The Lamb Lives! – 21 Apr 2016

How good is our God! At the Passover, and for all those subsequent Passovers that the Israelis celebrated (in the past), many lambs were slain and blood shed in order for God to pass over the houses where He saw the blood, and in remembrance of that mighty initial act of salvation for His people, making His name great among the Jews and among the nations.

But poor lambs! They were offered in sacrifice that others could live, but they were killed and eaten! They could not enjoy the fruit of their sacrifice.

Praise the Lord! Messiah our Passover was slain for us, giving physical and spiritual salvation and deliverance to all who believe in who the Lamb of God is whose shed blood grants forgiveness and life! And not for us only, but Yeshua, the Lamb, rose from the dead and is alive, now seated in glory, interceding for us! He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied!

By His out-stretched arms, and with great judgments, we look for the blessed hope of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and our own resurrection (or rapture), the redemption of our bodies to receive the inheritance of the Kingdom of God. May it be in our own day.

Remembering His death until He comes.

Sexual Purity

Est 2:1-4,14  After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus had calmed down, he remembered Vashti and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.  (2)  And the king’s young men who served him said, Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king.  (3)  And let the king choose officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, so that they may gather together all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, to the hand of Hegai the king’s eunuch, keeper of the women. And let their ointments be given.  (4)  And let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king, and he did so. . . . She went in the evening, and on the next day she returned to the second house of the women, into the hand of Shaashgaz, the king’s officer who kept the concubines. She did not come in to the king any more, unless the king delighted in her, and she was called by name.

Act 15:28-29  For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these necessary things:  (29)  that you abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which, if you keep yourselves, you shall do well. Be prospered.

I want to look at the manner of seeking a wife in contrast to the way of the Gentile King Ahasuerus.  You will remember that the people of Israel asked for a king like the Gentiles have, rather than have YHVH being their King.  YHVH is holy, and searches the thoughts and intentions of the heart; whereas, Gentile (those not in covenant relationship with YHVH) kings are sinners.  The people became sinners, rather than being a holy and righteous people who kept the Law of Moses with God’s commandments and judgments.  As we read in the New Testament, God has shown that all people are sinful — Jews and Gentiles; those who have the Law and those who do not — and need the blood of the Messiah’s sacrificial death in order to be saved and cleansed from sin.  With Passover coming next Shabbat, it is good to remember that God has chosen us to be His holy people.

King Ahasuerus was looking for another wife, and had all of the pretty virgins from his large kingdom come to him, in the hope of being chosen by him to be his wife.  It did not seem to concern all of his youthful servants or him that he was not leaving many eligible single women for many single men in his kingdom!  All of these pretty women apparently had to sleep with the king as part of his selection process (Est 2:14).   This is the way of kings – especially Gentiles.  When Israeli kings – and other men — acted this way, it was against the Law of Moses, and against the holiness of the God of Israel.  They became like Gentiles, which is what they wanted.  It brought ruin and shame to the king and to the nation, and did not bring honor to the name of the LORD.

In the New Testament, all believers are called to a higher standard of holiness and purity than even the Law of Moses required.  And to emphasize the seriousness and importance of this in God’s eyes, the apostles agreed with the Holy Spirit that Gentile believers needed to stop fornication of whatever kind.  The Jewish believer was supposed to already know that from the Law.  Fornication is a word that includes any illicit sexual activity outside of marriage – whether before marriage or during marriage, and even after one has been married (whether widowed or divorced).  Fornication includes sex for payment, premarital sex, adultery (illicit sex with another while married), homosexuality of men or of women, bestiality, pedophilia, pornography.

The Israeli news is full of political, judicial, military, and religious leaders, and entertainers who are accused, and sometimes convicted, of sexual harassment and of  rape.  Most of these men are married, but no one is talking about adultery.  The men usually do not deny that there was sex with the complainant, only that it was not rape:  that is, it was done not by force but with consent.  But adultery?  Not a word in the public media!  Yet the damage to the marriage and to the family is often irreversible.  There is a breach of trust and security when there is unfaithfulness within the closest relationship that God has made between a man and a woman.  Our security as the Bride of Messiah is His complete faithfulness in our relationship with the Lord Yeshua.

For one who loves God, who cares about him/herself in God’s sight, who respects the other person, in the fear of YHVH, they will be empowered to resist all temptation – and the Holy Spirit will help overcome the urge.

Today there is a BIG problem:  fornication is not taken very seriously, even by many who say that they are believers, and even born-again!  In a poll (conducted by The Nat’l Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy) taken in the U.S. a few years ago, 88% of all unmarried young adults (ages 18-29) are having sex.  Among Christians, who identify as “evangelical”, 80% say they have had sex.  80%. . .even though, according to a Gallup poll, 76% of evangelicals believe that sex outside of marriage is morally wrong.  There is not much distinction between the Body of Messiah and those still “of the world”.  And consider, that if 76% of evangelical believers think that premarital sex is wrong, then 24% think it is okay!  Which means that 56% of these young adult believers are hypocrites:  they believe that premarital sex is wrong, but do it anyway!

In Israel there is a law which recognizes common-law marriage (publicly recognized couples).  These are two persons living together in a manner that is as if they were married, and after only 6 months (!), they can be considered to be in a legal relationship that binds them under the law.  (A true marriage is a covenantal relationship, which carries with it more serious benefits and consequences.)  Some believers approve of such relationships.  But what is the couple doing up until the time that they are publically recognized?!:  they are sinning by having sex outside of marriage, with some even having children.  God’s standard of what is acceptable, and of what is holy, is being lowered even by some believers to fit the low moral level of today’s culture, which does not want the Holy One of Israel to be their God and King, but want to break the bonds of YHVH and of His Messiah from off of them. (Ps 2)  We might lower God’s standard, but He has not!

King Ahasuerus wanted to know what the Persian law allowed him to do about Vashti his wife.  Believers in Yeshua need to know what God’s law says in such matters, and not be hypocrites, but obey with faith what our Lord says.  We live under the laws of our nation, but when there is a contradiction, we must obey God’s higher standard, and not use as an excuse, “it’s legal in our country”; or, “it’s culturally acceptable in our society”; or, “times have changed, and the Bible is not currently relevant”.  All of these excuses say that our fleshly desire has higher priority and authority over God’s sovereign authority!  This is no different than what Israel wanted in asking for a king like the Gentiles have.  What does the Holy Spirit say about this?:

Eph 5:3-7  For let fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness not be once named among you, as becomes saints,  (4)  neither baseness, foolish talking, jesting, which are not becoming, but rather giving of thanks.  (5)  For you know this, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous one (who is an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  (6)  Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience.  (7)  Therefore do not be partakers with them.

If anyone should say, I am not really a believer yet, so it is okay.  NO!  Then you put yourself in the category of “children of disobedience” that God’s wrath will come upon!

Do not test God, but in the fear of the Lord sanctify yourself; for without holiness, no one will see the Lord.

If any of you are already approving of sex before, or outside of marriage, please confess this sin to God, and He will forgive you.  Do not justify sin, or return to it.  If any of you are actively engaged in illicit sex, then confess this sin, stop the activity, and you will find favor with God.  Isn’t inheriting the Kingdom of God, and being with Jesus worth it?  Do we love Him more than even ourselves, more than someone who is not really respecting you if he or she is causing me to sin against my God and Savior, and threatening my eternal destiny!?  God knows our deepest needs; He created and made us, and He is the one that gave sex as something good and holy between a man and his lawful wife.  Part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control.  In today’s world, there is a great battle going on for the souls of people, and for the dignity of human beings, whom God created in His image and likeness.  Satan says that we can become like God by disobeying the Word of God and doing what we want.  Satan is a liar and a murderer.  The words of our Father are truth and life to all who trust and obey.

So, brothers and sisters – and especially those who want to find the right man or woman  to marry, and who want to be the right person for someone – keep yourselves holy for that person, and for God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  You will never regret it!

The vision of Yeshua’s Inheritance Congregation is that we will be prepared for the coming again of the Lord, and to have part in the first resurrection.  This matter of sexual purity is extremely important towards that readiness and overcoming the world by our faith, and being light in the increasing darkness.

Being Light in The Coming Darkness – 16 Jan 2016

(An introduction to a study of the seven letters to the churches in Revelation, with the focus on believers being overcomers and light in the darkening world)

What is important to the Lord Jesus Christ regarding our spiritual condition as His disciples? He has given us the Law of Messiah in His sermon on the mount (Mt 5 – 7); He has given us to understand what the Kingdom of God is like in this world (Mt 13); He has told us what to expect as the time of His coming nears (Mt 24 – 25); He has given the Holy Spirit to teach us through the Apostles’ writings in the New Testament how we are to live as believers in the truth of the gospel of the grace of God. (Jn 17:20)

What is important to Jesus in order for us to be confident of our hope in His salvation for us?: The seven letters to the churches in Asia give us His counsel to equip us and to help us judge ourselves and respond appropriately according to what He praises and approves of, and of what He disapproves and gives correction.  He gave the apostle John to hear and to see and to write these letters, and the whole book of Revelation, about 60 years after the Lord’s death, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father.  They are written for all believers as to one new man – where it does not matter if we are Jewish, Gentile, male, female, Turkish, or Ethiopian.  It is written to the churches – where it matters not if one is Orthodox or Roman Catholic, if Protestant, Evangelical, Baptist, or Pentecostal.  The encouragements, chastisements, warnings, promises are to all in the Body of Messiah: let him/her who has an ear to hear, hear what the Spirit says to the churches. There is a call to listen: Even within the church there are different types of soil, of hearts, with respect to how we hear the Word of God and its interpretation.

He tells us not to be afraid. Our Lord and Savior wants each of us to be overcomers, to be victors, to be light in this world in the spiritual battles of life against the darkness of this age – victors over the devil, over this world, over our own selves. (Eph 6:12; 1Jn 2:15-16)  He wants us to be wise virgins, who are prepared and glad when He comes. (Mt 25:1-13)  We overcome by our faith in Jesus, who has won the victory for us on the cross, where He died and shed His blood to atone for our sins!  The Holy Spirit gives us the power by the grace and the love of God to endure to the end in the faith!

All of these seven churches – these lampstands shining for the glory of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ — were located in the region of today’s Turkey on the Asian side. That light now is very dim, but not completely quenched. (Is 42:3; Mt 12:20)  Turkey is now an Islamic country – spiritually very dark — and for 400 years ruled over Palestine/Israel.  These churches were local city-wide congregations, and are also representative of the church-at-large, giving  relevancy to these letters throughout the last 2000 years, and they also bring us right through the last 7 years of this age — Daniel’s 70th week (Dan 9:24-27) — leading up to the Lord’s return.  All Scripture is written for us living at the end of the age; these letters are also prophetic in that they take us to the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of His saints ruling with Him in His kingdom over Israel and the nations. (1Cor 10:11; Rev 2:25-28)

The Book of Revelation is unique in that it is the only one in the Bible which offers a blessing to those who read and hear and keep that which is written therein. (1:3)  It is a book which Yeshua Himself gave to be written, rather than inspired by the Holy Spirit. (1:1)  It also ends with a curse for anyone who would add to or take away from what is written in it. (22:18-19)   If we believe what the Bible says about the beginning of all things in Genesis, we will be more inclined to believe what God says about the end.

The book is the revelation of Jesus Christ: He is now in Heaven hidden from the world, but the plan of God is to send Him back at the appointed time, and every eye will see Him, including His people Israel. (Rev 1:7; Jn 16:10; Zec 12:10-11)  The book opens with this hope of the return of the Everlasting God to take up His throne on the Earth.  He is not only the Head of the Church, but He is ruler over the kings of the Earth. (1:4, 12-20) He has died and risen, and lives forevermore! There was no one before Him; there will be no one after Him:  He is the first and the last.

Jesus is the uncreated Light, who shines like the sun when He is seen in glory, as on the Mount of Tranfiguration, or when appearing to Saul on his way to Damascus. (Gen 1:3-5; Mt 17:2; Acts 22:6-11)  Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it/Him. (Jn 1:5)

Jesus is the Light of the world, and has called both Israel and believers in Him to be the light in the world, that others would see and know who the true God and Savior is. (Is 43:10-12; Mt 5:14-16) Both Israel and Christians have fallen short (Rom 5:21-26), but Jesus is here presented as the faithful and true witness: He is the true Israel and Man of God, the Prophet who perfectly speaks and bears true witness to YHVH God.  The ninth commandment is “Do not bear false witness”, and this we have all been guilty of too often.  Yet Jesus’ witness is true, both of the Father and of Himself. (Jn 8:12-20) He is the Light of the world, and those who follow Him shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.  In Christ, we are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of night or of darkness.  So let us not sleep as others, but watch and be sober. (1Thes 5:5-6)

This is what we want for ourselves, and this is the instruction we want to receive from this study of the Lord’s letters to the churches.  Yeshua is seen by the apostle John as being in the midst of the seven golden lampstands, with seven stars in His right hand.  John, the apostle that knew that Jesus loved him, fell down as dead when he saw the Lord in the light of His glory.  And the Savior told him not be afraid:  our Judge is also our Savior and Bridegroom.  We should honor Him with holy fear, as true witnesses of who He is.

The Menorah was the light within the Holy Place in the Tabernacle and the Temple, both in the desert and also in Jerusalem. Only priests had access to it, and were to keep it lit at all times.  Jesus says that the seven golden menorahs are the seven churches, and the stars (heavenly lights) that He holds in His right hand are the angels/messengers – whether divine or human (Mal 2:7) – of the seven churches. The letters are addressed to the churches through their messengers.

2Pe 1:19-21 We also have a more sure Word of prophecy, to which you do well to take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Daystar arises in your hearts, (20) knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture came into being of its own private interpretation. (21) For prophecy was not borne at any time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke being borne along by the Holy Spirit.

The Birth and The Coming Again of Jesus

Today, as a congregation, we are celebrating the birth of the Messiah (who is called Christ). But we are also celebrating, remembering, and looking forward to the Lord’s return in great power and glory.  The Lord’s Supper reminds us of the death of our Savior God, who took on human flesh and blood, of the seed of Abraham, and of all humankind.

God always does His great acts in a manner that sets Him apart from all other gods and from human beings.  We are all created by YHVH God.  Yeshua, the Son of God the Father, is the Creator and the Redeemer.

Yeshua asked two very serious questions: “And shall not God avenge His own elect who cry day and night to Him, though He has been long-suffering over them? I say to you that He will avenge them speedily. Yet when the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Lk 18:7-8)

In this parable about praying always, the Lord refers to avenging His servants who have been treated unjustly in this world. This is an everlasting promise and hope which God has given to people from the beginning in the Garden of Eden:  the Seed of the woman will destroy the seed of the serpent and their unrighteous deeds.

Sadly, there are many within the Body of Messiah who say that no one can know when Jesus was born. Many also say that we cannot know when He is coming again.  Yet the Lord rebuked the religious leaders of His day as being hypocrites:  they could discern the weather from the evening and morning skies, but could not discern the time of His coming from the signs of the times, according to God’s word through the Prophets.  The promised Messiah and King of Israel came, but the Chosen People did not believe it or accept Him. (Mt 16:1-4)

Do you know that there are many more prophecies in the whole of the Bible regarding the Lord’s [second] coming than His first? (~354; ~2400! internet search) God’s plan of redemption, which He laid out for Daniel with the 70 weeks of years, is completed when the Lord returns.  All creation is waiting for it with hope. (Rom 8:20-23) It is the blessed hope of all believers:  the coming again of Jesus and the resurrection from among the dead.

When Yeshua was born, the old man Simeon was fulfilled when he knew that this child was the Savior whom God had promised him that he would see before he died. Anna, the aged prophetess, also expected the birth of the promised Messiah, and she joyfully spread the news to others who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.  Simeon and Anna understood the times they lived in, according to the Word of God spoken and written through Moses and the Prophets.

We have many more prophecies given to us about the return of the Lord at the end of the last days. We do not want to be asleep, but awake with faith and the Holy Spirit, not only to be ready for Jesus when He comes, but also to tell this good news to others who are looking for a better world than what it is now, or has ever been: the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again to make the world right, a world of righteousness and justice!  (Acts 3:18-21)

“And they called His name Yeshua, for He shall save His people from their sins.”

“Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!”

Yeshua Showed Himself Alive, and Is Coming Again!

Acts 1:1-11 (Lk 24:19-53; Mt 28:5-17; Mk 16; Jn 20:9-31; Jn 21:1-14; 1Cor 15:1-8; 1Jn 1:1-4)

Following the celebrations of the Passover and the Firstfruits – the death and the resurrection of the Messiah and Lord — believers all around the world are rejoicing in the risen Savior, having begun the 50-day (7-week) count till Shavuot/Pentecost. For many people then – 1985 years ago – and now, such a thing as the resurrection is only a rumor, or a myth, idle chatter, or impossible. Even for the closest disciples of Yeshua, the 11 apostles, it was “too good to be true”!

Jesus had told them that He would be crucified, put to death, and that He would rise again and meet them in Galilee. Yet when the event actually took place, their hearts were hardened and would not even believe the testimony of their own friends who had seen Him alive again, talked with Him, touched Him, eaten with Him! Even though He had told them all what was going to happen; even though it was written in the Tanach (Bible)!

Acts 1:1-11  Truly, O Theophilus, I made the first report as to all things that Jesus began both to do and teach (2) until the day He was taken up, having given directions to the apostles whom He chose, through the Holy Spirit; (3) to whom He also presented Himself living after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them through forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. (4) And having met with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to await the promise of the Father which you heard from Me. (5) For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now. (6) Then, indeed, these coming together, they asked Him, saying, Lord, do You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? (7) And He said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own authority. (8) But you shall receive power, the Holy Spirit coming upon you. And you shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  (9) And saying these things, as they watched, He was taken up. And a cloud received Him out of their sight. (10) And while they were looking intently into the heaven, He having gone, even behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them, (11) who also said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into the heaven? This same Jesus who is taken up from you into Heaven, will come in the way you have seen Him going into Heaven.

Jesus showed Himself alive to the 11 men whom He especially chose and sent (and afterward Saul/Paul) to be His witnesses to the Jewish people first, and also to the Gentiles. By proving day-by-day for 40 days that it was He Himself who had died and risen from the dead, then it was no longer just a rumor hard to believe. Just as the sheaves of wheat are counted each day from the day of Firstfruits until Shavuot/Pentecost as a “confidence builder” for the harvest, so Yeshua, until the day of His ascension, built in the certainty of the truth of His resurrection for the hope in God’s promise of life after death for believers in His Son. (Read the passages at the top of the page.) The good news brought unspeakable joy to their sad and hardened hearts, and prepared them to live and to die for the truth of the gospel in the face of fierce opposition, ridicule, and persecution. (Remember the Samaritan men who came out to see Jesus after the Samaritan woman at the well had gone back to tell them that she had met the Messiah: they went to Him, and heard and saw for themselves, saying, “Now we believe not only because you told us, but we have heard for ourselves.”)

Paul writes later that Jesus showed Himself alive to more than 500 people at one time together. In many ways the gospel writers wrote how the Lord clearly showed that He was indeed alive after having been dead and buried for three days. He had defeated the devil, sin, and death, and was indeed the Son of God who had come into the world to save His people from their sins. He is the King of Israel, Messiah, Son of David.

Do you believe? Do you know without doubt that Yeshua Messiah is alive – risen from the dead and now seated at the right hand of the Father – and that He is the Savior of the world, including being your own Savior from sin and death?

Have you believed what is written in the Scriptures, both the Tanach and the New Testament? Have you believed when your friends or family members told you that it is true?! At least one of Yeshua’s apostles doubted that the truth was true: Thomas was not with the other apostles when the Lord first appeared to them all, and he said that unless he actually saw Him and the nail prints in His hands, and put his finger into the print and into His side, then he would not believe. A week later, Jesus appeared again to all of the apostles, this time including Thomas. Jesus told him to do what he had said, and said to him, “Do not be unbelieving, but believing”. Thomas answered, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (Jn 20:24-29)

For those of you who still are not certain and still unbelieving, is it because your heart is hardened to the Holy One of Israel to whom all must give an account on the day of judgment? Is it because He is holy, and requires that His people be holy?  Is it because you have too much love for this world?  Is God’s plan interfering with your own plans or ambitions?

For those of you who say you believe, can you testify of having seen God working in your life and in the life of others: answering prayers, healing sickness, giving hope and comfort through suffering and loss, protecting you  from harm, blessing you beyond all expectation and “worthiness”, forgiving you your sins and giving you power and faith to forgive others their sins?

Do you have living faith and hope that Jesus is coming again to put away evil from the world that He created and made? Do you love Him enough that you want Him to come again?

Why is this hope and expectation important for believers? In the passage we read in Acts, before Jesus was about to ascend to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God, and before the disciples would receive the Holy Spirit, the seal of the New Covenant relationship, their first question to Him was concerning the restoration of the Kingdom of God to Israel, the very thing that the Lord taught them (and us) regarding how to pray. It was also a very logical question by Israeli Jews, who were taught to expect that when the Messiah, Son of David, would come, He would bring YHVH God’s peace and righteous rule again to Israel.  When Jesus did go up in their sight into Heaven, the two men dressed in white standing by them said, “This same Jesus/Yeshua, who was taken up from you into Heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into Heaven.” (v. 6,11)

The return of the Lord Jesus Christ and our resurrection or rapture (whichever applies personally at the time of the First Resurrection) is the hope and expectation of all true believers. The Lord’s Supper reminds us, as often as we take it, that Yeshua is coming again.  The whole life of Messiah and the gospel is summed up in the Communion:  for Yeshua to have died, He had to be born a human being; for Him to come again, He has to be alive by being raised from the dead; by coming again, He has to be ‘somewhere else’ now — in Heaven, the place from where He first came: God appeared in flesh and blood.  The last prayer of the Bible is, “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!”

Do you believe the Word of God concerning the things to come?  Will you be ready to endure to the end by faith that overcomes the world in the blood of the Lamb and our confession of Jesus as LORD/YHVH?

God has a plan for restoring His kingdom over Israel, and the whole Earth, even the universe. Yeshua is alive, and He is coming back in great power and glory! For this we are here: Yeshua’s witnesses to bring more people into His Kingdom; God’s sons and daughters to grow to full maturity in preparation for our Bridegroom’s return.

No One Knows The Day Or Hour – 27 Feb 2015

Mk 13:28-37   “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near—at the doors! 30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

What time is it?  (Does anybody really care?)  This is a question many in Israel ask!  What time is it?  If we are speaking the answer to the one asking, we might say, for example, 11:30.  And he/she would understand whether it was morning or night.  But if, for another example, we sent out an invitation and said, ‘Let’s get together at 9:00’, someone might ask:  ‘Do you mean in the morning, or in the evening?’ Had the invitation been for 21:00, it would have been understood here that it was for the evening.  Or had it said, 9pm, it would also have been understood by those who received the invitation.

What day is it?  I know that when we first immigrated to Israel, it took some time before Randi and I got used to Monday not being the first day of the week, i.e., Sonday!  We often would think that Monday was Tuesday!  We were confused for a while until we finally adjusted to Sonday being Sonday, the first day of the week, and also a work day.  So, if we would say to someone in the U.S. that our services here are on the Sabbath, unless we explained, they thought we meant on Sonday, because in the West they made Sunday the Sabbath, moving back the proper seventh day Sabbath to being the sixth day of the week.  The weekend was Saturday-Sunday.  If someone writes a date like this:  7/12/15; does it mean July 12, 2015; or, Dec 7, 2015?

It seems as if the confusion of languages at Babel has also included the confusion of time!

Let us take this further:  Israel changes its clock to ‘Summer Time’ (Daylight Saving Time) each year; but “the territories” do not.  So Jerusalem has one time, and Bethlehem another, during the same time of year.  In the United States, the country changes its clock for the Summer, but the state of Arizona does not.  Yet within Arizona, an area for Indians does!

The Universal Coordinated Time (UCT) (which used to be called Greenwich Mean Time) is the Prime Meridian running through Greenwich, England, from which all other time zones on the globe are calculated.  Israel is two hours in advance (UTC+2) of the UCT; the East Coast of the U.S. is five hours behind (UTC-5).  South Africa, south of Israel, is in the same Time Zone as Israel.  So Israel is 7 hours ahead in the day from the eastern U.S.  However, depending on when each country changes its clock for the Summer, and then back again to Standard Time (which is based upon the position of the Sun relative to the Earth), Israel could be 8 hours ahead, or maybe 6 hours ahead.  Australia’s western province is normally five hours ahead of Israel, and seven hours ahead of the UCT (UTC+7).  All through the 24-hour day/night cycle, part of the Earth is in the evening, at midnight, at dawn, in the morning, or in the afternoon.  Afternoon to me means after 12:00 noon.  In Israel most veteran Israelis think that afternoon is from 4:00pm.

What if YHVH God has set His Prime Meridian to run through Israel as the standard for calculations?  Does anybody know?  Or do you think He is beholden to man’s arbitrary manipulations of the clock?  Are you confused yet?!    

What time is it!?  Most countries set their clocks by the hour within which they fall in the Time Zones.  But India, for example, changes her clock by ½ hour;  Nepal changes theirs by ¼ hour! (Interesting and Confusing Facts about Time and Time Zones: http://www.worldtimezone.com/faq.html )

And you know that there is an International Date Line (IDL) that has been arbitrarily set which divides the calendar date between that which is east of this imaginary line from that which is west of the line.  Even this legally recognized line has been altered by some governments and islands, so that their whole country remains on the same day together!  Every day while some sleep and some are at work, there are two hours during which there are three different calendar days at the same time!  Praise the Lord!

Here is an explanation of the IDL and the UTC from Wikipedia:

“The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth that runs from the north to the south pole and demarcates the change of one calendar day to the next. It passes through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° longitude but deviating to pass around some territories and island groups.

The IDL zigzags around the antimeridian, which is on the opposite side of the Earth to the Prime Meridian. The Prime Meridian is used to define Universal Time and is the meridian from which all other time zones are calculated. Time zones to the east of the Prime Meridian are in advance of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) (up to UTC+14); time zones to the west are behind UTC (to UTC-12). The IDL is the line between those highest (up to UTC+14) and those lowest (down to UTC−12) time zones.

The IDL and the moving point of midnight separate the two calendar days that are current somewhere on Earth. However, during a two-hour period between 10:00 (2200) and 11:59 (23:59) (UTC) each day, three different calendar days are in use. This is because of daylight saving in the UTC+12 zone and the use of additional date-shifted time zones in areas east of the 180th meridian. These additional time zones result in the standard time and date in some communities being  24 or 25 hours different from the standard time and date in others.

A traveler crossing the IDL eastbound subtracts one day, or 24 hours, so that the calendar date to the west of the line is repeated after the following midnight. Crossing the IDL westbound results in 24 hours being added, advancing the calendar date by one day. The IDL is necessary to have a fixed, albeit arbitrary, boundary on the globe where the calendar date advances in the westbound direction.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Date_Line)  [bold emphases mine]

To add to the lack of clarity, I remember rooming with a man from Ethiopia who told me a story of how he missed his flight one time.  The time on the ticket said 01:00, which to most of us means 1:00 at night on the next calendar day, even though the time would be 1:00am (“before noon”, “in the morning”).

Well, for this brother, he thought of 7:00 in the morning, according to his own nation’s custom and law.  Of course he missed his flight!

When does a day begin?  In the beginning, there was evening and the morning.  Does the day begin at 6:00pm?  In the beginning, and before there were the sun and moon, the light was called Day, and the darkness was called Night. (Gen 1:1-4)  In the New Testament, the wrath of God was upon Jesus on the cross from the sixth hour until the ninth hour, meaning, from 12:00 noon until 15:00 (3pm).  Does the day begin at 6:00am?  Yeshua did say that there are twelve hours in a day for man to work, and that the night is coming when no one can work. (Jn 9:4; 11:9)  Has the day-time changed in the light of the coming of Messiah, the Light of the world?  Today, with the IDL, the new day and date begins from 12:00 midnight, depending on which side of the “line” one is.  When the antichrist has his power and authority, the Scriptures say that he will think to change times and laws. (Dan 7:25)  Will he decree a new universal time and dating system??  The Word of God marks the beginning of each lunar month by the New Moon (darkened); Islam marks their months by the sighted ‘birth’ of the moon at the first sliver of light.

To add another dimension to this:  the Jewish people use a calendar giving the number of years since the Creation, but their reckoning is 240 years less than the Biblical chronology!

Does anybody know what hour it is, and what day it is?  And does it really matter?  It mostly does, I would say.  We have seen how not knowing the time can cause confusion in schedules and in orientation and for documentation.  On the other hand, the Lord lets us know in no uncertain terms that not only is it unnecessary, but it is impossible for any created thing to know exactly when He will come again. (Mk 13:32)

We have seen how that can be!  The Lord did not say that we could not discern the time — the season — of His coming, but rather the precise day and hour.  There are many Scriptures giving us signs and indications of His coming – such as the fig tree analogy in the passage we read from Mark 13 — but the precise set time is something that only the Father knows.  Jesus has told us all things that He heard from His Father to make known to us; and the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth of all that has been revealed. (Jn 15:15; 16:12-15)  The Holy Spirit is not going to reveal what the Father did not even tell His Son (in the wondrous mystery that is the triune God)!

This is no small matter:  Jesus rebuked the Jewish people during His first coming for not knowing the time of their visitation, with its subsequent severe judgment. (Lk 19:41-44)  And terrible consequences have resulted from listening to those who have claimed to know precisely when the Lord will return, discrediting both the faith in the truth of His coming, and in preparing ourselves for His return.

Why is it important to God that we do not know precisely?  Because if the Father would make it known at all, then Satan could also know – even quicker than we!  Yeshua is coming as a thief into the master’s house.  (Mt 24:42-46; 25:13; 1Thes 5:1-11)  If it could be known when that would be, including a particular holy-day, then the devil would prepare for that time and day in a manner that it is not possible for him to do so now.  If a military commander were to let his enemy know his plan of attack and the time of it, he would face fiercer opposition and greater possibility of defeat.  Surely the LORD of Hosts (Armies) has carefully planned His surprise attack!  And if we, the believers, were to know, then we would live our lives not by faith in God and His covenantal promises and in the absolute victory of Jesus by His death on the cross for us, but, rather, as is common to the sin still in us, we would only wait until just before that moment to “make ourselves ready”; or, else, we would wait and see if it really comes true.  Neither of “our ways” submits to the “way of the LORD”.

Yet the Lord warns us not to let any one deceive us, and for us to be watchful and prayerful.  This day will not come until sometime after the revelation of the antichrist. (2Thes 2:1-4)  We will not watch and pray if we are not anticipating with expectation.  In our love and hopeful expectation of the Lord’s return, the Holy Spirit will see to it that those who are faithful will not be like the five foolish virgins, but will be prepared like the five wise virgins.

As we learn to obey God with faith, walking in the Spirit, we will be transformed, and conformed more and more into the image of God’s Son.  The Lord knows who His own are, and those who call on His name will depart from iniquity!  As the blessed hope of His coming again to establish forever the Kingdom of God grows within us, we will purify ourselves, even as He is pure.

What time is it?  What day is it?  I don’t know; but even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Who I Am In Messiah – 14 Jan 2015

Who are you?  Has anyone ever asked you that question?  Were they genuinely interested in knowing who you are, or were they challenging you?  Did you know how to answer the question?  Let’s look at a scene in the Bible, and how this question and answer can help us know who we are, our identity:

Jn 8:12-30 (23-25)   And [Yeshua] said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.  Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I Am He, you will die in your sins.”  Then they said to Him, “Who are You!?”  And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.”

Yeshua was being challenged and threatened by the religious leaders in His day, trying to find a way to justify not accepting Him as Messiah.  It is interesting for us, who do know that Jesus IS the Messiah, how His answer to them as to who He is takes them back, I believe, not only to when He began His public ministry, but to “the beginning”, reminding them (and us) of Gen 1:1 (and of Jn 1:1; 1Jn 1:1).  We know that Yeshua is YEHOVAH in the flesh-and-blood body, and He has been speaking to His people “from the beginning”.  He had been speaking to them, and doing His marvelous works, testifying that He is YEHOVAH, the promised Messiah, the Son of God.  YEHOVAH was visiting His people, bringing salvation.  Yeshua is the Light of life.

To know who I am in Messiah/Christ – to know my identity as a person and a believer in Yeshua/Jesus – I need to know who Yeshua really is, since my identity is connected with Him and His name.  YHVH God has revealed Himself to us in personal ways by telling us His names.

He first reveals Himself by name to Moses, when He tells him that He is “I Am Who I Am”, and that He is the God of our fathers:  YEHOVAH, God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob. (Ex 3:14-15; Mt 22:32)  Being that God Is Who He Is, He has revealed Himself to be, among other things:

El Shaddai – God Almighty (Gen 17:1)
Ehiyeh – I Am (Ex 3:14; Jn 8:24)
YHVH (YEHOVAH) — Eternal, Self-existing One (Ex 6:2-4)
YHVH Jireh – YHVH Will See [and Provide] (Gen 22:14)
YHVH Rophe – YHVH [our] Healer (Ex 15:26)
YHVH Nissi – YHVH my Banner (Ex 17:15)
YHVH M’Kadeshchem – YHVH your Sanctifier (Lev 20:8; 11:44-45; 1Cor 1:2)
YHVH Shalom – YHVH [our] Peace (Jud 6:24; Eph 2:14)
YHVH Tzidkeinu – YHVH our Righteousness (Jer 23:6; 2Cor 5:21)
YHVH Ro’i – YHVH my Shepherd (Ps 23:1)
YHVH Shammah – YHVH is There (Ezek 48:35)
YHVH Tsva’ot – YHVH of Hosts (Is 6:3-5; Jn 12:37-41)
El Elyon – God Most High (Gen 18:19)
El Ro’eh – God who Sees (Gen 16:13)
El Olam – Everlasting God (Gen 21:33)
El Gibor, Pele Yoetz, Sar Shalom, Aviad – Mighty God, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace,
Everlasting Father (Is 9:6)
Tzemach – Plant (‘Branch’) (Is 42; Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zech 3:8)
Father – (Ex 4:22; Is 9:6; Mt 6:9)
Netzer – Root branch (Is 11:1; Mt 2:23)
Yeshua – Savior (Mt 1:21)
Immanuel – God with us (Mt 1:23; Is 7:14; Lev 26:12; 2Cor 6:16)
Messiah – Anointed One (Dan 9:25; Mt 1:16; 27:22)
The Son of Man (Dan 7:13-14; Jn 3:13-15; Mt 26:63-64)
The Son of God (Pr 30:4; Mt 16:16)
The Word of God – (Jn 1:1; Rev 19:13)

Some of these names we use for our God in general, but some of them apply also to Messiah Himself, for Jesus is the Son of God; Jesus is YHVH! (Phlp 2:11; Is 6:3-5; Jer 23:6)  In His conception, life, works, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus fulfills the essence of these names which describe Who He Is.  Just as YHVH placed His name upon the Children of Israel through the priestly blessing (Num 6:24-26), so, too, is the name of Christ upon those who belong to Him in New Covenant relationship. (Acts 11:26; 1Pt 4:12-16; Is 65:15)  We are children of God if we are in Christ/Messiah: God has become my Father; we have become His children! (1Jn 3:1-3)  We, in Christ, are sons and daughters of the Creator and King of the universe!   In Messiah, we are heirs with Him of all things! (Mk 12:7; Lk 12:32; Heb 1:2; 12:28)  We all may know believers who have an identity crisis, either for not accepting who they are in the flesh (our natural origin), or else for not identifying themselves in Christ with Him.

I remember growing up as a Jewish boy in a gentile Christian society.  In synagogue we learned that we Jews believed in the one true living God.  We read in the Bible (only the O.T. for us!) that God spoke to Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, etc.  God not only spoke the worlds into existence, but He also spoke with people!  When God speaks to someone, His life is forever affected!  When God speaks to someone, He is revealing something about Himself, and the one spoken to knows that there are implications from hearing God’s voice.

I heard God’s voice just as I got saved through believing that Jesus is, in fact, the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord.  This became part of my testimony to my Jewish family:  we had learned that Adonai our God was living, and that He spoke to people that we read about in the Tanach.  So, He also spoke to me; and He said, “Go to Israel.”  As I just said, there are implications when God speaks to you.  Jesus made Israel home for me, and for Randi – and now for our children and grandchildren.

After a couple of days from hearing this, God spoke to me again.  The Holy Spirit said, “Jesus died for you, and because of you and your sins, and has brought you home to your Father in Heaven.”  These two occasions forever changed the whole course of my and my family’s life, and has affected my knowledge of who God is, and who I am – all because I have repented and believed the gospel.  God is the Messiah! Jesus is the Messiah; He is the Lord; Jesus is God manifested in the flesh!

Believing the good news, and hearing God’s voice – both audibly and also through reading the Scriptures and hearing others speak or preach –  ­­have helped me to know who I am in Christ.  When the religious leaders went to John the Baptizer to find out who he was, he answered that he was “a voice of one crying in the desert [to make straight the way of YHVH”. (Jn 1:23; Is 40:3)   When I am asked by people in the context of religious identity (which is what Yeshua and John were being asked), I say, “I am a believer in Yeshua/Jesus“.

And among other things:
–I am a male person, a son of Adam.
–I am an Israeli Jew, a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel.
–I am a Christian, since Yeshua is the Messiah/Christ, the netzer root and offspring of David; and I am in Him, belong to Him, and follow Him.
–I am a child/son of God.
–God is my Father.
–I am your brother.
–Jesus is not only the Lord and the Savior, but my Savior and my Lord.
–I am a new creation.
–I am a saint.
–I am a servant of Yeshua, who died for me and gave me hope and a future; He has given me purpose and significance and an everlasting destiny with Him.
–I am a stranger and pilgrim on the Earth (a Hebrew!).
–I am an exhorter, to strengthen and encourage especially other believers to stand in the faith, and to know that the God of Israel is the living God, that Jesus is the truth, and the Word of God is true.

My experience of receiving the Holy Spirit, of God telling me to go to Israel, of my being a sinner who personally needs a Savior – these are all found in the Bible as true from God. (Joel 2:28-29; Ezek 36:22-29; Zech 12:10; Acts 3:17-26)  I can verify these experiences as being from the one true God because they are in accordance with His written Word.

To know who we are in Messiah, what do we need to do?  What Abraham our father in the faith did; what Saul, who is better known as Paul the apostle, did:  they each believed the word which the living God spoke to them, and they obeyed with faith the revelation and vision which they received. (Acts 26:19; Heb 11:8-19)  Do not shrink back, and our God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – will confirm and strengthen the call, the election for salvation, and our identity in Messiah, for we are hid with Him in God. (Heb 10:39; Col 3:3)

Let’s close with the Holy Spirit-inspired words to us through the apostle John, our brother in Messiah (1Jn 3:1-3):

“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God:  therefore the world knows us not, because it knew Him not.

Beloved, now are we the children of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be:  but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as he is.

And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure.”

The Birth of Yeshua Is A Blessing to Israel and to All Peoples – 19 Dec 2014

The God of Israel is a God who speaks.  He spoke the creation into existence!  He spoke to Adam, to Noah, Job, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David – to many others.  We see that He spoke to the Prophets of Israel; and Yeshua, after His ascension to the right hand of the Father, spoke to the Apostles Peter, Paul, John in the New Testament.  God speaks, and it is good for those to whom He speaks when they listen to His voice. (Heb 3:12-12 – 4:1)

Psa 85:8-9 (9-10 Heb)   I will hear what God Yehovah will speak; for He will speak  peace to His people, and to His saints; but let them not turn again to folly.  Surely His salvation is near those that fear Him, so that glory may dwell in our land.

What does God speak concerning the birth of His only-begotten Son, Yeshua?  Let’s look at how Yeshua’s birth is meant to be a blessing to Israel and to all peoples.

Let’s begin with what Yehovah God spoke to the serpent (the devil) in the  Garden of Eden in the presence of the first man and woman at the beginning of history, for us who believe that the prophecies which God gave of a Savior and a Deliverer are fulfilled in Jesus.

Gen 3:15  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

God speaks here of the Seed of the woman, implying that a male child – a son — would be born through a woman, and that this ‘good’ male would defeat the ‘evil’ seed of the evil one.

What does YHVH God speak to Abram (Abraham), the man whom He chose to cut a covenant with and to make his name great?:

Gen 12:3  And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you all families of the earth shall be blessed.

For us who believe in Yeshua as also the Son of Abraham and Son of Adam, we hear God speak that He will guard the honor and dignity of this Seed of the woman.

What does the Holy Spirit tell us through Paul about this spoken promise to our father, Abraham?:

Gal 3:7-9  Therefore know that those of faith, these are the sons of Abraham.  And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations through faith, preached the gospel before to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all nations be blessed.”  So then those of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

God is speaking peace to His people, and to His godly ones (hasidov); He is blessing them in connection with the good news of this child to be born, this son to be given. (Is 9:6-7; Hag 2:19b)

The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob had promised a New Covenant to His sinful people, by which He would forgive them their sins – blessing them with peace. (Jer 31:31-34)

Now we are ready to read the account of Yeshua’s birth, and to listen to what God is speaking to His people Israel, and to all peoples, concerning this male child who was born not too far from here about 2018 years ago:

Lk 2:1-14   And it happened in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.  (This taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  And all went to be registered, each to his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee to be taxed (out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David).

And he took Mary his betrothed wife, being with child.  And while they were there, the days for her deliverance were fulfilled.  And she brought forth her son, the first-born, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger– because there was no room for them in the inn.

And in the same country there were shepherds living in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And lo, the angel of the Lord came on them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. And they were grievously afraid.  And the angel said to them, Do not fear. For behold, I give to you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For to you is born today, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this is a sign to you:  You will find the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

God is speaking good news of peace to His people Israel until today with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God; but not to the Jewish people only, but also to all peoples:  “Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men!” (Mt 28:18-20)  This is the blessing which God proclaims from the birth of His Son, King of Israel, to sinful people everywhere.  And for those who do believe in Him – His godly ones — His birth carries with it the promise of His coming again to rule in righteousness, as King of kings and Lord of lords! (Is 9:6-7):

Rev 12:1-5  And there appeared a great sign in the heavens, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head,  and having a babe in womb, she cries, being in travail, having been distressed to bear.  And another sign was seen in the heavens. And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads!  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them onto the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman being about to bear, so that when she bears he might devour her child.  And she bore a son, a male, who is going to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

In these days when darkness is covering the nations, let us, as sons of light, not return to our former way of life, but let us shine brightly with the good news of hope, encouraging one another as we continue on the way, and proclaiming God’s desire that all should believe on His Son, and inherit everlasting life.  Messiah has come, and is coming again quickly!  (It accomplishes no good to answer an inquiring person with the confusing controversy over the timing or sanctity of this great marvel.)  This is our peace and blessed hope which all the saints and godly ones have, who hear what YHVH God speaks to Israel, and to the Church of God, for all peoples.

PRAISE TO HIM WHO SITS UPON THE THRONE, AND TO THE LAMB!

Gen 3:15   And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

Ex 12:1-7   And Yehovah spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be to you the beginning of months/new things.  It shall be the first month of the year to you.  Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth of this month they shall take to them each man a lamb for a father’s house, a lamb for a house.  And if the household is too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take according to the number of the souls, each one, according to the eating of his mouth, you shall count concerning the lambYour lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year.  You shall take from the sheep or from the goats.  And you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month.  And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall slaughter it in the evening.  And they shall take some of the blood and strike on the two side posts and upon the upper door post of the houses in which they shall eat it. Continue reading “PRAISE TO HIM WHO SITS UPON THE THRONE, AND TO THE LAMB!”

VISION: MESSIAH AND HIS KINGDOM

A leader is responsible to carry and direct those under his authority towards a goal.  It may be to win a battle in a war; or to build a winning team; or to govern a country to preserve its freedoms and values.

An elder or overseer or pastor in a church is responsible to rule the household of God and to bring God’s children to maturity, to function as ‘adults’, and for them to carry on the integrity of the process.  

What is the goal, though?  A leader can not lead beyond what he himself knows or understands to be the purpose.  There may be different ways of reaching the same goal, but these all need to conform to the character of the one who has set the goal.  

There is much in what I, as pastor/elder of Nachalat Yeshua Cong., am limited.  But we are a body that is supposed to build itself up in love towards the goal which God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ has set before us.  

There is spiritual power from the Holy Spirit when we are seeing what God’s purpose is, and have the willingness to obey Him with persevering faith and love until we get there.  To God be the glory!  

Heb 11:8-10,13-16   Abraham saw City of God; dwelt in Land of Promise as in a foreign land; dwelt in tents  

Gen 13:9   Abram and Lot:  go wherever you (Lot) see and want; the whole land was given by YHVH to Abram  

Rev 1:7  revelation of Jesus Christ coming in great power and glory, and all shall see Him and mourn  

Phlp 3:3-8   to know Messiah, Son of Man/Son of God  

Num 9:15-23; Ex 40:34-38   In the wilderness, the cloud would move – sit – move at different intervals, leading the people onward through the wilderness to the Promised Land — not to settle down too much in the wilderness, since the goal was/is the Promised Land.   

The Lord Jesus Christ is coming again to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth – and throughout this universe – for 1000 years.  His coming is that towards which all history and current events are converging.  This, too, is God’s work to bring about the ultimate purpose of this creation and His redemption through the cross:  the new heavens and new earth, with the heavenly New Jerusalem, the city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God, planned for all those who love the Father and His Son:  that which is perfect to come.