cor. 5:11a, 18-21    – in the fear of God, be reconciled to Him and be ministers of reconciliation

Amen.

BEER SHEVA IS YHVH’s

(Our congregation was attacked by over 1000 ultra-orthodox religious Jewish men, women, and children the following Shabbat after this message was given.)

I have been preaching recently on the need and responsibility we each and all have to dig up the clogged wells of our inner lives in order for the water of life in Christ Jesus to flow freely in us and through us for blessing and fruitfulness unto God our Father. We have a need and responsibility for knowing Him and the Lord Jesus both differently and freshly. This leads us to sing a new song.

Today I want us to consider together a picture which the Holy Spirit gives us through the prophets, and our response to it as those called by God to stand by faith in Him to fulfill His promises – even to Beer Sheva and the Negev.

Read:  Is. 41:17-20

Are you thirsty?  Thirsty for the living water which Yeshua promises to give to drink to all who whole-heartedly come to Him and glorify Him who is seated at the right hand of the Father!?  Do you consider yourself poor and needy for more of God, for more of Jesus in your life and in the life of the congregation?  YHVH, God of Israel, says that He will answer and will not forsake those who trust in Him to satisfy their thirst.  Indeed He will give even more than we could think to ask for.

Many of us are like cactus and like camels – suited to living in the desert, in dry lands.  We do not need water all the time, but we can manage with and preserve the relatively little water that is.  I really think that to make it in Beer Sheva, we need to be like this, and God in His wisdom knows what He is doing when He has called us or sent us to live here.  He, who knows us better than we know ourselves, has seen in our personality and character something that He knows  can endure in a place like this:  it is in our nature, and here we can glorify His Name. (As I think about it, it may also be a place to chasten some of His children who have forgotten Him in wetter circumstances, or who have forgotten that YHVH is also God of the arid zones!).

But even so, the desert is not God’s idea of the Promised Land!  The desert  is a place where He displays His “skills” and His love as a Shepherd – even as the Good and Great Shepherd.  It is a place where He tries and improves our faith and our willingness to humble ourselves to walk obediently and gladly in His ways.  It is a place where He makes us ready to enter into the good land which He has promised to those who love Him.

Beer Sheva is the chief city and the capital of the Negev – the wilderness (ערבה) and desert (מדבר) of Israel, and which covers more than 60% of the land.  Both physically (geographically) and spiritually, B.S. and the Negev represent the general condition of the whole world, which is mostly a spiritually dry wasteland. God wants to bless the world through fulfilling His promises toIsrael.  (Rom 11:11-15)  The Negev has a hope and a future by the Word of the LORD spoken through the prophet Isaiah.

ReadIs. 35:1-7

The Holy Spirit urges us here to be strong and courageous, and not to fear, for God will be for us and with us, even as Jesus reassures His disciples.  We have a rich heritage here in Beer Sheva, beginning with our father Abraham, embracing Jews and gentiles, and on to the great prophet Elijah receiving sustenance in the time of his great despair. (1Kg 19:3-8)  Upon this holy lump, despite present darkness, the sovereign LORD has spoken of a great redemption and future for the wilderness and desert.  It shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.  The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it.

Looking back to the passage in Is. 41, we notice in v. 19 that the LORD will plant different types of trees in the desert and the wilderness. These are not all trees suited to dry lands, but rather to Lebanon, where there is much rain and coolness.  Yet God intends to give such abundance of water in the Negev that even these trees will be able to flourish, and the desert trees will be transformed to thrive with this abundance.  Verse 20 states plainly that people will know that YHVH, the Holy One of Israel, has done it.

Brothers and sisters, do we want the Lord Yeshua the Messiah to be glorified here?  Are we both thirsty enough ourselves and desirous of God’s glory enough to want Him to give us rain from Heaven to make the Negev like Carmel and Sharon?  Do we want the Lord not only to have His cactus plants and camels, but also His cedar trees and cypress, which cannot thrive here except  that He pour out the living water of His Spirit of Holiness?  Physically, the Negev will have to wait for the Kingdom of God to come to earth at the return of the Lord Jesus toIsrael.  Spiritually, God is calling to us to call upon Him to fulfill His purposes in us, the Body of Christ, here…now…that the world will know that we in this small congregation can be witnesses to the truth of Messiah in Jesus:  different trees whom God has planted together, united in the Spirit, loving each other, at peace with each other.

ReadIs. 51:1-3

Believe God’s glad tidings for Beer Sheva and the Negev.  Our son Tal has a middle name, Shimon, because we believe the Lord’s promise to the children and tribes of Israel that Simeon will inherit his portion of the land which includes Beer Sheva. (Ezek 47 – 48)   You who pursue and who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, pray and intercede for our city to become as Eden, the garden of YHVH.  Let God give us a new song to sing as we pray and live in the hope of His great and precious promises.  Beer Sheva belongs to YHVH!  Beer Sheva belongs to the Lord  Messiah, Yeshua the Nazarene, King of the Jews!                 Amen.