The Last Great Day of Succot – 24 Oct 2016

Today concludes the 22-day period of the feasts of ingathering — of the autumn harvest.  Succot is the time of the fruit harvest, and of great rejoicing in the goodness and faithfulness of the God of the Bible, who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to give them an inheritance in the Land of Canaan.  YHVH would be their God, and they would be His people.

Today is Simchat Torah (the Joy of the Torah), which the Jewish people celebrate, and in the synagogues they not only conclude the reading of the five books of Moses which is read throughout the year, but they also begin to read Genesis as an indication of their joy in the Law of Moses, which for them is more ‘holy’ than the other portions of the Old Testament (Tenach).  Yeshua stood and cried out on this last great day that all who are thirsty should come unto Him and drink, and out of his heart would flow rivers of living water. (Jn 7:37-39; 4:10; Is 41:17-20)

We pray that the Lord would open the eyes of His people as they read Moses every week of their need of YHVH’s salvation which is to found only in the name of Yeshua, Messiah and Lord.

Shimon Peres – 30 Sept 2016

Today Shimon Peres was buried, having died at the age of 93.  Leaders and other dignitaries from Israel and around the world paid tribute to a great man of the world.  He was forever an optimist, which continually gave him hope that things — including peace — would eventually improve, and he worked tirelessly until his end to live according to his faith.   Yet the God of Israel has His own plan and solution for peace, which neither optimist nor pessimist can prevent.  As the watchman cried out, “The morning is coming, but so is the night”.  The Messiah Yeshua spoke that the night is coming when no one can work.

We continue to pursue the peace of God, that whosoever might know Him and have His peace.  We continue to have the optimistic blessed hope:  Jesus is coming again, and the righteous dead will rise from the dead, and the Kingdom of God on Earth will be established:  righteousness and peace for the Jewish people, for the Arabs, for the other nations to whom the mercies and compassion of the LORD will be bestowed.

The last of the founding fathers of the modern reestablishment of the Jewish people in the homeland promised to them by the living God thousands of years ago has now gone.  What will the fatherless do?  The beautiful and poignant prayer, Avinu , Malcheinu  (Our Father, Our King), was sung at the funeral by Peres’ own request.  The plea is that God our Father and King would hear our voice.  May many in Israel call upon the name of Yeshua and be saved from their sins, and have the peace in their hearts that He alone can give.

What’s Going On Behind The Scenes of Current and Future News?

Do you read or listen to the news?  Every day in Israel politicians and commentators are vying for power and influence, telling us who should be the Prime Minister, or what the PM should do.  In the United States, there is an election process taking place, with each candidate saying that the other one is unfit to be President, the leader of the Free World.  In Turkey and Iran, their leaders are threatening each other, and the rest of the world with terror, or support for terrorists.  In Russia, their President is reasserting his country’s place as a serious threat to Western Powers.  In the nearing future, the antichrist will arise, who will require all to submit to him as if he is above all gods and God. (Dan 11:36; 2 Thes 2:3-4; Rev 13:1-8)

What is also interesting in all this, is that each of these countries represents a different religious worldview, and how that affects their policies and geo-political decisions.  They are peoples and nations who seem to agree on one thing:  they want to determine and to rule their own destiny, and also the world’s.

What’s going on behind the scenes?  What do the Scriptures say?  What do they teach us?  Let us look at a psalm of David (Acts 4:25), a psalm referenced several times in the New Testament:

Ps 2   Why do the nations rage, and the peoples meditate on a vain thing?  (2)  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers plot together, against Yehovah and against His Anointed:  (3)  Let us break their bands in two and cast away their cords from us.  (4)  He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; Yehovah shall mock at them.  (5)  Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His fierce anger.  (6)  Yea, I have set My king on My holy mountain, on Zion.  (7)  I will declare the decree:  Yehovah has said to Me, You are My Son; today I have begotten You.  (8)  Ask of Me, and I shall give the nations for Your inheritance; and the ends of the earth for Your possession.  (9)  You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.  (10)  And now be wise, O kings; be instructed, O judges of the earth.  (11)  Serve Yehovah with fear, and rejoice with trembling.  (12)  Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled in but a little while. Blessed are all who put their trust in Him.

The Holy Spirit through David tells us that the Gentiles and the Jews, with their leaders, are in a conspiracy against the one true God – against the Father and His Son, the Messiah Yeshua/Jesus.  It is a vain thing that they do; it is destined to fail!  You have probably all heard the saying that there is a Jewish conspiracy to rule the world.  Well, it is actually God’s plan that a Jew will rule the world!  Jesus is the King of the Jews and of the nations, and God has declared that His Son is the heir to the Throne of David to rule over Israel and the whole world.  The conspiracy is actually by the devil and those of the world against the sovereign Creator and Redeemer.

What is it that the “world” wants?  They want to be “free” from any accountability to a holy God, who is the righteous Judge of all the Earth.  This conspiracy began in the heavenlies, when Lucifer rebelled against YHVH, and led other angels to follow him in the rebellion. Israel openly rebelled when she asked for a king like the Gentiles have, and then said that they did not want “this Man” Yeshua to rule over them. (1Sam 8:1-9; Lk 19:11-27) And the world Gentile powers have rebelled against the God of Israel, who gave them their authority, but they have all eventually caused distress for Jews and for Christians, the people of the true God.

What does it mean when they want to break the bands in two and cast away their cords from us?  You remember that Isaac told Esau, when he spoke to him after giving the blessing to Jacob, that the day would come when Esau would break the yoke of Jacob his brother from off him. (Gen 27:40)  We see this taking place today in the intifada, which is the Palestinian uprising against the rule of the children of Jacob over them here in Israel.  But it represents something much bigger:  it is the spiritual rebellion against the sovereignty of YHVH God, led by the spirit of a religious faith in another god.  It is the world today rising up against the morality of YHVH, whose name is holy, saying, in effect:  “Who is YHVH that we should serve Him?!”  “Who says that He is God Most High?!”  “Why should we submit to His authority and morality?!”  “All religions are okay, and lead to something good.  In fact, better in our own eyes than what the God of Israel wants!”  So, in the end, it is more than seeking equality among the different religions and cultures and life-styles.  It is a rebellion against YHVH even more than simply seeking “equality with Him”, which is itself rebellion.  Tolerance is for anything other than truth.  “What is truth?!”, Pilate asked Jesus.  To the “world”, all is subjective relativism.

Some current examples that we see of trying to break God’s and His Son’s yoke, and their restrictions that make for civil society:
–requiring governments and people to accept homosexuality as normal and as a choice for each person to make regarding their own gender identity; in other words, not only to choose what sex to do, but what sex to be!;
–sex outside of marriage is accepted as normal and not sinful;
–not allowing in Israel and in Christianized countries, like the U.S., to use the Bible for explaining or instruction in righteousness in public institutions; or, to pray in the name of Jesus;
–being sued and denied a license for a bakery because of being owned and operated by believers in Yeshua;
–not allowing any Jews to enter some Muslim countries; not allowing any evangelism either;
–Israel makes it difficult for evangelical Christians to receive visas, or for Messianic Jews to immigrate;
–Russia just passed a law forbidding any evangelism outside of a recognized church building;
–no spanking of children in some ‘enlightened’ countries, as an overreaction to child abuse;
–not being able to teach Creation in schools, only Evolution:  no sovereign, holy, uncreated God; no special uniqueness about this solar system or the Earth; no chosen land or people or city or unique and beloved Son of God;
–humanism, that man is basically good, is the dominant philosophy opposed to the Word of God saying that all are born in sin, and need to be given restrictions and boundaries to live socially, and that people need to be born-again by the  Holy Spirit in order to have life.

These are just a few examples out of many, many more.  The results and consequences of throwing off the yoke of the true God is to lack the fear of God, to be ignorant, to lack wisdom, to be not only immoral, but amoral, to lack purpose and goals, to be unable to think critically, and to lack discernment between good and evil.  By all this, the devil deceives the people much more easily to side with him and his rebellion.  If we are deceived, we do not know it, and it requires an intervention by God to bring us to our right senses!  Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who crucified Him, because they did not know what they were doing.

This Psalm 2 also tells us that God is actively working so that the people will know what they are doing, and that they must repent while there is time, if they want to be saved from His wrath. (2Cor 6:2; Is 61:1-2)

Though it is written that God laughs at this vain thing being planned, He is not amused:  He holds them in derision. (Is 40:15-17)  Since the death and resurrection of God’s anointed King, His Son, He is making it known everywhere, and calling all persons to repentance, because He has declared that His Son is going to be King in Zion, and He is the Judge of His people Israel, and of the Gentiles, and will rule over all. (Dan 2:44; Jn 3:14-21; Acts 17:30-31)

Although Jesus is already chosen and anointed to be the King of Israel and of the Nations, He is not yet reigning on David’s throne:  He has not yet been accepted by His own people or by the Gentile nations.  This is like when God chose David to be King instead of Saul, but David did not actually become the king until after Saul died, and after the people accepted him to be king.  Yeshua is now reigning — at the right hand of the Father — over Heaven and Earth, but He is not yet accepted by the whole House of Israel to be their King as Heir to David, according to God’s covenantal promise. (Lk 1:26-33,67-75; 2Sam 7; Mt 23:37-39)   Born-again believers already possess eternal life, but it is evident that we have not yet inherited it:  it remains a living hope upon a sure promise. (Rom 8:23-25)

The Psalm also informs us that Yeshua/Jesus is the Son of God.  The New Testament quotes this verse 7 in the psalm in the context of Yeshua’s resurrection from the dead (Acts 13:33; Rom 1:4):  the proof that He is God’s Son, and by that He inherits not only Israel, but all the nations are His, and become accountable to Him. (Is 49:5-6)  For this, the gospel is to go out to all peoples and nations, not only for individual salvation, but also for nations to be saved, like Israel and Egypt and Assyria. (Is 19:23-25; Dan 7:13-14)  Part of our joy is knowing that we, too, will rule and reign with Messiah when He returns.  He promises those in the church that those who overcome will rule the nations with a rod of iron to break the stubbornness of rebellion in the people. (Rev 2:26-27; 3:21; 20:6)  This is the inheritance of the saints, in fulfillment of the covenant made with Abraham! (Dan 7:18,25-27; Gen 22:17; Rom 4:13)

David finishes his psalm by warning those who are in rebellion:  they need to fear YHVH and to acknowledge His majesty and righteousness.  And they must respect and honor God’s Son, for His favor is their salvation. (Rev 6:12-17; 19:15)  Even believers in Jesus are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Phlp 2:12-13)  We should be concerned with offending God, and to recognize our weakness – our “trembling” — that we are wholly dependent upon Him for grace and mercies in our need for help in serving and living for His glory.  His faithfulness and strength are our confidence and joy!  “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”

In this psalm we see already the suffering yet triumphant Messiah, Son of God, over His enemies.  And we who follow the Lord will also suffer yet be triumphant by our living faith in Him.  YHVH is sovereign over all and against all!  The schemes of man and devil can not and will not succeed!  Repent, and believe the gospel, and be saved from this perverse generation! (Acts 2:40; Rev 3:19-22)

What should we do?:
–In the face of this unholy and ungodly conspiracy, we can ask God for boldness to be witnesses of the King whom God has chosen and that we serve. (Acts 4:27-29; Rev 12:11)

Pray for those in authority to repent and believe actively, that they be saved. (1Tim 2:1-6)

What Kingdom Are We Of? – 1 Aug 2016

As I follow the election process in the U.S. (we are also citizens  there), I thank God for saving me and giving me hope through faith in Jesus!  I had been active in the political system with the naïve idealism of “tikkun” — trying “to make the world better”.  (I didn’t know then that satan is the prince of this world, nor that God had HIS plan of tikkun.)  Thirty-six years ago, the state of the union (the U.S.) was heavy on my spirit:  to me the U.S. was the greatest country in the world, but it was going down fast, and nothing better was coming up!  God was there in the person of a man named Dwight, and the Lord had prepared me to finally listen to the truth and the hope that is in Jesus.  When I confessed Him to be who He is, God gave me His Spirit and I knew!  And that hope was set firmly in the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ (by faith in this name I was saved), and HE WILL make the world right!

The low level of this year’s elections and candidates only confirms what I already saw and felt 36 years ago.  May God have mercy and shake up His people!  We are almost blind like Isaac, and willing to bless the wrong choice for carnal reasons; and Esau was willing to forsake all for exaggerated temporary relief, and then blame his brother for bartering to have what he had not valued.

Palestinian Leadership Seeks to Sue Britain for Balfour Declaration – 26 July 2016

As the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration approaches next November, the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is gearing up for the effort to undo it.  According to this latest effort, the British government — which issued the Declaration on November 2, 1917, expressing their intent that the Jewish people should reestablish their historic homeland in Palestine, without harming the rights of those already living there — is guilty of setting in motion the catastrophe that the predominantly Islamic Arabs claim is an invasion into their territory by a non-Muslim sovereign entity.  This latest attempt to completely delegitimize Israel reveals the falseness of any statements to the effect that the Palestinian leaders would be willing to have a “two-state solution” for the “Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”.

The incessant efforts to erase all historic Jewish connections to Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, the Land of Israel find support from a number of world bodies and nations.  Just last month UNESCO emphasized the Muslim connection to the Temple Mount — on which Jesus was possibly crucified — while afterwards acknowledging that the site is important to Jews and Christians, as well.  Last year the PA wanted the UN to declare that the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) is a Muslim holy site, which did not pass.  Before that, UNESCO did vote that the Cave of Machpelah — which Abraham bought as a burial site for his wife, Sarah, and where also Abraham, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah are all buried, these being the fathers and mothers of the Jewish people — is a Muslim World Heritage Site!

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=35243
http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=16785

http://www.timesofisrael.com/after-angering-israel-unesco-urges-respect-and-dialogue/

There is a movement in the UK, called the Balfour Project, seeking Britain to apologize for its great historic mistake over the issuance of the Balfour Declaration:
http://www.balfourproject.org/

http://www.thecommentator.com/article/3715/prepare_for_war_over_the_balfour_declaration

What will be next?  As the battle against YHVH’s sovereignty and plan intensifies, He is going on, whatever the nations and peoples may do.  Let us, too, go on with Him in faith that He is justified in all that He does, and we are saved by grace and justified when we believe in Jesus, and what He says.   The gospel is to the Jew first, and also to the Arabs and to all other Gentiles!  The day of reckoning is coming when all will know that the triune YHVH is the true God, and that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father!

 

The Farthest North – Ezekiel 38:6,15

Ezek 38:1-6  Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.

Ezek 38:14-17  Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? 15 Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. 16 You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” 17 Thus says the Lord God: “Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?

With the latest developments in Turkey of an unsuccessful coup last night, and a renewed alliance with Israel after six years of open animosity, can we see anything in the Scriptures that shine some light on this?  Turkey was the seat of the Islamic Ottoman Empire/Caliphate for more than 600 years in the Middle East, supposedly dissolved completely in 1922, in the aftermath of WW1.  The Ottomans ruled in Israel (Palestine) for 400 years.  Islam is a religion of the sword, and was established in direct opposition to the truth of the triune God, Yehovah, and against His Word that is the Bible — both Old and New Testaments –, and against His Son, the Lord and Messiah Jesus, and against His people, the Jews and Christians, and against His city, Jerusalem, and against His land — the Land of Canaan which YHVH covenanted to give to the Children of Jacob/Israel as an everlasting possession, the Land of Israel.

Islam is being revived with a vengeance, and terrorizing the whole world.  They are at war among themselves over the ‘rightful heir’ to the Caliphate, and the spiritual war is ultimately between Satan in the person of the coming Antichrist, and between YHVH, God Most High (El Elyon) in the person of Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah. God the Father has given all things to His beloved Son, Yeshua, and to all who believe in Him for salvation.  For this, the devil is in a rage, and out to destroy everyone he can.  The Muslim jihadist cry of “Allahu Akbar” actually means Allah is greater, not God is great, as usually reported.  Greater than whom?!  Which God?! (Dan 11:36-37; 2Thes 2:1-4)

Israel is looking for peace in any human way possible.  Therefore, she will never really have peace, until she returns to YHVH her God, through repentance and faith in her only Savior, Jesus.  (This is similar to the story of Joseph with his brothers in Egypt.)  Israel is making agreements with several Islamic countries in a joint effort to combat terror (which can not succeed, since Islam promotes jihad, which for most of us expresses itself in terror to bully and intimidate others into submission.  Turkey, which became secularized following WW1, under the leadership of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, has, under the current leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, returned to being again a more religious and political Islamic country again.  The coup attempt last night was an effort by some of the military to restore the secularized Islamic character of the State.  It failed, and retribution will be swift and brutal, and Erdogan will consolidate his grip on power more firmly.

Why is this of interest?  The prophet Ezekiel was given a Word of YHVH for us living in the latter days.  Twice in ch 38, which speaks of Gog and the preparation for the war and invasion against Israel in the Land of Israel, the Holy Spirit gave Ezekiel the words translated as the “farthest north”, in vv 6 and 15.  Many commentators have said that this refers to Russia, since it is north of Israel.  Yet all the commentators agree that the reference in v. 15 to Togarmah is located in Asia Minor, i.e., part of Turkey.  (Asia Minor is also the area where the seven churches in Revelation were located.)  So, if the “farthest north” is Asia Minor in v. 15, that same Hebrew expression in v. 6 must refer to the same “far north” country, that is Turkey!

Let us awaken to the events swirling around us, as prophecy and current events increasingly come together to help us understand the times in which we live, and what the Body of Messiah should do in light of that.   “You heard Me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.  And now I have told you before it happens, so that when it does happen, you will believe.  I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming, and he has no claim on Me. (Jn 14:28-30)

Gay Pride Parade Canceled in Beer Sheva; Protest Demonstration Last Night – 15 July 2016

The proud LGBT community in Beer Sheva had planned a parade on the main thoroughfare of the city on Thursday, which was canceled after the community organizers refused a compromise route, suggested by police over security concerns, in a court ruling.  Last night, between 1500-2000 persons demonstrated at the Municipality Plaza in Beer Sheva.  It is very interesting that the Hebrew word for “proud” is the same word used by the LGBT for “gay” — גאה — and is pronounced ge’eh.  (Ezek 16:48-50)

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4828584,00.html

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool.  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Yeshua, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Messiah.

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call.  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this untoward generation.’  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized. . . .” (Acts 2:34b – 41a)

Christian Cemetery Cleaned Up – 11 July 2016

This translated article from Hebrew appeared in the Caspari Media Review today:

Yediot HaNegev, July 1, 2016

A group of volunteers has taken it upon themselves to clean and repair the Christian cemetery in Beer-Sheva, “in light of the formal authorities’ lack of action on the subject.” “The neglect devastated me,” said one of the volunteers. “This doesn’t honor anyone and offends the families who come to visit their loved ones.” After three hours of dedicated work, however, the place now presents a completely different aspect.

The Christian cemetery referred to here lies behind the British WW1 War Memorial Cemetery.  The local cemetery is under the divided authority of the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches.  We do know that some evangelical Christians have also been buried there in the small, crowded cemetery.

Israel Celebrates HaPoel Beer Sheva Football League Championship

Although I am not a big football (soccer) fan, and don’t even know all the rules, the championship of the 2015/16 season has been a cause of celebration in the whole city of Beer Sheva for the last three days since its decisive victory in the final game of the season.  Many people throughout the country rejoiced as HaPoel Beer Sheva won its first premier league championship in 40 years, and in its first year in her new stadium.  Last night, between 80-100,000 people crowded the Municipality Square for a nationally televised celebration.  (Beer Sheva’s population is about 200,000).   The Beer Sheva team is owned by Alona Barkat, the sole female owner of a major sports club in Israel.  May many of these players, managers, and fans come to know Yeshua and receive an enduring crown and reward!
http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-40-year-first-hapoel-beersheba-soccer-club-are-national-champions/